Photo courtesy of EPICENTER
The fifth day of the group stage of EPICENTER XL has come to an end with three teams -Newbee, Team Empire and compLexity Gaming already falling out of contention.
There is still one day left of the group stage at EPICENTER XL, but the elimination of three teams and the overall fate of Group A has been determined. Group B may have some tie-breakers to play out after tomorrow’s matches and things are still in the air for most of the teams. Only Newbee’s shocking exit has been guaranteed for the group.
Mineski 2:0 Team Empire
With two back to back great performances, Mineski knocked Team Empire out of the EPICENTER XL group stage in a 2:0 sweep. The CIS team came to the event through the CIS qualifiers, and despite a recent roster change, the team gave spectators some impressive games and hopes for their success in the CIS TI8 open qualifiers. Mineski had outdrafted Team Empire in the first game and delivering their strategy with smooth execution, they took the first game advantage. The second match in the series, Mineski had full control of the map and were farming with superior efficiency and speed. It became difficult for Team Empire to take fights with a lack of initiation early on and the team fell further and further behind as Mineski
PSG.LGD 2:0 FlyToMoon
FlyToMoon wound up being the Dark Horse of the event. Coming into Moscow after a surprisingly positive debut at StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational, the team proved that they continued to evolve in a short time period and were to become serious contenders for a spot in the main event. PSG.LGD came to the tournament ready to solidify a TI8 invite and claim a top spot in the EPICENTER XL rankings. PSG.LGD have been competing all season, taking several 2nd place finishes in the DPC events and ready to prove that their subpar run at ESL One Katowice was a fluke. Lu “Somnus丶M” Yao ran amok all over FlyToMoon and easily led the team to a clean and tidy 2:0 sweep in just over 30 minutes.
Team Liquid 2:0 compLexity Gaming
The North American team has been looking a little shaky and not as cohesive since their recent roster change. Their journey at EPICENTER XL started just as rough, with their luggage getting lost and arriving late to the venue, keeping compLexity Gaming from being able to practice. Their first series was rescheduled but coL didn’t benefit from the extra day and struggled to find their footing. With a flawless performance in both the first and second games by Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi, Team Liquid absolutely shellacked coL in just 25 minutes and then 31 minutes. Their crushing victory also ended compLexity’s run at the Major.
Team Secret 2:0 paiN Gaming
In the first matchup between the two teams, the game was much closer than many expected and could have gone in favor of either of the squads. It as a bad fight at Roshan when paiN Gaming lost three heroes that were the deciding factor in their fate as only moments later Team Secret was able to claim the win. As the pressure intensified, the second game was a heartbreaking stomp as the South American team fell in just under 30 minutes with a 6:31 score.
Newbee 2:1 Na’Vi
The only three-game series of the day produced one of the most exciting games of the day. While Newbee took the first game off of Natus Vincere with relative ease, they lost to the Ukrainians with just as much ease in the second game on the back of Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk’s perfect performance on Leshrac. It was the third and deciding match that would catch the attention and breath of the spectators around the world. In the 83 minute game, an EPIC megacreep comeback with double divine rapiers on Gyrocopter and Phantom Lancer and stand out performances by the support would give Newbee the highly coveted win and bragging rights.
Virtus.pro 2:0 OG
Virtus.pro might have earned their TI8 direct invite already, but they are far from giving up on being competitive. In a quick and convincing 2:0 sweep over OG, the CIS juggernauts completely obliterated their opponents. Both teams are now tied for the first place seed going into tomorrow’s final group day.
The group stages will conclude tomorrow, May 2nd as Team Empire take on FlyToMoon at 10:00 local time/09:00 CEST.
Pandora is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. When not busy with Dota 2 work, she is out trying to save the world or baking cupcakes. Follow her on Twitter @pandoradota2