SPL week two had a lot to live up to after such an unexpected week one. Some of the picks would have been exciting enough, but the matches themselves were epic too. Burrito took a game off Elevate, SPL Gatekeepers split with ALG, and eUnited 2-0 Spacestation. Despite all that, week two didn’t disappoint. In this week where we get to see if week one wins were flukes or truths, it felt like everyone came to play. The matchups were hot again this week; Rival vs Obey, NRG vs Elevate and eUnited vs Trifecta. This was the chance for teams who 2-0’d last week to show it wasn’t a fluke, and for those who weren’t able to get points to step up. We did have to push some of the games as a result of Hurricane Irma, so don’t worry, we’ll be bringing those to you, but for now let’s recap the action we did get.
Europe – Saturday
Burrito Esports 0-2 Team Dignitas
Dignitas had three points coming into this set, and after winning the summer split finals, were considered the strongest team in Europe. They played like it this week. Qvofred picked Ravana and finds first blood on Sibi at the 7-minute mark. Dignitas dictates the pace of the game, thanks in large part to Variety’s (Erlang Shen) 2 1/2 level lead over Dzoni (Ao Kuang). 16 minutes in, a gold fury by Dig push their lead to 4,000. Burrito begin to fight back and look to control as Dzoni plays lights on Ao Kuang, but Sibi gets caught out by Arkkyl and the game turns back for Dig, and Zyrhoes transforms into Terra right after respawning, then uses Terra’s Blessing to help his team track down kills. Dig win Game 1. Dignitas get off to a quick start, with a 6 to 1 kill lead and 2k gold lead at 10 minutes. Burrito engage hard on Trixtank(Khepri), picking up a kill, but they give up a triple kill to Qvofred(nemesis), opening up the gold fury. Burrito go for the gold fury, but recognising that, Dig take the Fire Giant. 20 minutes Dignitas already pushing the titan,and Qvofred(nemesis) is 13/1/5. Burrito end up surrendering and Dig take the set 2-0.
Elevate 2-0 NRG Esports
NRG vs Elevate were the next ones to slug it out. Things start off fast as Elevate tries to have Jermain (Rama) 1v2 in the duo lane. NRG punish by taking the entire duo side jungle and then killing Jermain. Elevate respond witha kill onto ManiaKK (Xing Tian) by way of Cherryo (Hun Batz). Gold is all even about 13 minutes in, but a team fight on the solo side nets a kill for Adapting (Nemesis) onto Cherryo. This also opens up the Portal Demon. iRaffer (Fafnir) secures the gold which is originally started up by elevate to push the gold lead out to 3,000 at the 20-minute mark. Elevate force a fight at the fire giant, which ends up 2-0 in their favor with kill credit going to Cherryo(hun batz) and N0Numbers(Erlang Shen). After forcing a fight at the portal demon, elevate secure the fire giant and start to amass a serious gold lead. Its insurmountable for NRG, and elevate takes Game 1. Dardez takes Sylvanus in game 2 and quickly shows why. He gets a pull on Yammyn(Chronos) setting up Deathpanter(Raijin) for an early kill. iRaffer(Geb) goes a little too deep on the left side and gets cleaned up by Cherryo(Hun Batz). NRg get a gold fury steal at 14:30 but it’s Cherryo who makes the highlight reel play, blinking through the tier 1 tower in solo lane to avoid the rotation from NRG. Yammyn(Chronos) is top player damage at 5/2/1 20 minutes in. But it’s elevate who secure the fire giant at 24 minutes, and NRG never recover. They take down NRG 2-0.
