Day 3 of the Epicenter XL major held plenty of surprises as all twelve teams competed with each other on a day which saw half-a-dozen BO3 series. We saw plenty of surprises with teams punching above their weight which put teams like Newbee and Mineski in utter jeopardy.
It also saw Europe finally drop a series and NA finally win one. What else transpired? Let’s find out.
Mineski vs FlyToMoon
The reigning DAC Champions were expected to bounce back, after a disappointing start to their run at the event due to a loss in their first series. FlyToMoon, on the other hand, came back to bring another upset today. Losing their first game to Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang's signature Pangolier, they came back strong in the next two games, showcasing their wide hero pool. Taking the games to the later stages, they showed their prowess and took down Mineski 2-1. With a second series secured, they now sit at the top of their bracket, standing out as one of the most formidable teams at the event.
Team Liquid vs PSG.LGD
Signs of the reigning TI champions losing momentum were proven to be vastly exaggerated as Team Liquid still looked quite formidable. However, PSG.LGD gave them a lot more resistance than their opponents yesterday.
Liquid gave the newly buffed Slark a shot twice, winning once and losing the other time. They secured the third, deciding game of the series with Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi's stellar Morphling play. Team Liquid now sit on top of Group A with a 2-0 record
coL vs Team Empire
It was a showdown between the two underdogs from NA and CIS. Both teams have undergone roster changes after their qualification for this tournament. Although compLexity took the series with a dominant performance, Empire stretched out the series with an Arc Warden which made high ground siege extremely difficult for coL but consequently starved out the rest of Team Empire which meant that one pickoff on the Zet would close out the game. Which was how coal closed out the game and the series.
OG vs paiN Gaming
The EU team secured yet another victory against the sole SA hope, paiN Gaming. Going undefeated in their second series of the tournament, the team now stands at the top of their group. They are also the only team in the tournament who have not lost a game, though it is relatively early in the group stages and that may change. We were witness to another stellar Morphling performance today, this time in the hands of Johan "N0tail" Sundstein who looks like he has moved away from his sacrificial playstyle opting for a greedier farm heavy one.
Team Secret vs Na’Vi
Team Secret will have no one but themselves to blame for their loss to Na’Vi. Drafting a Techies in the first game was the worst thing possible for Secret as it worked about as well as their Chaos Knight pick in the final game. The opening game saw Secret claim a total of 5 kills as they quite clearly underestimated their opponents and were swiftly dealt with.
While the second game of the series would see Secret on much more comfort-picks – which secured them victory, they went into the decisive game with a very hopeful draft. With Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard picking up a Chaos Knight, going against the laser spam of Danil “Dendi” Ishutin’s Tinker was going to be an issue. Secret showd a mere glimmer of hope once they had already lost 2 lanes of barracks but they were dismantled by Na’Vi and the series went the way of the CIS squad 2-1.
Virtus.Pro vs Newbee
The final series of the day would be between the team who were already qualified for The International 2018, VP and Newbee – who are still struggling to find solid form lately. The first game proved that VP were the stronger team as they easily found victory in under 40 minutes.
Game two was a lot more highly contested and had numerous pauses due to technical issues. But after over an hour in the game, Newbee were able to close out the game with a brilliant victory which saw Song “Sccc” Chun’s Razor being too strong for VP to deal with. But in the decisive game, VP stood strong once more and Roman “Ramzes666” Kushnarev’s Morphling was almost unkillable this time round. VP took the series 2-1 and joined OG at the top of Group B while Newbee remained bottom of the group.
Today will see the Group Stages heading into a crucial phase. Mineski, and Newbee desperately need to win to keep their hopes alive while teams like FlyToMoon, OG and Na’Vi will be hoping to keep their momentum going as they inch closer to qualification.
What will happen on Day 3? Will Techies finally see a win in a professional match? Find out as we bring you the action live, in the official Indian broadcast of the Epicenter XL major.