*Cover image source: @TNC Pro team
Day 3 ended with some really good Dota as teams put on a show in a last ditch effort to secure top 4 or avoid qualification in the group stages.
TNC versus Serenity ended in a draw but TNC’s mega creep comeback in game 2 will go down as one of the best in TI history. Serenity won game 1 rather easily using their laning to pull out ahead. Their tri core was exceptionally good once their items were up and TNC’s draft had little to do in the 40 minute encounter other than wait for Serenity to finish the game.
In game 2, Serenity’s Alchemist and Gyrocopter allowed them to pull out very far by 40 minutes or so. TNC still managed to take decent fights and hold on but it was costly and they lost all 3 lanes and buybacks by the 50 minute mark. Despite being 3 lanes behind, TNC fought with renewed vigour and never rushed things, slowly turning the game around. The Serenity heroes fell one by one as did their base and Chinese team could never muster up all their buybacks together and make a solid hold.
Despite EG’s dominant form in the group stages, Liquid swept them aside with a convincing 2-0 and showed just why they are considered favorites. The defending champions put on a masterclass in terms of draft and execution, as they schooled EG and showed them who the real kings are. A 5 ranged lineup featuring a Drow never allowed Arteezy’s Spectre to come online as they mowed down objectives with ease. EG were resilient and were able to close the gap with Sumail’s Tiny and Haunt and take favourable fights but were unable to convert them into major objectives. Eventually, though, Kuroky’s 25-minute Radiance on Phoenix was enough to prevent EG from getting up close and personal as Liquid wiped them and their base and took the game.
Game 2 was the Miracle show from start to finish as he styled on Sumail’s Tiny in the midlane and took over the game with some nasty combos that left EG reeling with pain. Liquid walked all over EG in the short 30 minute encounter including this next lebel play which left us all clutching our stomachs.
Secret’s 2-0 over OpTic was their first series win at TI8 and an especially important one if they are to kick things off in the upper bracket. A lacklustre performance with mostly draws has dented their chances but a late surge of form can be enough to secure them the coveted safety cushion required to make a long run at TI8. Their win over OpTic had nothing extraordinary but with PPD’s team playing less than what was expected of them, Secret were able to capitalize.
Elsewhere, PSG.LGD took a 2-0 iver iG who are now done with all their matches and are in danger of getting relegated depending upon how Winstrike plays out their games. OG themselves will be very proud of how they saw out day 3 with 2 wins and a draw and have made significant headway to secure a top 4 spot after a mediocre showing in the first two days of play.
EG, Liquid and VGJ.Storm have qualified for the upper brackets with relative ease while PSG.LGD, VP and OG also looking good. Day 3 will have only 3 sets of Dota and only 12 games without tiebreakers but each game will be more crucial than ever.