Northern Arena BEAT Invitational, one of the most anticipated pre-Boston Major tournaments, was quickly reaching its conclusion. After 2 days of competition, only two teams remained. On the one side, Wings Gaming continued to exert their dominance after TI6 as the Chinese squad only dropped 1 game out of 3 series, and they seemed almost unstoppable. On the other hand, Team NP has really risen up to the occasion on their home ground of Montreal, Canada when Jacky ‘EternalEnVy’ Mao and his team managed to take out top contenders such as Evil Geniuses and EHOME on their journey to the grand finals. However, they could not create a miracle against Wings, who was clearly the superior team
Team NP started off with a comfort draft, with the duo Drow Ranger – Mirana cores for EnVy and Kurtis ‘Aui_2000’ Ling to apply early pressure and take down towers quickly. Wings replied with a surprise Shadow Fiend pick for Zhou ‘bLink’ Yang, with Zhang ‘Faith_bian’ Ruida on Clockwerk giving his midlaner a huge advantage by spawning Power Cogs for souls. Both teams actively tried to rotate their supports during the laning stage which led to an action-packed early game. While Wings Gaming usually came out on top in these skirmishes, Aui_2000 also managed to make good use of this space created by the team to further his net worth lead over Wings’ cores.
Game 1 draft
This advantage turned out to be crucial for NP, as they consecutively won two major teamfights and took down all the outer towers. They decided to play around the enemy Warlock’s ultimate while it’s still on cooldown and grouped up while systematically taking down other objectives like tier 2 towers. On the other hand, counterplay options were very limited for Wings as any chip damage on NP’s towers was negated by Avery ‘SVG’ Silverman’s Treant Protector. However, they remained vigilant and caught both Mirana and Drow off-guard, balancing the scales in the mid-game.
Realizing the potential for comeback from the TI6 winners, NP pushed for a Roshan attempt, and furthered their leads even more. Faith_bian’s poor initiation got both himself and 2 other allies killed with a godly Omnislash steal coming from Theeban ‘1437’ Siva’s Rubick. The Canadian squad made good use of the Aegis on Aui_2000 and pressured down the middle lane to gain more map control advantage. However, Wings did not falter and continued to hold onto their remaining buildings with perfect teamfight executions, killing Drow several times in the process and forcing EnVy to resort to split push as NP’s power spike passed and they gradually fell off going into the late game.
Despite a huge lead, NP couldn’t close out the game
As NP struggled to finish off the last two barracks, Wings made a swift recovery by winning fight after fight and regaining map control. And when Wings came knocking on NP’s tier 3, the fledgling Canadian team simply crumbled as bLink and Shadow stormed through their base to seal their incredible comeback, taking Game 1 and dealing a huge blow to NP’s confidence at the same time.
Coming into game 2, NP took a more cautious approach with the 1437-Warlock and SVG-Treant Protector support pair, sacrificing some early ganking powers for sustainability to Aui_2000’s Sven and AoE teamfights. In turn, Wings focused on an aggressive lineup with Shadow on the Lifestealer ‘bomb’ coupled with Faith_bian’s Slardar, and a bLink Alchemist for late-game insurance and further physical damage amplification. The defensive nature of both teams’ supports led to a rather slow early game, with the cores focusing on farming their essential items coming into mid game. A few skirmishes broke out after the laning phase, with bLink’s Alchemist predictably coming out on top with 4000 gold advantage over NP’s Sven.
Perhaps feeling pressured to get things done, NP grouped up for an all-out push in the bottom lane. While they failed on the first attempt, the Canadian squad refused to drop the issue and continued pushing bottom, which seemed to take Wings by surprise. A fatal mistake coming out from bLink gave NP a chance to clear out one barrack and keep themselves in the game. Once again, EnVy and friends took the initiative, but again they failed to capitalize on it. Alchemist continued to split push with Radiance/Manta illusions, and he soon became a menace that threatened to jeopardize the entire NP squad. Despite having the perfect initiation in the bottom lane clash, the net worth gap was simply way too large for the home team to handle and Shadow proceeded to tear them apart. After winning many consecutive fights, Wings finally dispatched NP one final time and claimed their ultimate victory in the Northern Arena BEAT Invitational.
Wings with another LAN win under their belt
With this title, Wings Gaming continued to exert their dominance as one of the world’s strongest and most versatile teams, and proved to be a major contender heading to Boston. Team NP can also be pleased with their results, as this is their first LAN and second place is an outstanding achievement given all the big names that were in attendance.
Northern Arena BEAT Invitational final standings:
- Wings Gaming
- Team NP
- Evil Geniuses
- Ad Finem / Alliance
- Ad Finem / Alliance
- FDL / compLexity Gaming
- FDL / compLexity Gaming
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