Group B at the Kuala Lumpur Major is done and dusted and despite starting early in the morning, playing five best of three series in a single day, took its toll.
Mistakes were made, grudges were disputed on the battlefield and from the four teams in Group B, two were victorious. Evil Geniuses finished the day early after taking two consecutive wins in the GSL group stage format, but for the rest of the teams, namely Aster, TNC Predator and Vici Gaming, the day went on for over 14 hours of matches. After getting defeated by VG 0-2, TNC were pitted against Team Aster, their arch enemy at this Major, given a certain incident that happened just before flying to Kuala Lumpur. TNC held strong and after losing an hour-long first game against the Chinese team and they managed to push the series in a decisive game three on the back of a perfect performance from their Major debutant Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte on Morphling.
Game three was extremely close as well, with TNC taking the early lead with a Magnus placed in the support hands of Timothy John “Tims” Randrup. TNC’s plan was relatively easy to execute and the Filipinos had no big issues in controlling Aster’s strategy tailored around the pickoff idea, stalling and creating space for Terrorblade to farm. However, although TNC had the net worth advantage for the entire game and although Terror was kept under control, Aster’s support player Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao on Windranger stole the show and single-handedly bullied the entire TNC, out-DPS-ed his carry Terrorblade with 10K more damage done to heroes to send TNC in the playoffs best-of-one starting round.
TNC managed to lose despite taking rax in all 4 of their losses today… They also threw away 15k & 30k gold leads in separate games…
— David Parker | Godz (@BTSGoDz) November 9, 2018
The last series in Group B was a full Chinese brawl for who takes the second place and therefore proceeds to the playoffs in the upper bracket and who will start the main vent in the loser’s rounds. Vici Gaming had a terrible game one and were having serious troubles executing a Draw strategy in game two, but the saving grace came unexpectedly from Aster’s Liu “Sylar” Jiajun on Luna.
Aster were forcing a GG push around the 48-minute mark with Sylar ready to seal the deal with Divine Rapier, BkB, Satanic, Aegis and Refresher Shard in his inventory, but simply refused to use his items to avoid the many control spells of VG’s support and lost everything by dying twice. His death and Rapier loss lead to a full comeback from VG, who punished Aster severely for Sylar’s mistake.
Aster had a good start in game three as well, especially in the offlane, where Tiny was bullying VG’s Necrophos. However, Vici Gaming had their Luna farming in the bottom lane and unlike Sylar in the previous game, Zhang “Paparazi” Chengjun was fully focused and delivered in all aspects to save his team from the merciless best-of-one playoffs lower bracket start.
After today’s Group A and Group B matches, half of the playoffs bracket is already set. In the upper bracket, Team Secret will play versus Vici Gaming and Evil Geniuses will play versus Ninjas in Pyjamas, while in the lower bracket paiN Gaming have a bo1 elimination match versus TNC Predator, and Team Aster will fight for their survival against J.Storm.
Day two of the group stage will commence tomorrow, November 10 at 10:00 a.m local time, 04:00 a.m EEST with the teams from Group C and Group D entering the battle.