Boston Major Day 2 Recap: Ad Finem takes down Newbee as China crumbles

The second day of the Boston Major event will bid farewell to four teams, while the other four advance to the next round to keep their dreams alive. After losing both of their representatives yesterday, China will unleash the rest of their teams as EHOME, Newbee and the LGD brothers take the stage. Up and coming Team NP will also have their first real test, while Faceless will try to recover from their group stage slump up against TI6 runner-up Digital Chaos.

North America Digital Chaos vs Singapore Team Faceless

Both Digital Chaos and Team Faceless had a lot to prove before this match. Despite dominating the Southeast Asian Main Qualifiers without dropping any game, Faceless had not obtained a single victory in Boston – a devastating result that couldn’t have done the team morale any good. Digital Chaos, on the other hand, had not played a lot of games since their roster change, but a good showing in the group stage labelled them as favorites in this matchup. While the game started out slowly as both teams looked to farm up their cores, DC were the first to make a move as their lineup peaked quite a bit faster than their opponent’s, boosting both Roman ‘Resolut1on’ Fominok on his Luna and Aliwi ‘w33ha’ Omar on his signature Invoker to the top of the net worth chart. While Faceless did put up a good fight once their heroes came online, especially Dominik ‘Black^’ Reitmeier on his Terrorblade, their over-reliance on long cooldown ultimates like Ravage, Dragon Form and Metamorphosis, gave DC ample time to exploit it and rush down buildings with Luna buffed up by Alacrity and Press The Attack. Faceless also had no real answer when DC’s cores purchased BKBs, and they forfeited game 1 after 30 minutes.

It’s back to the drawing board for iceiceice and his team

Faceless pulled out some unconventional picks for their decisive battle with Sniper for Anucha ‘Jabz’ Jirawong and Centaur Warrunner for Daryl ‘iceiceice’ Koh. Despite having a decent early to mid game, the SEA team seemed to play too cautiously and only managed to take down one tower after 28 minutes, giving Digital Chaos a chance to farm up on their heroes and push down all of the outer buildings without much efforts. And with Martin ‘Saksa’ Sazdov on Shadow Demon, DC ensured that their pushes only got more and more brutal as time went by as legions of Juggernaut and Dragon Knight illusions swarmed Faceless’ highgrounds with very little response coming from the Singaporean squad. After 33 minutes, Digital Chaos secured megas and Faceless’ adventure in Boston ended here.

Final Result: Digital Chaos 2-0 Team Faceless

North America Team NP vs China EHOME

Team NP, as a fledgling team and organization, has been improving a lot since its formation – having placed high in multiple major tournaments – but they always seemed to lack what it took to go that extra mile for victory. And this time, they went up against EHOME, one of the most iconic teams in the history of Chinese DOTA with many veteran players. EHOME started off with a bold first pick Omniknight to back up Timbersaw for Wang ‘old chicken’ Zhiyong and Liu ‘Sylar’ Jiajun on Lycan, while NP looked to deal fast and hard physical damage with Kurtis ‘Aui_2000’ Ling on Weaver and Jacky ‘EternalEnVy’ Mao on Juggernaut. However, the star of the show was actually the old guard Zhang ‘LaNm’ Zhicheng as his maxing out Enfeeble almost completely negated any source of damage from NP. EHOME also proved to be the more coordinated squad as they were always ready to anticipate Beastmaster ganks and help out their allies in the nick of time, while NP struggled to keep up on the Net Worth chart while being pressured at all times by Lycan. Having no way to deal with EHOME cores, NP had to forfeit their first game and stood on the verge of elimination.

Team NP made a miraculous comeback with exceptional plays from EternalEnvy

On the second game, EHOME swifted their focus on a more aggressive playstyle with gank-heavy composition of Night Stalker and Slark, while Team NP returned to their favorite AOE heavy teamfights lineup with Warlock for Theeban “1437” Siva and Sand King for Avery ‘SVG’ Silverman to boost Envy’s damage on Mirana. While the Chinese team did gain some advantage in the early game, they were completely swept away by NP’s superior teamfight. Fatal Bonds is an extremely dangerous spell by itself, and NP brought the most potential out of Starfall, Eclipse and Epicenter. The amount of burst damage from that combo teared EHOME to shreds despite the fact that they had an Omniknight, and things continued to snowball in NP’s favor. Beastmaster’s complete control of the vision game meant that the Slark pick was ineffective, and Leshrac’s impact as a midlaner was lackluster compared to him playing in the role of support. There was not much EHOME could do once NP came knocking at their tier 3 towers, and the Canadian squad was able to equalize and force the first game 3 of the main event so far.

For some reason EHOME continued to let NP pick up their Warlock/Mirana combo AND Aui_2000’s signature hero Naga Siren, and this proved to be a fatal mistake as the same thing in game two happened again in this game. Naga’s ultimate Song of the Siren made it even easier for NP to set up their combos, and EternalEnvy had an exceptional game on Mirana. He landed multiple devastating double starfall combos that wiped at least 3 of EHOME heroes off the face of the earth while the rest of his team cleaned up. Even though the Chinese team did manage to push down most of the outer towers in the first 20 minutes, they were confined in their base as soon as Aui_2000 finished his Radiance. The overwhelming pressure coming from NP completely crushed their opponents both in spirit and tempo, and it was only a matter of time before EHOME tapped out and granted NP their deserved ticket to the next round.

