Cover image source: Adela Sznajder | ESL One Genting
The opening games on day 2 of the group stages saw teams in groups C and D clash, and what was expected to be a straightforward encounter for Liquid, turned out to be a close encounter. However, the former TI winners, playing without Miracle, held on in game 3, completing a mega creep comeback to take the series.
In Group D, EG and Fnatic both won their series 2-0 against Aster and Fnatic respectively, setting themselves up with each other for a shot at the upper bracket.
In Group C, Ori put in two superb performances from the mid lane to carry Vici Gaming 2-0 against J.Storm. But the real action came in Liquid’s match against CIS’s The Pango.
Playing with a substitute, Shadow, Liquid took a convincing win in game 1 with both Matumbaman and Shadow snowballing off a good laning phase. Liquid walked all over The Pango who only picked up 2 kills in the entire match and were forced into calling the gg by 20 minutes.
The Pango struck back in game 2, with Naive’s Terrorblade going untouched for the most part. TL itemized to tank the physical damage and looked strong early, but one lost teamfight, signalling the end of their spike and Pango never let go of the reins from there.
Game 3 was the closest as The Pango shut down Shadow’s Medusa very hard in the early game. They exploded in the mid game with tanky cores like the Tide, Visage and Dazzle and the lack of damage on Liquid was apparent. Matumbaman’s Bristleback kept Liquid in contention but The Pango were able to claim 3 sets of barracks. But by then Shadow had been able to find his farm quietly and suddenly Liquid had the damage to take the fights. The Pango, slowly started falling off, and despite mega creeps, they never got the full 5 man fight they wanted. Between Matu’s survivability and Shadow’s damage, Liquid shredded their opponents and claimed the win.
Liquid now take on Vici Gaming, while The Pango face J.Storm. Day 2 of the Major has just begun. Stay tuned for all the action as the stories develop through the day.