When the Group Stage was over and done with and entering the Main Event, where two losses would eliminate you from the tournament, teams were sure to bring their A game to try and get as far as possible. Why wouldn’t they, when the team, which lifts up the trophy, will win $8,853,867.
MVP Phoenix vs. OG
The first series of the Upper Bracket I would like to talk about is the match between OG and MVP Phoenix. The first game of the best of three series had MVP’s Kim “QO” Seon-yeob playing Phantom Assassin, getting a 17/5/20 score, Kim “Febby” Yong-min on Bounty Hunter with 5/9/32, Lee “Forev” Sang-don on Dark Seer with 9/3/29, Pyo “MP” No-a on Faceless Void with 5/5/21, and Kim “DuBu” Doo-young with 5/9/24 defeated an OG lineup of Amer “Miracle-” Barqawi on Timbersaw with 16/4/8 being the only OG player having a good score with 16/4/8, while Tal “Fly” Azik on Shadow Demon had 3/12/16, Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen on Earth Spirit with 2/12/23, David “Moon” Tan on Batrider with 5/6/15, and Johan “n0tail” Sundstein on Juggernaut with 4/7/16.
The second game, won by OG, had Miracle- show up once again on Outworld Devourer with 17/2/16, Fly on Oracle with 6/1/16, Cr1t- with Naga Siren getting 1/4/29, Batrider-wielding Moon with 4/1/21, and Terrorblade, played by n0tail with 9 kills, 3 deaths, and 13 assists, opposed by QO’s 5/54 Alchemist, Febby’s 2/7/9 Mirana, Forevs Faceless Void with a score of 1/3/12, MP’s Venomancer with 3/9/7, and DuBu’s Vengeful spirit with 13(!) deaths and 8 assists.
The deciding match had OG fielding Keeper of Light, Elder Titan, Tinker, Faceless Void, and Sven against MVP Phoenix’s Phantom Assassin, Ogre Magi, Axe, Invoker, and Shadow Demon. The game went terribly for OG. Even Miracle-, the guy who had a great score in their first loss, had 3/8/1 on Tinker. On the MVP side, QO’s Phantom Assassin and Forev’s Axe were extremely strong, with QO getting 10/0/13 and Forev killing OG players 17 times, assisting on kill 9 times, all without a single death. The rest of the MVP players did well too, getting double digit assists, giving up only 6 kills throughout the whole game.
Digital Chaos vs. Wings Gaming
The upstart from Group B vs. one of the top 5 teams in the world was sure to provide Digital Chaos with a test, possibly even bursting their Group Stage bubble. Actually, that’s precisely what happened in the first game of Digital Chaos’ series against Wings. Their team of Kunkka, played by Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen, Oracle, played by Martin “Saksa” Sazdov, Nature’s Prophet, played by Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok, Alchemist, played by Aliwi “w33” Omar, and Axe, controlled by David “Moo” Hull, lost to Wings’ Drow Ranger, played by Chu “shadow” Zeyu, Mirana by Zhou “bLink” Yang, Brewmaster, by Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida, Keeper of the Light by Li “iceice” Peng, and Rubick, played by Zhang “Innocence” Yiping. The best performer on Wings was probably bLink on his Mirana, with the score of 11/3/15. Nobody on Digital Chaos came close to a score like that.
The second game was won by Digital Chaos to extend the match to three. The Chinese tried their Mirana once again, played by bLink, shadow used Naga Siren, Faith_bian used Techies, iceice went with Pludge, and Innocence chose to play Skywrath Mage. On the other side of the map, MiSeRy had Kunkka, Saksa played Shadow Demon, Resolut1on preferred Luna, w33 went with Invoker, and Timbersaw was played by Moo. The game wasn’t very bloodthirsty, with 5 being the most kills any one player had, though Saksa’s 12 assists did jump out of the page somewhat.
