Today was the second day of the Shanghai Major Qualifiers. Natus Vincere battled it out with HellRaisers and Team Empire. Let's revisit those bright moments together!
First match - Natus Vincere vs HellRaisers (2:0)
Game 1 - [1:0]
Game 1 went the way of
Natus Vincere. The game started off well, as SoNNeiko
has claimed the first blood by killing Lone Druid
top lane. From there on the game was going well and smoothly for quite some time - heroes were farming, fighting, getting some items, making rotations. Mid game was a rough time for our team - enemy's Pudge
was making moves around the map: Meat Hook
, enhanced by Aether Lens, was making pickoffs easily possible. There was a bad engagement near Roshan pit that resulted in Aegis
claimed by HR. There were some attempts by both
HellRaisers to siege each other's high grounds. However, core heroes of
Na`Vi were getting much stronger, and it was not always possible to easily pick them off - Ditya Ra
's Lifestealer was not easily letting go of his victims. The battles were not really decisive, until the last siege by
HR. Pudge seemed to have gotten a perfect initiation, but Nether Swap
has put him in a very uncomfortable position, and, sure enough, he got killed off. Then followed some more kills for us, and the opponents were forced to retreat. We have used the opportunity to go for the final high ground push, and despite a good fight put up,
HellRaisers lot 4 heroes and were forced to write GG.
Game 1 results.
Game 2 - [2:0]
Game 2 also was claimed by
Natus Vincere. First blood was claimed by
HellRaisers, but this did not seem to tilt game in their favor heavily. Heroes were laning, trying to find pickoffs. At the beginning of mid-game, HR gathered to finally start executing their game plan - a push strategy that worked out well for
Team Spirit: Boars
, Forge Spirits, Necronomicon Warriors
were putting substantial pressure on our towers. This time, though, it was not the case. Despite losing some heroes, we were deflecting those pushes to let mid-late game carries kick in - Juggernaut
, Queen of Pain
were amassing gold and items, allowing them to be even more efficient. A couple more successful engagements from
Na`Vi lead to our dominance on the map. A particularly successful teamfight that resulted in a teamwipe for
Natus Vincere to claim an uncontested Roshan. Having the Aegis advantage in hand, it was only a matter of time before
Na`Vi attempted to break onto high ground, and the attempt was successful. Barracks of
HR were crumbling, and they had no choice but to write GG, thus ending this series with a 2-0 score
Game 2 results
As anticipated this match was a deciding one when it came to who would secure the Top 2 spot in the group. One team would advance to the playoffs while the other one would get eliminated. Natus Vincere
were in better position that their opponents as our squad needed to win one out of two games to move on while only 2-0 victory could save Team Empire
Second match - Natus Vincere vs Team Empire (0:2)
Game 1 — [0:1]
In the first game Empire opted for a pushing line up with
Death Prophet as well as
Lone Druidand and
on the other hand built their strategy around
Ember Spirit supplementing him with
Magnus and a great high ground defence. With those two lineups it was clear that Empire is stronger in the early game and that they hit their power peak in the mid game, while the point of Na`Vi
’s draft was to delay the game as much as possible in order to provide Ember with all the farm he needs.
Empire started the game out with an aggressive triple lane which got of to a hot start finding not only a First Blood but also a second kill which followed straight after the first one. Having the advantageous matchups in both 1 vs 1 Team Empire was soon winning all three lanes and topping the net worth charts. However, as soon as Dendi
got his level 6 and had his ulti available Na`Vi
immediately rotated. With a great coordination and timely skill usage they managed to defend Empire’s first push attempt, win a huge teamfight and even up the game.
Despite that defeat Team Empire sticked to their draft and kept grouping up for pushes. It was the right tactic as when all of their abilities were up their 5 man was undoubtedly stronger. Na`Vi
on the other hand understood the situation and opted to doge fights when Empire was stronger while smartly taking favourable skirmishes on the back of smokes and on point RPs from Dendi
. With that despite losing towers Na`Vi
were able to provide space for Ember to farm and not lose map control.
Dendi's RPs were on point the whole game.
A desastrious team fight for Na`Vi
occurred when our squad tried to defend their tier 2 while not being fully grouped up yet. Empire won the fight convincingly which triggered the Russian squad to go for Roshan. Natus Vincere fought hard not to let that happen but in the end failed to prevent their enemies from taking it. However, even with Aegis advantage Team Empire wasn’t able to break Na’Vi’s incredible strong and greatly coordinated high ground defence.
The Russians after many efforts eventually found a pickoff on Dendi who at the time did not have a buy back. This resulted in Na`Vi
losing a barrack but as soon as our mid laner come back he hit another great RP and Natus Vincere cleaned up the side of Empire while they were trying to retreat. After that Ember could be seen sitting comfortably on top of the net worth.
Team Empire attempted to do Roshan once again but Na`Vi
was ready also once again. Another amazing RP by Dendi followed by hits from a farmed Ember lead to an easy team fight win for NaVi’s as well as a Roshan for our squad. With that Natus Vincere took control of the game.
Unfortunately, shortly after the Aegis on Ember expired he got caught in a Silence at the start of a team fight and got blown up instantly. He bought back right away and joined the fight. It looked like he will clean up the entire squad of Team Empire. But at the very end DP managed to get of a self Euls with his ult up and running. That combined with another silence on ember resulted in his dieback. That unfortunately lead up to Team Empire taking the first game of the series.
Game 1 results.
Game 2 — [0:2]
In the second game Team Empire went for another pushing lineup again with DP but, this time also with
Chen, while Na`Vi
draft focused way more on the early game. It could be easily seen as soon as the game started thanks to amazing rotations from SoNNeikO
Bounty Hunter which granted his team First and Second Blood in the enemy safelane.
The presence of BH as well as Na`Vi
ultra aggressiveness lead to Empire’s Chen being super shut down and not able to accomplish anything. This time it was Na`Vi
who were winning all three lanes. The Ukrainians did not show any signs of stopping. They were storming down the map, knowing they can be reinforced by the global presence of their draft, getting pick off after pick off and securing a bigger and bigger lead for themselves.
Unfortunately the DP ult was once again Team Empire’s ticket back into the game. In clumped up teamfight it worked wonders dealing massive amounts of damage. In addition to that the self Euls from DP made her so much harder to kill while still dealing damage. A couple of unfortunate teamfights near the Rosh Pit saw Empire gain back their ground and eventually their push was too much for Natus Vincere to handle. With that it is unfortunately Team Empire who advance to the playoffs along side Team Spirit
Game 2 results.