They take a flawless group stage score to top group A
Things are looking good so far for TNC’s new line-up with captain and drafter Theeban “1437” Siva, as they take a commanding 4:0 group stage score to advance to the StarLadder i-League Invitational 2 semi-finals.
TNC took down Chinese powerhouse and Kiev Major semi-finalist Invictus Gaming in their opening matchup, with Game 1 being a masterclass in 7.06’s faster-timed meta. Marc Polo Luis “Raven” Fausto’s Lycan achieved an impressive 7/0/6 KDA, while Carlo “Kuku” Palad also shined in the mid-lane with his 10/2/7 Outworld Devourer. The Chinese side couldn’t find ways to mitigate the push or take back TNC’s lead, and the game was over in 23 minutes. The second game was more drawn-out however, but TNC started off strong thanks to multiple early-game ganks by Timothy “Tims” Randrup on the Slardar and Kuku on Lina, towards Ou “Op” Peng’s Tinker. The faster push courtesy of Theeban “1437” Siva’s Jakiro was also very helpful to secure the lead and map-control for the team, eventually taking their Ancient.
The second series of the day was ViciGaming.J versus The Alliance, which went all the way to a full series of three games. VG.J took the first game with an interesting Kunkka pick and a signature Tidehunter for Bai “rOtk” Fan which soaked up all of Alliance’s damage, and they ended the game in 33 minutes. The second game was a back-and-forth affair, with an interesting Brewmaster pick for mid-laner Linus “Limmp” Blomdin, who scored an 11/3/23 KDA and early-game pressure from Simon “Handsken” Haag on Chen helped secure the game for his team. The third game was another win for the European side of Alliance, with Jonathan “Loda” Berg taking over the game on a 10/0/9 Phantom Assassin.
The third series of the day decided which team would automatically move on to the semi-finals thanks to a top group seed. Game 1 started off well for Alliance, with multiple kills on Limmp’s Lina over Kuku’s Templar Assassin setting back TNC’s early game. However, with a spectacular drawn-out team fight that began on the 18th minute, TNC wrested control of the game and continued from there. Kuku’s TA came back in a big way, ending the game 22/5/20, and the assists record of 33 came to Samson “Sam_H” Hidalgo’s Batrider who set his team up for success multiple times. The second game was much more one-sided in favor of TNC, who’s Lina and Troll Warlord picks snowballed out of control faster than Alliance could answer – no doubt aided by the Bounty Hunter pick for Tims.
Multiple factors are helping TNC’s performance – the patch heavily favors strong lanes, and 1437’s shot calling has been successful so far, also allowing Kuku to focus more on his own play instead of making calls for the team, as this patch’s changes to deny mechanics zeroes in on the importance of the mid-lane.
TNC will be facing the second seed from group B in the semi-finals after a two-day break. Let’s watch the games and wish them luck!
KaLeRei is currently enrolled as an engineering major. In her free time she likes going on quests to save the world with a party of interesting characters, building sprawling empires, or just going on adventures. Sometimes she also supports her friends when they feel like destroying ancients. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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