Final Result: Team NP 2-1 EHOME

China  Newbee vs Greece Ad Finem

This matchup is another classic “David vs Goliath” story as this is the first Valve-sponsored LAN that the Greek squad were able to qualify for, and their opponents are arguably one of the strongest Chinese teams in this tournament who only dropped a series against the mighty Virtus.Pro in the group stage. And the TI4 winners continued to show how superior they are as they completely crushed Ad Finem during the laning stage, taking down the first tower within 2 minutes of the game. From that point on, AF were aware that they did not stand a chance against Newbee in a direct teamfight, and switched to split pushing and dodging skirmishes to annoy and buy time for their cores to come online. Verros ‘MaybeNextTime’ Apostolos did a fine job scouting out on Newbee’s positioning with Bounty Hunter, while Dmitris ‘ThuG’ Privouris had a few close escapes and tanked multiple ganks on his Templar Assassin. However, it was all for naught as 9000 MMR player Song ‘Sccc’ Chun completely took over the game with his Outworld Devourer and proceeded to kill AF’s supports in 2-3 hits. And when it came down to decisive teamfights, the Greeks simply didn’t have enough to withstand Newbee’s relentless assault and conceded the first game.

Despite their loss, however, Ad Finem did not waver. Captain Giorgos ‘SsaSpartan’ Giannakopoulos was confident in their drafts and his teammate as he continued to entrust MaybeNextTime with his favorite hero Bounty Hunter, and it paid off big time for the Greeks as the support consecutively sniped the courier 3 times in the span of ten minutes, giving his team a huge networth advantage. Omar ‘Madara’ Dabachach was able to capitalize on this and made some huge plays that completely caught Newbee off guard, and his Morphling soon reached the point of unstoppable as the lack of silence on the side of the Chinese squad made it impossible for them to lock him down. Ad Finem lived up to their name and forced out the decisive game three after 32 minutes, and they pushed the Eastern powerhouse to the verge of elimination.

Ad Finem on Cloud9 after their victory

Perhaps Newbee never expected the loss in second game, as they had no choice but to ban out the Bounty Hunter and draft the meta Luna/Warlock lineup to secure the ultimate victory. However, this left space for Spartan to sneak in a cheeky Alchemist third pick, and this hero quickly went out of control for Ad Finem. ThuG played an exceptional game in the middle lane, and he overwhelmed both of Newbee’s cores in terms of Net Worth. MaybeNextTime and Spartan continued to be a source of annoyance as they roamed the map to apply early game pressure, and once Haris ‘Skylark’ Zafiriou gets his ultimate on Nyx Assassin, map control is all but lost for Newbee. With ThuG standing in the frontline absorbing most of the attention, Madara was allowed to sneak in and out of battle and snipe down every single hero on the opposing side with little effort, and again Newbee crumbled on the 32nd minute mark. However, that was their last chance and the Chinese powerhouse were knocked out in the most surprising series of the Boston Major. Ad Finem never wavered from pressure and they blasted into the quarterfinals with some of the most exuberant celebrations so far.

Final Results: Newbee 1-2 Ad Finem

China LGD Gaming vs  China  LGD.Forever Young

The last series of the day also featured an interesting matchup between the brother teams LGD and LFY. Ironically enough, the main squad is consisted of several young talents in the Chinese scene, while ForeverYoung contained multiple veterans that had become legendary figures in the history of DOTA 2 for a while. And in the first game, experience was what made the difference between the two. While the early game was relatively even, LFY were the team that showed up strong coming into the middle stages with deadly ganks led by Zhang ‘xiao8’ Ning on his Batrider and Yao ‘Yao’ Zhengzheng’s Sand King; and the latter especially impressed with a massive 4 man Burrowstrike that minimized FY’s casualties in a losing fight. As the game was slowly slipping out of their hands, LGD tried split-pushing with Wisp’s relocate to even the field. However another few precise smoke ganks coming from FY made sure that Lu ‘Maybe’ Yao and his Shadow Fiend could have little impact, especially without the help from his support Chen ‘Victoria’ Guanhong on Wisp who was constantly silenced during crucial moments. LGD.FY took game 1 convincingly against their brother squad.

Xiao8 continued to impress at LAN events

In the second game, xiao8 was again allowed to terrorize LGD from the skies with Batrider, and he did just that with his old friend Yao on another stunning Slardar performance. Multiple 3-man Slithereen Crushes coming out from the FY offlaner were able to completely smash through LGD’s lineup, as he constantly carried around an extremely farmed and dangerous Yang ‘End’ Pu Lifestealer via Infest. Despite drafting an Oracle and the ever-elusive Weaver, LGD could not handle the amount of damage coming from the Nai’x bomb. Despite doing well again with Timbersaw, Maybe couldn’t seem to carry the game on his back as the rest of his squad performed extremely lackluster, especially Sun ‘jixing’ Runfa who didn’t deliver even though he was entrusted with the same Nyx Assassin in both games. It was only a matter of time before LFY transitioned their commanding lead to a decisive push, and LGD quickly tapped out and forfeited the title of the “The Last Chinese Team” to their brother squad.

Final Result: LGD Gaming 0-2 LGD.Forever Young

Quarterfinal Matchups:

Virtus Pro vs Evil Geniuses

WarriorsGaming.Unity vs Team OG

Digital Chaos vs Team NP

Ad Finem vs LGD.ForeverYoung

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