Day two saw the regional finalists compete against the best of Group A and B, and saw the hopes of one region go home.
M5 BenQ vs Invictus Gaming
Moscow Five once again demonstrated spectacular team fight ability and put on a dominating performance. Even when they were losing – sometimes significantly – they were able to control their team fights and earn comebacks. Falling behind in both games, Moscow Five forced engagements across the map at multiple objectives. Despite heavy pressure on Darien in lane and failed ganks, superior positioning in team fights allowed M5 BenQ to take back control in games one and two.
The stars of the matches were M5 BenQ’s duo, Genja and GoZu Pepper. Picking the vulnerable but powerful late-game champion Kog’Maw in both matches, Genja took leads in lane due in large part to the aggression of GoZu Pepper. After Sona and Nunu bans in game one, GoZu Pepper ran support Zyra instead, locking down iG’s entire team with his ultimate and securing kills for the rest of his team.
NaJin Sword vs. Taipei Assassins
Coming off their amazing sweep performance in Group B, NaJin Sword seemed poised to upset the Southeast Asian champions, Taipei Assassins. Almost immediately, however, TPA showed exactly how they earned their seeded position. They dictated the first game of the match from beginning to end, starting off in style by picking up first blood before minions even spawned. Once the team fights started in that match, it was really TPA’s show.
Even in the second game of the match, where NaJin Sword managed to take an early kill lead, TPA stacked gold generation items and stabilized the game. TPA's pull strategy with Blitzcrank and Skarner faced an unfavorable team comp in Sword's three strong initiators that almost wanted to get pulled in: Morgana, Jax, and Maokai. Taipei Assassins, however, still managed to make it happen. They pulled smart, and set up some great hooks over terrain that was hard for NaJin Sword to cross, allowing them to break up fights and waste Sword's strong initiations. Taipei Assassins picked up an impressive sweep over Korean favorites NaJin Sword.
Team Solo Mid vs. Azubu Frost
The first game of this matchup was probably the most white-knuckle game of the tournament. TSM simply showed incredible tenacity, and proved hard to put down. Despite being at a significant disadvantage, Reginald on Karthus started Flash-initiating fights with Wall of Pain, and Dyrus, started making plays in spite of early game punishment. In the end, however, Azubu Frost proved just too reliable a team. Knowing they couldn’t stop TSM’s first Baron attempt, Frost traded the Baron for an inhibitor. This put TSM in an uncomfortable position, ultimately forcing them to pick a little bit of a disadvantageous fight before Baron buff expired. The 4 – 2 fight allowed Frost to clean up SoloMid’s base and ultimately win the game.
In the second match, TSM got off to a great aggressive start, this time taking a kill lead of their own. But once Azubu Frost hit their stride, they really took charge of the game. CloudTemplar on Skarner seemed to be all over the map, dragging Team SoloMid members to their deaths every time his ultimate was ready. Frost closed the massive gold gap of the early game by repeatedly out-fighting TSM in team situations. Frost's positioning was near-perfect in every fight, and after taking Baron, they quickly eliminated Team SoloMid from the tournament, closing the doors on any chance of a North American finals.
Tomorrow starts with the last quarter final match, CLG EU vs Team WE, followed by the semi-final matches to determine who will move on to the World Championship Finals. Head to our official website for live stream coverage!