*Cover image source: @dotasltv
Day 1 of the StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 saw Optic Gaming emerge as top seeds from Group A as they secured the playoff spot with a brilliant 2-0 over VG.J.
The day started with a surprise as FlyToMoon picked up a surprise game 1 over VG.J. But the Chinese team struck back with 2 swift sub 30-minute games to take the series. Sylar and Freeze, both stepped up in games 2 and 3 as a resurgent VG.J squad quickly jolted back to reality to defend their top seed at the event.
In the second series, of the day, Optic took on Kinguin. The Polish squad have stepped up their game in recent months, having qualified for multiple DPC events this season as well, but Optic were one step ahead for much of the series. Kinguin managed to take the second game by forcing it late, but in games 1 and 3, CCnC and Pajkatt both run rampant across the enemy lines forcing swift gg’s and helping Optic take the win.
The WB final of Group A was expected to be a one-sided game going towards the highly rated Chinese squad, who have managed to finish 2nd in two DPC events but Optic Gaming had different plans altogether. The NA based org came fully prepared, finishing the series within 50 minutes as the Chinese were left wondering what hit them.
Game 1 was a classic example of Thunder getting Broodmother’d as 33 took his hero to the mid lane and Pajkatt played a 1 position Sand King to help create space for CCnC and 33. The game lasted only 22 minutes and Optic had taken 2 sets of barracks before Thunder were forced to call the game, realizing that the Broodmother had taken too much of a lead for them to contend with.
In game 2, the draft coming out of Thunder was much better, and they got advantageous line ups on many of the Optic lanes. Despite a poor laning phase, Optic just exploded in the mid game as Thunder found it hard to fight frequently especially when Exorcism was down for Sylar. With a huge burst potential, Optic were able to get quick kills and start the fights off with an advantage. They were able to convert kills into objectives on the back of the Luna and the Beastmaster who went for an all out push build. With BKB’s on their cores, Thunder went looking for a fight. But, again, the Roar went out on Sylar, who was unable to pop his BKB and the fight was taken by Optic quite decisively. VG.J had no buybacks and were forced to call the gg.
A very impressive performance from Optic Gaming, who certainly took the fight to Thunder and had some well-executed drafts to top the Group.
Group B kicks off later today, with Fnatic, Na’Vi, Vega Squadron and SG e-sports. With the new patch hitting last night, which team can make the necessary adjustments and come out on top?