ESL Genting Day 2: Four Down, Four Remain

We review the happenings from ESL Genting Day 2
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Day 2 of ESL ONE Genting has come to an end and only four teams remain. Newbee and Digital Chaos qualified for playoffs after dominating performances on Day 1 and are now joined by Wings Gaming and Virtus Pro. In the first best of 3 series of the day, NP took down Fnatic 2-0 amassing a huge net worth advantage in the mid game of Game 1 and capitalized on multiple failed smoke ganks made by Fnatic closing out the game at minute 40. In Game2, Fnatic looked strong in the early game securing multiple kills on the cores of NP. With the early lead, Fnatic continued to hold on to the net worth lead but were utterly crushed by a series of unfortunate events starting with a failed Lifestealer – Riki infest bomb combo by Mushi and febby diving the tier 3 tower on EternalEnvy’s Mirana failing to secure the much-needed kill, Mushi walking into an arrow while trying to retreat from the failed gank and giving up three crucial kills. With buybacks on cooldown for Mushi, Yamateh, and Ohaiyo, NP charged into Fnatic’s base and took the throne while the Fnatic line up watched on helplessly.
Final Score: NP 2 – Fnatic 0

Over in Group B, Execration took down local favorite WG.Unity 2-1 in the second best of 3 series of the day. The Philippine squad edged a comeback win in Game 1 where WG.Unity expanded buybacks for Ageis and were punished with NaNa on the Mirana being sent back to the spawn screen on a two minute respawn timer with no buyback. The Malaysian squad was left in a state of panic as their key damage dealer was sidelined while Execration secured the game. In Game 2, despite securing a signature hero Puck for Nando on the side of Execration, WG.Unity drafted a fight heavy lineup with an emphasis on heavy aggression. The Malaysian squad systematically secured kill after kill and also the first set of barracks just as the game hit the 20-minute mark. Nando pulled off a spectacular escape against four heroes of WG.Unity at minute 24. However, with the core heroes of Execration lacking any sort of significant farm to mount a defense they were forced to tap out just two minutes later leveling the playing field. In the final game of the series, Execration pulled off an extremely risky play buying back the meepo after forcing WG.Unity to blow several ultimates just to secure a kill on Gabbi’s Meepo once. However, Gabbi bought back forced the Malaysian squad to expend all their resources just to deal with him again allowing the rest of his squad to wipe WG.Unity off the map and secure mega creeps. Although facing mega creeps, WG.Unity put up a spectacular defense keeping fans on the edge of their seats as Execration failed, again and again, to close out the game. Just as it looked like the game was about to hit a stalemate, DJ on the Batrider got two huge double lassos on Nyx, Underlord, Juggernaut and Winter Wyvern with a refresher orb allowing Execration to close out the series.

Final Score: Execration 2 – WG.Unity 1

In Group A’s decider match, Russians Virtus Pro annihilated the Americans NP 2-0 with the Russian squad capitalizing on a failed push from NP ending up in a complete disaster tipping the networth in their favor. Despite heroic attempts from NP in preventing Virtus Pro from taking high ground successfully, the Russian squad broke through the defensive line of NP securing crucial dieback kills on NP forcing the Americans to call ‘GG’. In Game 2, NP weaseled in EternalEnvy’s signature Ember Spirit, 1437 on the Axe and Slark on Aui_2000 in the draft. While it looked like NP had the superior draft, Virtus Pro had positioning and mechanical superiority as they dodge and weaved through the Americans while dishing out heavy nukes and dodging Axe ‘s Blink Dagger – Berserker Call combo skillfully. Despite being seemingly outdrafted, one of the key changes to Helm of the Dominator drastically increased its popularity amongst agility carries and also allowed for RAMZES666 to dominate a small satyr providing a much-needed purge against the Ember Spirit’s Flame Guard – Ion Shell combo much earlier than expected out of a Juggernaut who has yet to complete diffusal blade. With diffusal blade and manta style complete, the Russians barreled down the middle lane with ageis and in an epic show of force, took the lane of rax while tanking the entire duration of SVG’s Freezing Field on the Crystal Maiden. In a subsequent high ground siege, Aui_2000 was baited into activating BKB early and the Americans were overrun and tapped out.

Final Score: Virtus Pro 2 – NP 0

In the last series of the day, Chinese powerhouse and current TI champions Wings clubbed Execration like baby seals after a poor start in Game 1 giving up 7 kills in the early game. Wings turned things around expending several ultimates to pick up 3 kills in the top lane securing some much-needed gold. From this point on things took a downward turn for the Philippine squad as the TI champions at minute 26 seemingly outnumbered took a Roshan fight 3v5 convincingly and for the first time in the game, was in the kill lead. Barely five minutes after the fight ended, Wings kicked the front door of Execration down forcing them to concede defeat. Game two this time saw things kicking off in favor of Wings as they secured a quick first blood. However, both teams this time around were content with playing the passive farm game entering the mid game with only six kills five of which belonged to Wings who also had superior map control with towers taken. DJ on the Slarder made a cheeky play stealing ageis from Wings who looked to secure it for themselves before the impending high ground siege. Just as Wings Earth Shaker manned by IceIce whiffed an echo slam, Nando similarly whiffed his Eclipse on Luna as Wings heaved a sigh of relief. It would be at minute forty where Wings finally secured another convincing team fight and mustered enough courage to siege high ground claiming mega creeps and the last spot in the playoffs.

Final Score: Wings 2 – Execration 0

Playoffs Schedule

Jan 8, 03:30 CET / 10:30 SGT – BO: 3 Digital Chaos vs Virtus Pro
Jan 8, 07:10 CET / 14:10 SGT – BO 3: Newbee (China) vs Wings (China / Current TI Champions)
Jan 8, 11:00 CET / 18:00 SGT – BO 5: Grand Finals!

The playoffs will feature two BO3 games between Chinese TI champions ‘Wings’ and ‘Newbee’ and the current CiS power house ‘Virtus Pro’ and the steadfast Americans ‘Digital Chaos’. On the eastern front, Wings the current TI champions set their sights on the first trophy of 2017 while Newbee TI Champions of TI4 seeks to regain their glory days after an extended dry spell. Over on the western front, the American squad looks to capitalize on their incredible synergy and asymmetric play style to claim their first title after an amazing run at TI6 which saw them take the runner-up spot in which no one would have predicted. The Russians and current pride of CiS Virtus Pro sets out to carve a new era of CiS dominance in the world of DotA with the first tournament of the year. ESL ONE Genting’s grand finals is shaping up to be one of the most hyped match ups of the 2016/2017 season where each team seeks fame and glory heading into the new year

Playoffs prediction:

Digital Chaos vs Virtus Pro: Digital Chaos (2:1)
Newbee vs Wings: Wings (2:1)
Grand Finals – Wings vs Digital Chaos: Digital Chaos (3:1)

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