Eight teams joined this Sunday, June 21 the battle for supremacy in the Chinese leg at Beyond Epic. The one week event starts with the participants split into two GSL groups and offers just four spots into the playoff stage.
Beyond EPIC China group stage:
|Group A||Group B|
|Team Aster||Invictus Gaming|
|Sparking Arrow Gaming||Royal Never Give Up|
Given the slightly different format from the Europe and CIS group play, the China battle shapes to be extremely fierce as the early upsets can spell doom for the favorites. The first day of matches featured the teams seeded in Group A and both PSG.LGD and Team Aster started the tournament on the wrong foot.
Team Aster got bested 2-0 by the group underdogs Sparking Arrow Gaming. Partially, Aster outplayed themselves going in both games with greedy builds on their support four position, while also trying to force SAG to a fast tempo. In game one they had Lycan, a mid lane Venomancer that prioritized a defensive utility build with Mekansm, Spirit Vessel and Aeon Disk, while Pan “Fade” Yi on a support Nature’s Prophet tried to go for more of an aggressive style, with Bade Mail as first item choice. Aster’s plan backfired rapidly, neither Venomancer nor Furion being able to avoid early deaths, thus preventing the whole game plan from happening. Fade played the same greedy style in game two as well, going with a Monkey King Bar first item on Mirana, and once again SAG punished Aster playing aggressively with Anti-mage in the carry position and Templar Assassin in the mid lane.
CDEC Gaming adopted the same greedy support four tactic against PSG.LGD and took game one from them with a roaming Puck and a draft built towards skirmishes and pickoffs. They were on a constant hunt mode with the early Blink Dagger Puck, a mid lane Queen of Pain, offlane Clockwerk and a carry Spectre, which made it nearly impossible for PSG.LGD to find any safe spot to farm on the map. Headed into the second game, PSG.LGD tried to outlast CDEC with beefy cores and two supports meant to provide extra saves if necessary, but CDEC’s carry Slark, along with a mid lane Void Spirit, took over the game from very early stages forcing a fast tempo and securing a clean 2-0 opening in the Beyond Epic group stage.
Day two of the competition will bring into the spotlight the teams seeded in Group B with RNG taking on EHOME.Immortal at 08:00 CEST/14:00 PST, followed by Vici Gaming versus Invictus Gaming.