With the Wildcard tournament behind us (grats to Team Liquid!), the playoffs have started.
Current standings can be found on the "Watch" page of the official TI4 site.
The top two teams of the playoffs will go straight to the winner's bracket of the main event with the middle eight teams entering another round of playoffs and the bottom six teams eliminated.
Day one is done and what a day it was. Last year's champion Team Alliance gave a performance that was anything but convincing, losing four out of five games and ending with a record of 1-4, placing them in 14th place overall. The addition of WinteR as their coach, a move meant to prepare them for the onslaught of Asian teams this TI, has yet to show results.
Another struggling team is DK, a team comprised of an "all-stars" lineup that saw extremely strong performances in both WPC and Starladder this season, winning only two out of five games on their first day which places them in 11th place. After the controversy that alleged conspiracy against the DK team in which fellow Asian teams refused to scrim with them, DK's game has suffered noticeably. Will they pull themselves together or be sent home packing early? We'll have to wait and see.
Regardless of the truth behind accusations laid against Team Newbee of being the primary organizers of the conspiracy against DK by DK mid Mushi, it is undeniable that Newbee benefited from DK's diminished performances. Starting off strong, Team Newbee defeated fellow Chinese team LGD and the Chinese powerhouse IG, then went on to defeat last year's champion, Team Alliance, while losing their last two games to Team Liquid and Fnatic. From their abysmal performances earlier in the season after freshly forming, Newbee has certainly come a long way. Hailed by many as the "DK slayers," will they be able to slay not only DK but the rest of the competition as well this TI?
Despite the loss to Team Newbee early in the tournament, Chinese juggernaut Team IG shows why they're a force to be reckoned with this TI. After the return of ChuaN, IG has put up convincing victories against their competition. Despite some hiccups during this season, IG has worked out its kinks and is pushing full speed ahead, defeating Alliance and Arrow Gaming, then goes on to exact sweet revenge against rival DK. Currently placing 2nd with a record of 3-1, IG is looking strong this TI and aiming to reclaim their Aegis as champions of TI4.
Crowd favorite Team Na'Vi continues to be themselves. Tying with IG, ViCi, and fellow contingent Na'Vi.US with a record of 3-1, Na'Vi is up to their usual antics of creative play, strong teamwork, and XBOCT lulz. Having experienced health issues on the team that led to some weaker performances during and after Starladder, Na'Vi have mended their wounds and is back on their game and showing us why many love these dudes so much. No stranger to the finals of previous TIs, will Na'Vi once again claim the Aegis or will they have to settle for sloppy seconds yet again? One thing is for sure: stay tuned for more Na'Vi shenanigans.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of day one is headed by Team Cloud9. The newly formed North American team took 1st position with a record of 4-1, only dropping one game against mousesports. Headed by anime aficionado and the likely owner of many waifu pillows, EternalEnvy, C9, along with other NA teams, has shown that NA Doto is evolving and progressing. Although one could argue that C9's competition on day one isn't as stiff and the other teams, a win is still a win. Is this group of ragtag misfits up to scratch with the rest of the big boys, or will EE-sama show mercy? Is there any truth to SingSing's claims of masturbation in his free time? LET US WAIT AND SEE.
That's it for day one. Day two inc.