The International 2014 - Playoffs (Mininum of 120 games)

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#1 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (1219 posts) -

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. ಠ_ಠ

That's it for day one. Day two inc.

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#2 Posted by Irvandus (3170 posts) -

Great write up but you missed the biggest story of the day being Liquid getting 3 wins off teams that are far superior than them.

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#3 Edited by Zomgfruitbunnies (1219 posts) -

@irvandus: I knew I missed something! The thought of Sing jerking off totally sidetracked me. Then again, I haven't seen enough of Liquid's games to really be able to comment on their latest performance. Feel free to add!

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#4 Edited by Zomgfruitbunnies (1219 posts) -

Day two has concluded, and, boy, was it a day of turnarounds for a number of teams.

Team Alliance makes a comeback, winning three out of four games today and moves just out of the elimination bracket with a record of 4-5. With only a few games left between tomorrow and the day after, it's imperative for them to do well or face the very real threat of elimination.

After struggling yesterday, Team "dinner break" DK sweeps their competition on day two with a perfect record of four to nada, rocketing safely out of the elimination group and into second place with a score of 6-3, tying Team EG and nemesis IG. With LaNm treated for whatever ailed him on day one and the team rested, the DK squad seems to be back in full force and ready to take on the world.

Team IG continues to do well in spite of two surprising losses against Na'Vi.US and Team Empire. Comfortably holding onto their second place position with a record of 6-3, IG remains ahead of the pack through strong play and top co-ordination. Looking much stronger than they were last TI, Team IG looks to be a serious contender for this year's competition.

North American squad Team EG jumps into forward position today with three wins and one loss, defeating Team Newbee, Na'Vi, and Titan, after losing to IG in their opening game today.

Team Na'Vi remains solidly in the middle of the pack per their usual experimentation and unusual strategies, breaking even on day two and finishing with a final record of 5-3 for the now. Dondo's Tinker continues to impress while captain Puppan's Sniper pick for XBOCT(4) didn't work out so well today in spite of yesterday's success. Never afraid to try new things (for better or for worse), Na'Vi remains the most unpredictable and entertaining team to watch.

Perhaps unexpectedly, ViCi Gaming continues to dominate the competition, coming away from day two with a clean slate of wins which propels them into first place over IG, DK, and EG with a record of 7-1. Can these guys repeat what Alliance accomplished last year by dropping only one game in the group stages and make it to the finals? Will rotk finally live up to his namesake (and maybe finally cutting his goddamned witch nails), or will he lead his team to the biggest throw of all of DotA history (arguably also living up to his alternate namesake)? With some tough games still ahead, ViCi can't afford to relax just yet.

After a prosperous day one, NA hopeful Team Cloud9 has dropped into the lower middle pack after losing to DK, Na'VI, and the Singaporean (but really Malaysian) Titan, joining Team Liquid, Newbee, and Titan in 6th position.

The elimination bracket remains mostly unchanged with the exception of Fnatic and Na'Vi.US replacing Alliance and DK. Empire, LGD, Mousesports, and Arrow Gaming continue to struggle for air in the benthic zone of the playoffs. With only two days left before elimination, the situation looks bleak, especially for Mouz and Arrow Gaming.

That's it for day two. Look forward to day three. MORE DOTES.

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#5 Posted by L1GHTN1N (1883 posts) -

Nice write-up. Was really bummed to come home today and see Liquid end the day at 5-4, losing to LGD and Arrow of all teams. They also have a pretty tough day tomorrow, going up against IG, Na'Vi and ViCi among others, here's hoping Day 3 can match Day 1 for them.

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#6 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (1219 posts) -

@l1ghtn1n: Might be because Team Liquid keeps picking the same heroes and using the same strats for many games. Bulba's Skywrath, TC's Razor, waytosexy's Wraith King, along with the staple Mirana and Shadow Shaman and Tidehunter don't exactly spell a lot of early and midgame. Looking back on yesterday's games, Liquid's wins are all in the lategame stages when their cores are all farmed. Today's losses to LGD and Arrow both ended in early and midgame, respectively. The loss to C9 was a result of them being outgreeded by C9's lineup (farmed Ember Spirit, Invoker, and Faceless Void literally spell death).

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#7 Edited by Zomgfruitbunnies (1219 posts) -

The playoffs are almost over with only one more set of games in the lower qualifiers bracket taking place tomorrow. After six days of MC Bruno, Na'Vi versus Na'Vi jokes, and upset after upset, here are how things stand at the moment.

Last year's champion Team Alliance has been eliminated. Try as they might, things just didn't pan out for [A] and they end their TI4 experience with a final record of 6-9, taking home $37,536. With the r[A]t gone, some team can no doubt breathe a sigh of relief.

