Fnatic and VGJ survive decider matches at the SLi Invitational

The two teams fended off local favorites, earning playoff spots in the process.

Image via Valve

The playoffs of the StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational are set.

Yesterday’s games saw foreign teams Fnatic and Vici Gaming J Thunder defeat hometown favorites FlyToMoon and Natus Vincere in order to secure the last two spots in the playoff bracket.

VGJ swept FlyToMoon aside in two games, after the latter eliminated Team Kinguin in the losers match. Throughout their decider series against FTM, VGJ got their hands on some particularly strong picks in the meta right now—including Dark Willow, Tiny, and Dragon Knight.

Despite this, however, FTM actually gave them quite a difficult time in the first map. For most of the game, the CIS team actually led VGJ in terms of net worth, until a late game teamfight gone totally wrong caused them to lose four heroes in exchange for one. The momentum immediately turned in the Chinese squad’s favor, allowing them to ride the wave and wipe FTM in a subsequent teamfight for the win.

Related: Vega Squadron please Russian compatriots by defeating Fnatic at SLi Season 5

The victory train didn’t stop for VGJ in the next game, where they ran roughshod over their opponents in less than 35 minutes. Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasylenko did his best to hold the invading team off with his 12-6 Outworld Devourer, but VGJ’s draft involving both Tiny and Dark Willow proved to be too much to handle.

In the other group, Fnatic played out their rematch with Na’Vi, but with tournament survival and 30 Dota 2 Pro Circuit points on the line at the same time. The Southeast Asian unit struck first in the series, employing Razor and Faceless Void to great effect against Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek’s Lifestealer.

Na’Vi got payback in the second game, however, on the back of some impeccable aggression and ganking from Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin on Queen of Pain and his supports. The Ukrainian team held Fnatic to just five kills compared to their 22, refusing to ease the pressure until the GG call. They accomplished all of this in just under 25 minutes.

Unfortunately for them and the hometown crowd, Fnatic rallied back in the third game by drafting a strong push lineup revolving around Warlock, Lone Druid, Visage, and Beastmaster—this lineup was also pretty good at taking teamfights when tower kills weren’t the immediate priority.

Adam Shah and his teammates were quick to capitalize on Na’Vi’s positional mistakes, punishing them at every turn in order to keep their advantage going. This allowed them to roll Na’Vi over in the mid game, finishing their rivals off before Crystallize’s Phantom Assassin could get any bigger.