Friday's matches at The International 2016 have produced one grand finalist, one would be champion and two could be champions.
LB Round 4 - MVP Phoenix vs Fnatic
The day started off with MVP Phoenix taking on Fnatic in a best of three lower bracket all SEA battle royale! Mushi and the boys outsmarted the South Koreans in game 1 with a last pick Tinker to which MVP Phoenix had no response. After a crushing early game courtesy 343's sneaky bounty hunter and Ohaiyo's baller Sand King, QO's Slardar turned up the heat. With some clutch blink initiations and ninja armlett toggles, it seemed like MVP Phoenix were on the verge of mounting a full fledged comeback, that is until DJ picked up a BKB on the Crystal Maiden along side Mushi's fully stacked battle tinker. 47 minutes in, Fnatic secured what seemed like a fairly comfortable victory.
Game 2 was a fairly closer contest. Fnatic put their faith in Mushi's Medusa while 343 was given the Riki - a decision which paid dividends multifold as he managed to control the pace of the early game for the most part. MVP Phoenix maintained a steady net worth lead on MP's Sven however come late game, Fnatic were able to successfully kite around him during teamfights. QO's Mirana was packing some heavy magic burst damage however Medusa's Mana Shield was nigh impenetrable given that there was just one diffusal blade on the side of MVP courtesy Forev's Faceless Void. Game 2 lasted for 54 minutes however the Malaysian's emerged victorious at the end of it all while MVP Phoenix's run at TI 6 came to an end.
UB Finals - The Wings Gaming vs Evil Geniuses
The second series of the day was reminiscent of The International 5 - China versus USA in the Upper Bracket Finals.
Game 1 : It seemed like PPD attempted to throw a curve ball at Wings Gaming through his draft. A core Antimage for Fear, a mid Sand King for SumaiL and an off lane Weaver for Universe is something we haven't seen very often from EG. Wings have proven time and again that they are the masters of curve balls themselves and they responded to this with a tanky team fight oriented lineup featuring Tidehunter, Timbersaw, Rubik, Enigma and Razor. Everytime their ultimates were off cooldown, Wings proceeded to run straight at EG's towers and mowed through them with ease. Their item choices were made to help their heroes tank through everything EG could throw at them. By the end of the game, they were packing an AC, double BKBs, a lotus orb and a refresher for tide. EG could do naught but tap out at 38 minutes when Wings took over their high ground with minimal casualties.
Game 2 : The long and short of it is that EG got Huskar'd! Wings demolished EG with a Shadow Demon + Elder Titan support duo running Beastmaster, Medusa and Huskar as their cores. EG picked up the Winter Wyvern in an attempt to turn Huskar's aggression against his allies however a failed roshan attempt by EG is what led to a tumbling house of cards. 23 minutes in, Wings Gaming secured the victory and with that, the Chinese squad are the first grand finalists of The International 2016!
LB Round 5 - Digital Chaos vs Fnatic
Sunsfan's squad has been stealing hearts across the globe this TI. Now pitted against Mushi and his boys, Digital Chaos were fighting for a chance to be crowned among the Top 3 Dota 2 teams in the world.
Game 1 : Digital Chaos picked up a mid Ursa for W33 alongside Slark for Resolution. Fnatic picked up the Mirana for Mushi and an unconventional offlane Legion Commander for Ohaiyo. That didn't work out too well for them as he ended the game with a score of 0/6/6 while Resolution did not suffer a single death in the entire game. While the game lasted a total of 49 minutes, it seemed like Digital Chaos were in control for the most part. MidOne's Phantom Lancer couldn't find a steady farm rhythm and unfortunately, he was unable to have enough of an impact come late game when DC's Slark and Ursa were going banana's alongside an Aghanim's Sceptre Kotl dropping frequent blinding lights on the battlefield.
Game 2 : Invoker fans were in for a treat in game 2. W33 showed some lightening fast reflexes and decision making and quite honestly, he stole the show! Digital Chaos ran a Chaos Knight for resolution along with Saksa's Shadow Demon for extra illusions. Fnatic put their eggs in the Huskar basket but picked up the Ember Spirit to help deal with the illusions army. Relentless aggression coupled with Disruption -> Sunstrike pickoffs in the early game allowed Digital Chaos to make steady progress in terms of items and levels. Once they hit critical mass (Manta, BKB, Armlet, Heart and Aegis) on the Chaos Knight, there was no stopping them. The game ended with Moo taking down the bottom barracks on his Beastmaster while Resolution and co. breached the base from the top side. Middle barracks were already ancient history by this time and Mega Creeps proved too much for Fnatic to handle
With that, Digital Chaos move into the Lower Bracket finals where they will face Evil Geniuses tomorrow in a best of three while Fnatic will have to be content with a fourth place finish at TI6. Looks like Mushi doesn't get to retire after all!
The icing on the cake was Valve's "Special Presentation" at the end of the day. After having announced Pitlord just a day earlier, Valve has now proven that Dota2 still has a long way to go. A new hero - Sun Wukong (The Monkey King) has officially been announced and will be made available this Fall along with the 'New Journey' Update.
Sun Wukong is speculated to be an illusion based hero similar to Phantom Lancer but with a deeper connection to the Monkey King Bar.. for obvious reasons.