South America Gets off to a Solid Start in TI11 Group Stage
It is fair to say that the three South American (SA) teams, beastcoast, Thunder Awaken, and Hokori, may not enter The International 11 (TI11) as top favorites. Nevertheless, on a jam-packed first day of the group stage, the three teams had an impressive start. The three teams drew their series 1-1 against some of the event's top competitors. Thunder Awaken tied with Team Secret, which won the last chance qualifier, while beastcoast went 1-1 against Entity, a team widely regarded as the dark horse of TI11. Lastly, the most exciting series was that of Hokori, which tied with TI11 top favorite PSG.LGD.
South American teams beastcoast, Thunder, and Hokori display their competitiveness in TI11 group stage opener
A tough 26-minute game against Team Secret in the group stage opener proved to be a tough test for Thunder Awaken. Just five kills were registered for the team, while 26 were recorded by Secret.
But Thunder knew precisely how to return the pain by playing a high burst damage draft in the second game. Having watched Thunder kill its heroes all over the map for just 29 minutes, Secret was run over and eventually called 'GG'.
As part of the first series of the group stage, Beastcoast was up against Entity, a team that has just developed over the past four to five months. In a very similar fashion to Thunder Awaken, beastcoast was severely outplayed by Entity, and its midlaner and carry recorded a flawless combined KDA of 28/0/21.
But the South American teams are known for battling back and taking games despite seeming like weaker competitors. In the second game, Entity got stomped, and it tapped out of the game in 28 minutes.
Hokori had arguably the most difficult start to TI11's group stage campaign, against Chinese juggernauts PSG.LGD. With PSG.LGD's consistency and form, this was thought to be a relatively simple 2-0 win for the squad, but Hokori had other intentions.
Despite losing the first game, Hokori provided great opposition and was even in the lead for a while but couldn't hold on till the end. Then Hokori, showcasing the charismatic comeback potential of South American teams, gave PSG.LGD a thrashing, bringing the series to a close at 1-1.
The three South American teams have now demonstrated their ability to play well, particularly in tough times, since they all bounced back after losing game one. For them, the challenge is to up the ante and register 2-0 victories rather than settling for draws. In the past, South America has been competitive, but the question has always been whether it has what it takes to make it all the way.