Fnatic Kicks Off its TI11 Journey With a Tie Against The Defending Champions
The International 2022 (TI11) has finally begun, with the Group Stage kicking off the event. 20 teams from across the world will compete in the Group Stage for the next four days to avoid being in the bottom two in each group to avoid elimination as only 16 teams will be moving on to the Main Event. Day One of the Group Stage saw the current defending champions Team Spirit going up against Southeast Asian (SEA) natives Fnatic.
The series ended up in a draw as Team Spirit claimed Game One in dominating fashion, however Fnatic struck back in Game Two to even the series.
Team Spirit vs Fnatic: Match recap
Team Spirit & Fnatic have crossed paths on multiple occasions, with the last match happening during the ESL One Stockholm Major where Fnatic lost its matchup in the group stages.
While Fnatic are known to cause upsets from time to time, many predicted the series to be an easy victory for Team Spirit.
Team Spirit started off with a fairly standard draft, as it featured Lone Druid, Leshrac & Centaur Warrunner as the primary cores while Fnatic went with a mobile draft by picking up Morphling, Death Prophet and Monkey King as the core heroes.
While the laning phase went in the way of Fnatic as Armel "Armel" Tabios Death Prophet and Marc "Raven" Fausto’s Morphling had a decent laning phase, Team Spirit’s early itemization choices with a Blink Dagger on Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov allowed them to aggressively initiate onto Fnatic. Furthermore, Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov’s accurate Hookshots onto Fnatic’s heroes with his Clockwork caused problems as Fnatic could not activate its late game potential.
Game One ended after 34 minutes as Team Spirit claimed the first game of the series.
Game Two was more interesting, as Fnatic drafted a more stable draft by picking up signature heroes for Raven and Djardel “DJ” Mampusti in Terrorblade and Tiny. Team Spirit meanwhile went with Shadow Demon & Void Spirit for Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk and Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek respectively.
While the laning phase was even between both teams, this time it is Fnatic who were in the driving seat as Raven’s Terrorblade and Armel’s Puck are constantly providing the stability that the team lacked in Game One.
While a few mistakes were made by Fnatic in the late game phase, the team managed to take advantage of Team Spirit’s buyback status by forcing a crucial teamfight near Team Spirit’s base, allowing Fnatic to secure Game Two just before the 50 minute mark.
Following the draw, Team Spirit will face Entity later in its final series of the day. On the other side, Fnatic will face Thunder Awaken later today.
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