The opening games of the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor (SLI Minor) are done and dusted, and two of our teams have already secured their place in the semi-finals. If you missed out on the action, we’ve got the highlights right here for you.
Flying Penguins and Vici Gaming are through to the playoffs
Flying Penguins were our first team to capture a spot in the semi-finals. They won their opening match yesterday against China’s Royal Never Give Up, ending their first series 2-1. Their next series told a similar story, as Flying Penguins faced Old but Gold to take out the Group A winner’s match with another 2-1 victory. The newest addition to FP’s line up, Eric ‘Ryoya’ Dong, was one of day one’s stand out players. He secured a total of 48 kills for his team over these two series. He also gave us a glimpse of his versatility, playing four different heroes; Pangolier, Queen of Pain Monkey King, and Outworld Devourer.
Day two saw our next team progress to the playoffs, Vici Gaming.
Vici Gaming met Demolition Boys in their first match, cleaning it up with a 2-0 stomp. Next up they encountered Gambit Esports, who gave them a run for their money in game one. However, by game two, Vici meant business, amassing a 3k net worth lead in just 1-minute as the game neared 30 minutes. Ori on Necrophos was unstoppable this game, involved in 26 kills for his team and claiming. He kept his net worth just under Paparazi’s Phantom Assassin. Together, they were a death ball, melting towers and swinging the game towards a Vici victory.
After turning game two around, game three was a quick 30-minute stomp, with Vici taking 34 kills to Gambit’s 9.
Fervian steals Gambit’s aegis, twice
One of the most intense games we’ve seen of the Minor so far was BOOM ID’s opening match against Gambit Esports. BOOM ID put up a phenomenal fight. They really made Gambit work for their wins, pushing the series to three games.
Part of what made these matches so memorable was the outstanding performance of Fervian/Dreamocel. He managed to steal the aegis from Gambit in the rosh pit, twice, in game two. (He also nabbed the cheese the second time!) His technical skills and map awareness made him a real asset for BOOM in these matches, and it will be exciting to see the team face Demolition Boys tomorrow in the Group B loser’s match.
OG in trouble?
OG have had a rough start to this Minor. They lost their opening match against Old but Gold. With N0taiil dying three times in the first 5 minutes of game one. Things started to look like they might go OG’s way after the ten-minute mark, but Old but Gold fought back, pushing high ground and taking radiant’s bottom melee rax at 17 minutes. Although OG tried to turn it around, they didn’t manage to recover. The first game of the series went to Old but Gold.
But in game two we caught a glimpse of the OG we’re used to seeing. By 20 minutes OG had 10 kills and were 4k ahead in the net worth. Topson was instrumental in securing this victory for OG. His Pango pick helped create much-needed control for OG thanks to some well-timed rolling thunders and beautiful 4-man swashbuckles. OG racked up 40 kills, giving them a 26-kill lead over Old but Gold. They ended game two in a victory with a massive 34.9k net worth.
But in game 3, things again started to look bad for OG. Net worth bounced back and forth as both teams increased the pace and pressure, but in the end, it was Old but Gold who came out on top. Velheor’s throws on Tiny were perfectly on-point.
OG are not out of the tournament yet and will face RNG tomorrow in the Group A loser’s match.
Tomorrow is judgment day, we’ll see four teams eliminated during the decider matches. Who will be going home? Tune in on Twitch to find out! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and YouTube to keep up with all the latest Dota 2 news and daily esports highlights.
Images via StarLadder