In one of the groups that was labeled as the most competitive of the entire event, Fnatic showed that they were ready to compete at The Chongqing Major.
Group D was packed with proven talent to almost the same degree Group A was early in the event. But things ended a bit differently than people expected as Fnatic opened up their tournament play with a dismantling game one performance against Alliance.
They controlled game one pretty much the entire way through, culminating in a convincing win and a 1-0 lead. Alliance wouldn’t take that loss sitting down, turning game two into a flat out brawl. Both teams were completely even in almost every regard, leaving no room for errors as bodies just kept ramming into each other in a seemingly-constant teamfight. The game came down to one mistake by Alliance, allowing Fnatic to take the game despite both teams being split at a 25-25 K/D and an even eight structures taken.
The winners match was set to be quite the show as Fnatic faced off against Evil Geniuses, who similarly dispatched Team Aster 2-0 to advance.
Game one started out with a very impressive opening from EG, leading to a dominating early lead that gave them good positioning to close out the game. Over the next 20 minutes, Fnatic slowly fought their way back into the contest, pulling off several key picks in teamfights that put them ahead late and eventually gave them the win.
Game two featured a completely different start for EG. They came out a little sluggish after getting punched in the mouth in the last game, letting Fnatic score decisive blows early on to essentially run away with the series. With that win, Fnatic became the only team to complete a 4-0 perfect run through groups as they claimed the top seed from Group D in the main event.
After a disappointing showing, EG went into the decider match ready to redeem themselves. They faced Alliance, who bested Aster 2-0 in the losers bracket, for the final spot in the upper bracket. Alliance came out swinging in game one, dragging EG into a mess of teamfights and slight trades, eventually landing them a very narrow win.
Now up 1-0, Alliance tried to duplicate their success, but a very different strategy from the North Americans completely threw them for a loop. Instead of a messy fight, EG bulldozed Alliance in game two, followed by a similar result in game three. Over the final two games, EG held a 56-9 advantage in kills that led to a 2-1 victory.
With the group stage completely finished, the playoffs will start on Jan. 20 at 8pm CT with Team Liquid facing Team Secret in the upper bracket.