The Papis 1-1 Valance Squad
Valance Squad take on the Papis next, and Valance need to pick up the points now more than ever. NRG dropped to elevate and the number 3 position in is open, standings wise. It’s the Papis who comeout hot, though, picking up first blood for Dheylo(Ravana) only 1:28 into the match. Valance Squadrons neak away a gold fury at 14 minutes, even getting Mr Nazer(The Morrigan) to use his ultimate, with nothing coming from it. The Pais pull the fire giant, but it’s Valance Squad who pick up three kills for zero. The Pais answer back 18 minutes iwth 2 kills on to BigMantingz(Terra) and Funballer(Chronos). Warchi(jing wei) is huge in the duo lane teamfight and is now 3/0/1. Valance pick up two fire giants in a row, and the pressure ends up being too much for The Papis. In Game 2 MrNazer(Sol) goes down for first blood to Fales(Nemesis) but he falls as well just seconds later. The game is all but tied up at the 28 minute mark and our teams are deadlocked around the fire giant. Lawbster(vulcan) commits his ult to secure the portal demon and that’s enough for Papis to take the fight. Duck3y(erlang shen) and Faeles(nemesis) fall first in the enagement, thanks toa big blink from Dracomarino(geb). Papis take the fight 4 to 2 as BigManTingz(fafnir) cleans up creed(cu chulain) but everyone else takes the objective. The fire giant is jsut too strong, and Papis end up taking game 2 for a 1-1 split.
Team Rival 0-2 Obey Alliance
Obey and rival, two heavy hitters in EU, stack up for the final EU set of the day. The game starts out very even but around the 16:30 Obey blow the game wide open getting three big kills on to Deathwalker(Osiris), IceIceBaby(Camazotz) and Kalas(Fafnir). The tier one and tier two fall on the solo side in favor of Obey. Teamfight on the dup side of the map and Vote(medusa) takes fown Captaintwig(Erlang Shen) Using Wlfy’s(Ra) heals, the reengage on the gold fury and secure it, even with Obey looking them in the face. Obey push down midlane, eliminating Kalas(Fafnir) and taking down tier 2 and phoenix in mid. Obey take the mid and right side phoenixes, but Rival does defend the left side, getting two hot kills and backing Obey up. 30 minutes in, 4 kills to 15, 9k gold lead, Obey are in the driver’s seat. Xaliea(Cu Chulainn) continues to perform, 4/0/6 alongside exemplary play from Emilzy(Ganesha) with the perfect support slash line of 0/0/14. Obey ends up cleaning up game 1. Game 2 Raijin gets banned by rival and Rival picks erlang first. Rival exert their control over the map early, taking elementals and pushing on the left side. Obey though, invade red buff on left side while rival invade on the right. Gold lead all but even 20 minutes. Wlfy is 2/0/1 on poseidon , playing very well along with deathwalker(Erlang Shen). 5 to 3 are the kills, in favor of rival. Fight at portal demon leads to xaliea(Cu Chulainn) getting deleted by wlfy(poseidon), then vote(Jing Wei) finished off captaintwig(Serqet). 2 for 0 trade and the portal demon in favor of team rival as they start up the FG 22 minutes. Prettyprime(Janus) steals the fire giant from behind the pit with an unstable vortex. An unstable vortex. Yep. Obey alliance push on the duo lane side with their stolen FG, tier 1 tower is taken and obey pushed into tier 2. 5k gold lead now at 27 minutes. At the fire giant Prettyprime(janus) deletes vote(jing wei), and deathwalker, iceice and vwlfy follow suit. Kalas(Athena) is the only left standing against a five man strong Obey who smack down the Titan and take the 2 – 0 at 38 minutes.
North America – Sunday
SPL Gatekeepers 0-2 Spacestation Gaming
Set 1 was Spacestation vs SPL Gatekeepers and it was time to see if Spacestation would continue to struggle and if SPL gatekeepers were the real deal. Andinster(sol) gets first blood onto DayToRemember(Cernunnos) , thanks to aggression out of Zapman(Jing Wei) and a strong sprint from Jigz(Fafnir).10 minutes in Spacestation has about a 1k gold lead, leading in kills 1 to 0. Things are close, but it does feel like the momentum is in favor of Spacestation. Jigz(Fafnir) gets caught out in middle lane, and ManRay(RA) gets the credit, Zapman(jing Wei) and ScaryD(Hercules) team up to kill PainDeViande(Terra). Kills are 2 to 1 and lead is unchanged. Zapman(Jing Wei) gets isolated in the jungle and taken down, that means SPL