?SEA stutters: Mineski and TNC Predator relegated to the Lower Brackets

Vignesh Raghuram

16o, May, 2018
Image Credits: Mars Media

After a relatively strong showing by the SEA teams in the Group Stages, it looks like Mineski and TNC Predator will need to duke it out through the lower brackets if they are to secure some crucial DPC points.

The MDL Changsha major took a different approach to the playoff stage, with the first day (played behind closed doors) would see 4 series in the Upper bracket – with no eliminations just yet. Here’s what transpired on the opening day of the playoffs.
OG vs VGJ.Storm

The first series was between OG and VGJ.Storm, both teams who had relatively strong runs in the group stages. Coincidently both teams are not eligible for DPC points because of their post-lock roster changes.
The 1st game saw OG draft a Drow Ranger lineup which seemed like asking for trouble because the NA team has shown extremely strong early-mid game play. It did not take long for the NA team to start finding pick-offs across the map consistently, leaving OG in the dust. It just took 25 minutes for the GG to be called, as they just couldn’t get the ball rolling.

While OG found a much better start to game 2, Resolut1on – determined to prove that ‘OG were left’ – took complete control of the game with his Medusa as he destroyed the Europeans right around the 25-minute mark. VGJ.Storm racked up a massive lead and would even pick up a Rapier on Medusa which secured a game-ending Rampage, a 15-0-8 KDA, and sweet revenge for Resolut1on.
Mineski vs TNC Predator

It was the SEA derby in the 2nd Upper bracket series of the Day as Mineski would face off against TNC Predator – the winner moving forward into the next round of the Upper bracket match to face Vici Gaming. Mineski had a stellar group stage (barring a

In Game 1, TNC looked like they over-complicated their draft which lead to Mineski taking full advantage of it. With a Timbersaw holding down the fort in the mid-lane and a Gyrocopter to back him up, Mineski quickly raced ahead of their opponents who were unable to find more than 4 kills throughout the 25-minute game. Even though there was a last minute Aegis steal from TNC’s Carlo ‘Kuku’ Palad, the GG came out – giving game one to Mineski.

Game 2 was far closer as both teams exchanged kill after kill in an action-packed game. However, Mineski prevailed in the long run with some excellent late-game play taking 2 two sets of TNC’s barracks. While TNC did manage to hold on for quite a while after this point, Mineski just had too much of a net worth lead for the Filipinos to overcome. They lost the series 2-0 and dropped down to lower brackets where they’ll face the winner of the PSG.LGD vs IG.Vitality
VGJ.Storm vs Team Secret

With two relatively quick 2-0 series kicking off the playoffs, we were hoping for a closer series. And the EU vs NA showdown provided us with that exactly. We finally got our first full-BO3 series of the day. The European side, Secret came into this series as the favorite after their stellar Group Stage performance in which they were undefeated.

Game 1 saw VGJ.Storm kick off the series with an all-in pushing lineup that gave them no room for mistakes. While Secret’s side lanes featuring a Doom and Ember Spirit got crushed. One hero got away unchallenged in Ace’s mid lane Medusa amassed an absurd amount of farm in 20 minutes, to stall the game allowing his team catchup. Secret took several successful teamfights one after the other VGJ.Storm’s side of the map took objectives and secured game one for themselves.

Game 2 saw a Slark, and a Doom picked up by VGJ.Storm while Team Secret went for an odd Spectre-Magnus-Viper draft. Sneyking’s Doom bullied Secret’s safe lane Spectre. He itemized for huge HP regeneration and kept on forcing Secret in a defensive stance, which gave Reso all the space to farm his key items. Thirty minutes in, VGJ.Storm was unstoppable as Team Secret just couldn’t bring down any of the NA team’s heroes even when they used all their ultimates which saw the GG call come in 35 minutes.

Game 3 saw Team Secret secure the laning stage and as a result, secured complete map control. They were already pushing the tier three tower bottom lane with a Helm of the Dominator and level 3 Necronomicon Book just fifteen minutes in. But SVG farmed up an Aghanim’s Sceptre in 19 minutes to turn around the game and from there on the NA squad played around the day timings and managed to catch Secret on the wrong foot to take the series victory and secure a top-three finish at MDL Changsha Major.
Vici Gaming vs Mineski

Coming into this major, we said that Vici Gaming was the best team in China atm, and they proved it with a great performance in the group stage. Meanwhile, Mineski has shown glimpses of their greatness in this event (albeit a couple of missteps). A win here would guarantee Mineski, a 3rd place spot ergo a TI8 invite.

Game 1 saw Mineski experiment with an iceiceice offlane Disruptor. It went as well as you would expect. The experiment failed and Vici Gaming crushed the SEA team without giving any opening and closed out Game 1 in under 30 minutes thanks to an overfarmed Papparazi Razor.

Game 2 brought yet another an unusual (yet far more sensible) pick for Mineski: Slark. The early to mid-game stage went disastrously for Mineski who were 3K gold behind at the 15-minute mark and were still waiting for the Slark's Shadow Blade to come online. The turn around happened only at the 26-minute marker when the SEA team took their first teamfight win thanks to the genius of iceiceice and Jabz. Vici Gaming was forced into a late game where Slark, Dragon Knight, and Doom couldn’t be killed anymore and so the series was pushed to a decisive game three.

Game 3 was all Papparazi. He showed us why he is the most mechanically skilled player in the world with a stunning Luna performance which saw him secure 400 last hits in 20 minutes, eclipsing a 1k GPM by the end of the game with a 12/0/7 KDA. He dominated the game from start to finish, closing the game with double the net worth of Mushi’s Gyrocopter and a Double Rampage inside Mineksi’s base.

Tomorrow will be a day off for the MDL Changsha Major, the playoffs will resume on the 18th of May starting off with the lower bracket matches. Stay tuned to our page for Prediction updates for the playoffs.