In Group B of The International 6 Group Stage, two teams were far above their competition. EHOME and Digital Chaos threw a big spanner in the works of their opponents, like Newbee, Team Liquid, and MVP Phoenix, which would have normally been expected to be set for a place in the top 4. With the last matches before the standings are final, Digital Chaos and EHOME aimed to not lose their position, while others wanted to get higher or simply maintain their standings as well.
EHOME and Digital Chaos
With a 9-1 score before the matches on the third day started, EHOME was surprisingly in the first place with Digital Chaos, another unexpected performer, nipping at their heels. The fate of the first place in the group was being decided with each match played by the two teams.
First up, EHOME played and won against Vici Gaming Reborn, while Digital Chaos had an arguably stronger opponent to contend with, Team Liquid. Both teams took care of their competition in a decisive manner, 2-0.
Up next, a face off between the teams awaited. The first game was won by Digital Chaos in 45:26, with Ukrainian Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok on Nature’s Prophet, with a KDA of 10/1/17. Seeking to avert disaster and keep their first place spot in the group, EHOME got themselves together for the second match and won it in 34:45. The best performers in this game, carrying EHOME to voctory, was Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei on Axe and Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong on Juggernaut, both with 9/1/10.
With all matches by EHOME and Digital Chaos played already, the Chinese team secured first place with a 12-2 record. North American Digital Chaos had second with 11-3. Battle for third and fourth continued.
Starting the day with a 5-5 record, the favorites of the group, Newbee, had to step up with matches against Team Secret and MVP Phoenix left to be played. Fortunately, step up they did. Newbee swept Team Secret 2-0 and then moved to play against MVP Phoenix. While they won the first game, the second one didn’t go as they wished, MVP managed to take a much needed point. Despite the loss of a point, Newbee still got enough to secure third place and an Upper Bracket spot in the Main Event of The International 6.
4-6 is not the score you want before the last day of fighting for a spot in the Upper Bracket, yet that’s precisely the score MVP Phoenix had prior to the start of the last day of Group Stage.
Their opponents were Fnatic and Newbee. With the last place in the standings, Fnatic wasn’t supposed to give MVP Phoenix a serious fight, however, when theory meets reality, interesting things happen. While MVP won the first game, Fnatic managed to get the other in the bag. Following that, MVP also split with Newbee and secured the last Upper Bracket spot with a score of 6-8. I don’t know about you, but you shouldn’t get into the Upper Bracket with a losing record. Group A’s Wings Gaming had 8-6.
Now that was surprising. Looking at Fnatic’s 2-8 record entering the last day of the Group Stage, not many would have expected them to get out of the last place, and yet they did. Fighting to get out of the bottom of the barrel, Fnatic faced MVP Phoenix and Vici Gaming Reborn. They actually got a point from MVP Phoenix overperforming a little bit and went to face VGR. To put it blankly, Fnatic won and got themselves a neat little 3-1, which actually let them move up into the fifth place in the standings.
Starting the day in the second to last place, Team Secret were in a similar bind as Fnatic. The problem was that the pressure to perform was much higher on Team Secret due to their legendary status, even if they disappointed their fans in Manila. Secret’s first opponent was Newbee. Needless to say, they didn’t do too well, dropping two points. Now, they had to redeem themselves against Team Liquid, a task just as difficult as winning against Newbee. Fortunately for Team Secret, they did manage to 2-0 Liquid, ending the Group Stage with a 5-9 score, in the 6th place in the standings.
Ranked 2nd or 3rd in most power ranking before the tournament started, Team Liquid was supposed to fight for the 1st place in the group against Newbee. That’s not what happened at all. Facing Digital Chaos and Team Secret, Liquid lost against both, dropping from 3rd place after day two into 7th after the last day. 0-4 is not an acceptable result for a team of Liquid’s caliber and fame, especially against the admittedly red hot Digital Chaos and the massively struggling Team Secret.
Vici Gaming Reborn
Admittedly, Vici Gaming Reborn’s poor performance can be attributed to the fact that they aren’t playing with their full roster due to visa issues, however, they could have played better despite that, going 0-4 is bad, very very bad. Granted, losing 0-2 against the EHOME squad which is firing on all cylinders could be explained away, however, there should be no excuse to get swept by the struggling Fnatic team, which was at the bottom of the standings for most of the Group Stage. No use crying over spilt milk, however. At 4-10, Vici Gaming Reborn is the team which trailed after its opponents.