*Cover image source: Helena Kristiansson | ESL One Birmingham
It’s been a great tournament for TNC Predator and their new coach Heen at ESL One Birmingham but they did get dropped down to the lower brackets, late last night. After finishing second in their group, TNC took on group A top seeds, Evil Geniuses in the upper bracket semifinal.
Game 1 saw TNC lose all 5 of their heroes as early as 12 minutes into the game, but they managed to keep the networth even as they hunkered down for the later stages of the game. With 3 tanky frontliners in WK, Earth Spirit and Dark Seer, Armel’s Sniper and eyyou’s AA were allowed to deal damage from a distance and EG simply couldn’t close the gap, despite their 4 Blink Daggers. TNC pulled ahead claiming 2 sets of barracks and while they got caught out at Roshan, they had the buybacks to make it count and were able to claim the throne after routing EG from the pit.
EG were adamant in their picks, tweaking their draft just a bit, but mostly sticking to their guns in game 2. This time however, TNC didn’t have the Sniper and while they were able to take fights with Armel’s DP, EG took advantage every time the Excorcism was down. The fights went back and forth and while TNC got 2 tier 3 towers, Fly’s Aghs Scepter pickup on the Disruptor was game-changer, allowing EG to start fights with a massive advantage. Without Gabbi’s buyback and Armel’s ultimate, EG went straight for the throne and TNC were forced to call the gg.
In game 3, the last pick Alchemist from EG sealed TNC’s fate as Sumail picked up item after item, eventually managing to give every team member an Aghs Scepter, by the time the game finished. Gabbi’s Razor never managed to get going and EG took full advantage in teamfights, only having to worry about Armel’s Medusa for the most part. By 35-minutes, all of EG’s heroes were stacked thanks to Sumail and the NA org wasted little time in forcing fights with their massive advantage and forcing the gg.
In the other semifinal matchup, PSG.LGD claimed their stake as the best team in China, despite VG having won a Major earlier, by smashing their compatriots 2-0. Fy’s 4 position Pangolier shut down all of VG in game 1 and made enough space for Maybe to take over in game 2. EG now take on PSG.LGD in the upper bracket finals. In the lower brackets, Team Liquid take on Gambit Esports while DPC table toppers, Secret face defending TI champs, OG.
Who will come out on top as the main stage matches get underway?