The last day of StarSeries Season XII started with the Lower Bracket Finals between Cloud 9 and Invictus Gaming fighting for a chance to compete in the Grand Finals and to seek revenge on ViCi Gaming for sending both teams to the lower brackets. Invictus Gaming defeated Cloud 9 2-1, forcing an all Chinese Grand Finals series.
Road to Lower Bracket Finals
Cloud 9 had won their first round vs Team Tinker 2-0, showing both a signature 93 minute long stalemate type of game and a very quick, convincing win for their second game, giving the team the opportunity to advance further in the Upper Brackets. They did however, lose in the next round 0-2 vs ViCi Gaming in the Upper Bracket semi finals, causing them to drop to the Lower Brackets to play Alliance. C9 wasn’t ready to give up their fight to continue to compete in the tournament and really battled it out with Alliance, taking a 2-0 victory in the Lower Bracket 1.5 Round. Continuing with a long day of competition and one last best of three series for the day, C9 faced Team Tinker once again in the Lower bracket semi finals, again sweeping through the North American team, eliminating them from the finals and giving themselves one final chance to compete and take revenge on ViCi Gaming in the Grand Finals.
After a long flight, delays at the airport that lasted almost a day and then arriving to the venue only one hour prior to start of match, IG faced Alliance in the first round and swept through them 2-0. It seemed as if the Chinese were bound to create a positive experience for themselves after a difficult journey to be at the tournament. They then continued to defeat Team Malaysia 2-0 in upper bracket semi finals in another convincing performance but fell short to Vici Gaming in the winner bracket finals 1-2, with the last game being a pure stomp by their Chinese rivals. IG then dropped to the Lower Bracket finals to face Cloud 9 and have one last attempt to turn their difficult start into a happy ending.
Cloud 9 truly had a team fighting pick with Phoenix, Zeus, Batrider, and Lion, making it very difficult for Invivtus Gaming to fight against them or even split push using their Lycan. Although IG picked Sniper,a hero with only one loss in the tournament series, it seems like IG were put in a really tight spot with their pick. Pittner “bOne7” Armand started the game with first blood and setting the tone for the rest of the game to follow, which featured non stop action and fights mostly in favor of Cloud 9. Trying to change the pace and direction, IG attempted to take Roshan a few times but failed each attempt except the last time, which by then was too late to make any difference as Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao’s Naga Siren had Radiance, paired with Phoenix’s and Zeus’ ulti was too much for IG to handle. Game ended in favor of Cloud 9 at 35 minutes.
Even though Ember Spirit has not had any recent success, Invictus Gaming picked for Ferrari as he is one of the best Ember players. Cloud 9 still went for their pushing/team fight lineup of Phoenix, sniper, Chen. IG shut down Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks totally in the early game but C9 repaid the Chinese by doing the same to Zhilei Xu “burning”. “bOne7” had a very good early game, getting a lot of kills and then an early hex on Phoenix. Five man pushes and great rotations from Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen made the game really difficult for IG, but Luo Feichi “Ferrari_430” magnificent plays delayed the game long enough for “burning” to build the farm for his items. Getting the Roshan with aegis and cheese at minute 41, after having killed three C9 heroes by a team fight at the Roshan Pit, was the turning point for IG as they had been previously struggling and now started to gain momentum to rival C9. The game crashed and reloaded after a few minutes, luckily for IG, it was at the exact place they left off at. 52 minutes into the game, C9 gave up another aegis and cheese, giving IG the top places in net-worth on their cores. Killing “Ferrari_430” with aegis twice on top line forced a buyback but the fight did not go as well as C9 expected as they had invested too much in taking “Ferrari_430” down and were left without much to fight with when he returned. IG then headed mid picked off “MiSeRy” and took mid barracks and top tower gaining a drastic lead they had been lacking the entire game. A 69 minute divine rapier purchase on “Ferrari_430” was the first in the tournament series as he felt he should take the risk in order to gain the damage and advantage in fights that they needed. A die back at minute 72 by “Eternal Envy” ended the game. IG evened out the series, pushing it into a deciding third game.
“Eternal Envy” favorite hero Terror Blade and again Phoenix was drafted for Cloud 9, while Invictus Gaming picked “Ferrari_430”‘s best hero Shadow Fiend followed by Juggernaut on “burning” and Yinqi Luo “Xi” Morphling on off-lane. The game started by minute 6 to prove to be one sided for the Chinese as they scored first blood on “FATA-“ by “Ferrari_430” . Immediately following, “Ferrari_430” got a kill on both “Eternal Envy” and “MiSeRy”. At this point, the game was 3-0. Both teams were focused on farming a lot, but with a Roshan kill and three towers down for IG by minute 14, the Chinese were dominating and topped net-worth with Juggernaut and Shadow Fiend only then to be followed by C9’s Terror Blade; Juggernaut had 10k net-worth when Terror Blade had 6k. At minute 15 there was an amazing play by Wong Hock Chuan “Chuan” sand king and “Ferrari_430” Shadow Fiend where “Chuan” jumped and stunned “FATA-“ on Magnus. “Ferrari_430” immediately blinked in and started channeling Requiem, and with an attempt from Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein on Phoenix using dive to try to save “Eternal Envy”, “Ferrari_430” scored a double kill with his ulti. The rest of the game was IG killing C9 everywhere they could and completing all objectives with little contest. “Xi” was able to distrupt “FATA-“ on Magnus so he could not land a single RP on the Chinese team, which was the only hope C9 had for a great comeback. Invictus Gaming won the series and will advance to the Grand Finals.
Luo Feichi “Ferrari_430”
Wong Hock Chuan “Chuan”
Yinqi Luo “Xi”
Zeng Hongda “Faith”
Zhilei Xu “burning”
Cloud 9 Roster
Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao
Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks
Pittner “bOne7” Armand
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
The Best of Five Grand Finals will take place at 14 CEST between ViCi Gaming and Invictus Gaming