Coming out of one of the most explosive starts to the International’s group states, EG aimed to keep up the momentum on day two of TI11.
EG’s first series of the day had the NA representative matched against EU’s Team Liquid, a squad who made their way to the main event through the Last Chance Qualifiers. EG started the series with a Broodmother strategy while securing the late game with Sven and Queen of Pain.
Despite securing an early lead in the game, Liquid turned the tide as they started feasting on EG’s support line. In 20 minutes, Cr1 t’s Hoodwink was killed 11 times, while Fly was taken down eight times in the same time span.
Liquid pressured EG off the map and built a decisive gold lead. Despite outscaling EG’s cores, Liquid still took over an hour to finish the match, but the second one was a shorter story. It only took 24 minutes for Liquid to break down EG’s defenses. EG played masterfully around Liquid to farm up its cores, but the lineup consisting of Enchantress, Faceless Void, Mİrana, Lycan, and Lina struggled to leave a dent in Liquid’s Lone Druid and Tiny.
Though EG started the day with a loss, they could still rack up two quick wins against Hokori. This feat might look easy, but it takes experience to shake off a defeat quickly.
With EG receiving their first loss in the group stage, RNG had a decent chance of snatching that first seed. RNG’s first battle was against NA’s Soniqs, a team currently needing urgent wins.
Soniq drafted a rather bulky lineup for the first match with Spirit Breaker, Centaur Warrunner, and Slark. On the other hand, RNG went into the series with a team focused on singling out enemies with Drow Ranger, Batrider, and Marci.
A 25-minute-long back-and-forth was finally broken after the RNG team wiped Soniqs in exchange for three of their heroes. This allowed RNG to expand their reach on the map, cornering Soniqs. After an impressive start to the game, Soniqs had to call “GG” at 44 minutes.
The second match between RNG and Soniqs was more one-sided, as Ghost and Somnus snowballed right off the bat on their Lone Druid and Leshrac, respectively.
The second day of Group A was also quite crucial for PSG.LGD, who were considered the favorites to win TI11 by the fans. PSG.LGD had a rather horrific start to the groups, with two draws to Soniqds and Hokori, and a loss against EG.
PSG.LGD’s fixture started with OG. Considering OG is one of the more resilient teams in the tournament, many expected a long battle between the two teams, but PSG.LGD made quick work of OG in just under an hour.
In the first match, NothingToSay’s Pangolier dominated the middle lane while the rest of the PSG.LGD squad shut down OG’s every bit of firepower. ATF and Yuragi couldn’t find any space on the map to bounce back, and OG called it for game one at the 27-minute mark.
The second match was almost a repeat of the first as NothingToSay was once again on Pangolier and OG’s cores had a deja vu of the first match. With Ame and Faith_Bian joining in on the fun, PSG.LGD once again pressed OG into submission.
PSG. LGD’s second opponent were Team Liquid, another strong opponent from the Western European region. However, this matchup wasn’t as fast as the previous one, as Liquid fought tooth and nail.
Liquid were leading in both games with over 10,000 gold leads before PSG.LGD started getting the better end of each team after 35 minutes into both games.
In the first match, everything started going south after Liquid lost a teamfight in mid-lane. Shortly after winning the fight, PSG.LGD smoked up and sneaked into Liquid’s jungle. Expecting PSG.LGD to take it slowly, Liquid naturally navigated to its jungle to farm up, where they were greeted by yet another gank by PSG.LGD. The two back-to-back team wipes meant the end for Liquid’s lead and PSG.LGD just steamrolled from there.
Liquid had the lead in game two as well, but they also had better momentum. MATUMBAMAN’s Sniper was wreaking havoc, and PSG. LGD’s only option was to take down Roshan. Anticipating such a move, Liquid was ready to end PSG. LGD’s shenanigans, but NothingToSay could get a jump on Sniper, and a kill on the sharpshooter meant almost a 4,000 gold swing.
PSG.LGD also claimed a Roshan kill after winning the fight and started its march to take down Liquid’s base.