The deciding match of the series was a more bloodthirsty compared to the second. Wings’ Slark, Timbersaw, Centaur Warrunner, Chen, and Rubick trampled all over Digital Chaos’ Riki, Oracle, Morphling, Invoker, and Batrider. In terms of kills, a couple of Wings’ players stood above their teammates, bLink on Timbersaw and iceice on Chen. It wasn’t a big difference, though. On the Digital Chaos side, the matters were more grim, with MiSeRy, Saksa, and Resolut1on having only 3 kills to 6 or 7 deaths. This game didn’t go as planned for Digital Chaos, that’s for sure.
TNC Pro Team vs. Vici Gaming Reborn
The first round of the Lower Bracket, where a loss meant elimination from the tournament altogether, was played in best of one. First up, TNC Pro Team faced off against Vici Gaming Reborn. After the draft, TNC had Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho on Silencer, Nico “eyyou” Barcelon on Elder Titan, Carlo “Kuku” Palad on Tinker, Marc Polo “Raven” Luis Fausto on Terrorblade, and Sam “Sam_H” Enojosa Hidalgo on Batrider. VGR tried to stop their opponents with Xu “fy” Linsen playing Mirana, Tong “mikasa” Junjie on Storm Spirit, Wang “Nono” Xin on Axe, Leong “ddc” Fat-meng on Vengeful Spirit, and Yang “Zyf” Pu on Weaver.
Unfortunately for the sub-wielding roster of Vici Gaming Reborn, they couldn’t stand up to Raven’s Terrorblade and DeMoN’s Silencer, losing the match and getting eliminated from the tournament altogether.
LGD Gaming vs. Team Secret
The winners of the Shanghai Major, who followed it up by placing 13th-16th in Manila, were standing with their backs against the wall, one loss away from getting eliminated from The International 6, having to win or die against LGD Gaming. For the best of one match, they chose to play Vengeful Spirit, Terrorblade, Beastmaster, Shadow Demon, and Alchemist, where LGD preferred Mirana, Kunkka, Juggernaut, Ember Spirit, and Winter Wyvern.
Unfortunately for Team Secret, Zhang “xiao8” Ning, Lu “Maybe” Yao, and Sun “Agressif” Zheng showed up on their Mirana, Juggernaut, and Ember Spirit respectively, bringing down Secret in an awesome 69:44 minute long game. If Team Secret had to lose, at least it wasn’t to Escape Gaming or some similar team. Also, they can be happy that they put up a fight instead of getting crushed in 25 minutes.
Fnatic vs. Escape Gaming
Speaking of 25 minute defeats… Escape Gaming, fielding Silencer, Axe, Night Stalker, Slardar, and Lifestealer, lost to Fnatic’s Phantom Lancer, Shadow Shaman, Templar Assassin, Bounty Hunter, and Tidehunter in 26 minutes. There’s not much to say about this game. It ended just as it was supposed to.
Team Liquid vs. Natus Vincere
Being in danger of a total embarrassment Team Secret-style, Liquid were sure to bring their 2nd-3rd best game in the world to this match against Na’Vi. They elected to arm Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi with Bounty Hunter, Adrian “FATA-” Trinks got Death Prophet, Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka got Shadow Demon, Ivan “MinD_ContrRoL” Borislavov took Axe, and Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen used Naga Siren. On the other side of the field, Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev used Oracle, Ivan “artstyle” Antonov played Enchantress, Danil “Dendi” Ishutin picked Queen of Pain, Dmitry “Ditya Ra” Minenkov had Nature’s Prophet, and Victor “GeneraL” Nigrini played Faceless Void.
The game lasted almost 36 minutes. Liquid’s MinD_ContRoL went off on Axe with a 13/0/8 score, MATUMBAMAN had 1/1/22 on Naga Siren, while FATA-’s Death Prophet provided 8 kills and 11 assists. On the Na’Vi side, the score tab was much more grim. GeneraL, with 4 kills and 8 assists, was the na’Vi player to die the least with 4 deaths, though SoNNeikO and Ditya Ra weren’t far behind with 5 each. Artstyle and Dendi had 7. All in all, the game didn’t go too well for Na’Vi, but to be perfectly honest, I’m just thankful that Liquid avoided a total disaster. Let’s be honest here, even if you were a Na’Vi fan, there’s no way they could possibly go as deep into the tournament as Liquid.