Team Mousesports made a strong push on the last day and managed to tie up Newbee and LGD with a record of 7-8, forcing a tiebreaker series between the three. Unfortunately, Mouz lost both games and was eliminated from the tournament, taking home $37,536 in 11th place over Alliance's 12th.

Team Empire and Fnatic ended their runs with a record of 6-9, pocket $21,449, while NAR'Vi.US (5-10) (thanks, Obama Merlini!) and Arrow Gaming (2-13) leave the tournament empty handed.

Of the teams left, Team Liquid was the first to be eliminated during the third phase of the playoffs. In the series against LGD, Liquid's lategame carry picks failed to be effective and LGD ended both games before the 30 minute mark, eliminating Liquid from the tournament. Team Liquid takes home $48,268.

LGD would go on to play Cloud9, with C9 winning the third game of the series and moving on to play Team DK, while LGD drops down to the lower bracket of the main event. After a 70 minute first game between DK and C9, Team DK triumphs over C9 and ends the second game just after the 11 minute mark. C9 joins LGD in the lower bracket, and DK moves on to the upper division containing EG and ViCi Gaming.

Upcoming matches include Titan vs Newbee, with the loser going home and the winner advancing to play Na'Vi, then the winner of that match plays Team IG for the upper bracket position while the losers drop into the lower bracket with C9 and LGD.


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#8 Edited by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

If I can add a comment, I was disappointed in how DK vs C9 game 1 went on Sunday. That was a 70 minute game where DK was so paranoid of slipping up and yet C9 hamstrung that DK fell back into its old "farm-o-rama" behavior going with an 8 slot-ed Naga illusions to win. I hope Icefrog makes an adjustment after TI4 because there was no risk for DK letting them chip away at everything for an extra 30 minutes, even with multiple rosh advantages, and C9 was so hamstrung they had no hope of countering.

Also props to Liquid. Everyone counted them out and even though they didn't advance they were still a force to be reckoned with. It feels like they lacked a solid drafting strategy. They were supposed to be there but end up going home some prize money.

Do we want to mention the controversies that popped up or is that not appropriate for this thread?

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#9 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5164 posts) -

@extomar said:

Do we want to mention the controversies that popped up or is that not appropriate for this thread?

What controversies?

If anyone is watching in-game, joined the Giant Bomb chat, it's goodtime.

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#10 Edited by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

Off the top of my head:

  • A Chinese gamer new org called Gamefy "left" cameras in DK's team room, "inadvertently" running and filming, and "accidentally" uploaded showing DK making and talking about their drafting strategies.
  • There appears to be some quirky targeting exploit that is currently available and is probably still unpatched that involves activating a skill on a target then trying to activate something self targeted.
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#11 Posted by Deathpooky (1690 posts) -

I've been loving catching the parts of the prelims and weekend games but I just realized that the Grand Finals are 12PM EST / 9AM PST on a Monday. So basically no-one in America with a day job will be able to watch them live? Watching the live reactions with everyone for TI3 was amazing - they couldn't have ended it on a Sunday like they did last time?

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#12 Posted by bigjeffrey (5282 posts) -


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#13 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1873 posts) -
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#14 Posted by BradBrains (1974 posts) -

crazy games have made it.

was mlg ever on espn?

also wish i could see reactions of people going to espn looking for sports and seeing esports. they will be confused.

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#15 Edited by connerthekewlkid (1873 posts) -

@darkstalker said:

@bigjeffrey said:

crazy games have made it.

was mlg ever on espn?

also wish i could see reactions of people going to espn looking for sports and seeing esports. they will be confused.

I don't know about ESPN but back in like 2006-07ish G4 would would just air MLG tournaments late at night, so that's something I guess.

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#16 Edited by Corevi (6795 posts) -

What time exactly does the first match of the finals start? Need to know when to start auto spectating for those #bigplays.

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#17 Edited by Zomgfruitbunnies (1219 posts) -

@corruptedevil: On the 18th at 9 A.M. PDT. Roughly 13 hours from the time of this post.

And if you mean the grand finals it's on the 21st at 9 A.M. PDT.

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#18 Edited by HH (932 posts) -

i presume they're going to start showing the teams as they prepare and play for the main event - the whole set-up last year with the two sound-proof booths overlooking the crowd was awesome, cutting to and from the player's reactions and celebrations, and I missed all that in the coverage so far.

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#19 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (1219 posts) -

@hh: A couple of hours left to go until the main event starts! Hopefully we'll get chat going on GB.

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#20 Posted by Uppercaseccc (206 posts) -

Guys the teams have Digital Flags, it's kinda amazing.

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