TI12 Playoffs Day 1: Team Spirit’s Winning Streak Broken, Azure Ray Outclasses nouns
With the conclusion of The International 2023 (TI12) upper bracket quarter-finals, four teams moved on to the upper bracket semi-finals whereas the other four teams will have to battle it out through the trenches of the lower bracket.
Team Spirit, which was undefeated till the TI12 playoffs, was brought to its knees by none other than Virtus.pro (VP). Despite an early setback against VP, Team Spirit ultimately rose and secured its position in the upper bracket semi-finals with two back-to-back wins against VP in the same series.
Azure Ray dominated nouns in both games, leaving no room for doubt, and proved that it was simply the better team. A visual bug was spotted in Game 1 of nouns vs Azure Ray, The wisdom rune at the 21st-minute mark was both picked up and denied.
Team Spirit, Team Liquid, LGD Gaming, and Azure Ray made it to the upper bracket semi-finals whereas, Virtus.pro, 9Pandas, Talon Esports, and nouns dropped down to lower brackets.
Having said all that, here are the major storylines from the first day of the TI12 playoffs.
TI12 Playoffs Day 1 Recap
Team Spirit Tastes First Defeat at TI12
Team Spirit finally tasted its first TI12 defeat at the hands of Virtus.pro. VP ironically used the “1 skill point only in Bristlback’s 3rd skill (Bristleback) strat,” made famous by Team Spirit’s Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov, to defeat Team Spirit.
The reason to keep the 3rd skill of Bristleback at level 1 is to take more damage and hit the damage threshold of 225 more frequently to proc more Quill Spray and deal a ridiculous amount of damage. Evgeniy "Noticed" Ignatenko made excellent use of this and soared the Networth charts and obliterated Team Spirit.
However, Team Spirit reminded the world why it is one of the best in the game. It won the remaining two games in the series, reverse swept VP, and secured its spot in the upper bracket semi-finals where it will face off against Team Liquid. Team Spirit’s tournament Win-Loss score is now at 12-1.
Azure Ray: A Class Apart
Azure Ray, the newly formed Chinese team, displayed domination and simply outclassed its opponent, nouns. Nouns Esports made it to the upper bracket Quarterfinals after a surprising win over the defending champions Tundra Esports. Azure Ray dominated Game 1, leaving nouns no room to breathe with a score of 28-2. Game 2 saw some kills going towards nouns’ way but ultimately the Chinese team proved it was a class apart by diving nouns' fountain at the end game and killing anyone that respawned.
was noted in the series between nouns vs Azure Ray at the 21st-minute mark of Game 1. Spectre was in a position to pick up the Wisdom rune that spawns every 7 minutes, and Enchantress sent a controlled unit to deny the rune. Just as the rune spawned, the rune was both picked up and denied. This visual bug had spectators, commentators and analysts scratching their heads.
Azure Ray will face off against its Chinese mates, LGD Gaming, for a spot at the upper bracket finals of The International 2023 in the upper bracket Semifinals. LGD Gaming secured its spot in the upper bracket semi-finals after an impressive 2-0 win against 9Pandas. Interestingly, LGD Gaming opted for Dark Willow as its carry in Game 1 against 9Pandas, a very unorthodox choice of carry yet, a very interesting and effective one.
Day 5 of The International 2023 proved to be an enthralling one as teams fought for a spot in the upper bracket semi-finals. Later today on 21st October, the lower bracket rounds are set to kick off. Follow AFK Gaming’s TI12 coverage and scores on for more future updates as the tournament unfolds.