Photo: ESL One
Upper bracket semi-finals were on the menu for the first day in the ESL One Mumbai playoffs. Four teams were set to make a push into the top three finishers and Na’Vi, Keen Gaming, Mineski and Team Team fought for a shot at a spot into the tournament finals.
Na’Vi versus Keen Gaming: 2-1
Playoffs day 1 opened with a best-of-three between CIS and China. Na’Vi had a rough start in the group stages and had to work a little bit harder to secure a spot in the upper bracket, but all their efforts paid off and the team coming to Mumbai with a stand-in seems to have finally found the synergy between the players. Despite having more or less the same few picks for their cores, Na’Vi couldn’t be stopped today by the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major qualified Chinese squad. Game one brought on the map Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian’s Templar Assassin, and once again he had a flawless performance on it. The same applied for Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek, who finished the game 11-0-12 on Monkey King.
Heading into the second game, Keen went with a less greedy draft and put Ember Spirit mid lane to deal with the same MagicaL TA while running a safe lane Venomancer. The Chinese managed to disturb TA’s lane and applied continuous pressure on Na’Vi’s buildings to even the series. But in game three they lost an 11K gold lead to a few weird fights taken in their own jungle and allowed Na’Vi to make a full comeback to reach the ESL One Mumbai finals.
Mineski versus Team Team: 2-0
The other semifinal was a bit of a stomp from Mineski, who despite starting game one giving a few kills to Nico “Gunnar” Lopez’ mid Venomancer, overall they had better drafts in both games of the series. In the post series interview with ESL One, Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao himself admitted that his Team Team had “bad heroes” and therefore they got outdrafted. Mineski joined Na’Vi in the upper bracket finals in less than an hour and are set to step on to the NSCI Dome stage Saturday, April 20 when they will play for shot at a grand final slot. Win or lose in that series, both Mineski and Na’Vi have already achieved today their best performance at an ESL One event so far.
ESL One Mumbai will resume tomorrow, April 19 with lower bracket rounds. Four teams will be eliminated in tomorrow’s matches, which start at 12:00 local time, 09:00 EEST.