gatekeepers goes to Gold Fury. They take it cleanly and at 16 minutes, SPL gatekeepers have a 1500 gold lead and lead in kills 3 to 2. Grave(Nemesis) cleans up andinster in a mid lane teamfight, the 5v4 gives SPL Gatekeepers an uncontested portal demon. At 21 minutes Spacestation sneak away the gold fury. Now a minimal gold lead for Spacestation, Grave(Nemesis) commits hard onto Zapman who escapes, giving homiefe(Thor) a chance to to send grave back to base the hard way. Spacestation now back in the lead after taking the tier 1 tower in the left and middle lane. About 1500 in the lead and down 3 to 4 in kills is Spacestation at 25 minutes. AFire giant, portal demon, tier 1 and tier 2 tower all go down in favor of Spacestation. Add the gold fury as spacestation crack this game wide open to an 8k gold lead. Spacestation take the titan at about 28 minutes. Game 2 sees Zapman(Hou yi) continue to be very aggressive and water is still wet, early in game 2. Homiefe(Ne zha) returns to the solo lane to get a kill on to MandoWarrior(Cu Chulainn), which evens up the kills at 1 to 1 with about a 500 gold lead for Spacestation. Spacestation take the gold fury a few minutes later without much respons from Gatekeepers. As well as tier one tower. 3 to 7 are the kills, and it’s about a 5k gold lead at 18 minutes in Spacestation’s favor. Gatekeepers are split up on the map as Grave(Nemesis) gets killed by homeife(Ne Zha) in the mid lan. Lead is now 6k gold. 21 minutes in Spacestation are a roving tank of destruction as four man strong they push down solo lane, ManRay(Sol) gets a defense kill against Zapman(hou yi) who dies with both beads and aegis. 4 in total fall for SPL Gatekeepers and only 1 for spacestation, as they take the set 2-0.
Team Allegiance 0-2 Luminosity
Set 2 saw Luminosty Gaming battling to maintain dominance against Allegiance. ALg start of looking for someone alone in the solo side jungle, but Lg have it warded and stay safe. ALg pick up the first two kills with cyclone(cu Chulainn) soloing Aquarius(Erlang Shen). Baskin(Sol) also falls to a mid lane gank. LG sneaks away a gold fury at 9:30 to keep the gold even. Weak3n(Osiris) continues to pursue Baskin(Sol) behind the tier 1 tower, he does get the kill but gets return killed by Mask(Camazotz). 16 minutes now, ALG start up the gold fury but it’s Luminosity who win the fight, 3 for 0, when Baskin(sol) gets a big return ult through teamfight. ALG are not out of it though, and next time gold fury spawns they take the fight. Neirumah(khepri) falls early, but LG commit a lot onto Weak3n(osiris). LG do take the gold fury but Baskin(Sol), Mask(Camazotz) and Jeffhindla(Fafnir) all fall. NeiruMah(Khepri) and Metyankey(Chronos) fall during the fire giant dance at 29 minutes into the game. LG take FG and never give control of the game back. LG takes Game 1. ALG once again gets first blood for Weak3n onto Aquarius(Chaac). Despite giving up first blood, Aquarius(chaac) controls the solo lane. Baskin(The Morrigan) has a huge fight in ALG’s duo side back harpies, turning into camazotz and picking up a 2-0 trade. 14 minutes in LG takes another fight in duo, 4 for 1 overall, nets LG the gold fury and the lead moves up to 5k. 20 minutes in LG start another fight at gold fury, Barracudda(Hou yi) pulls gold fury while Baskin(The morrigan) picks up all the kills. Aquarius(Chaac) cleans up Weak3n(Camazotz) and LG take the gold fury, now it’s a 6k gold lead. LG breaks the base of ALG 28 minutes in and takes the titan as well. Baskin(the Morrigan) ends up 13/2/4.
A Mighty Storm 0-2 Noble eSports
Set 3 saw a mighty storm and noble battle it out, with noble looking to prove their a top end team. This set would go on to be a slugfest, with about 90 minutes of total in game time. First blood is secured by Moswal(thoth) on to Wolp(Sol). Uzzy(Nike) draws a lot of aggression onto the solo lane but it’s Wolp(Sol) in midlane who gets two man ganked and falls to Moswal(thoth) yet again. The gaems tays even through 15 minutes, but Noble sneak a gold fury, A Mighty Storm are unable to respond and Skeeledon(Odin) uses his cage to prevent the chase. Nobles uses their lead to take down the portal demon at 22 minutes. A Mighty Storm hard commit to the gold fury and take it down confirmed by Plazma(Camazotz). Noble take the gold fury one more time at 27 minutes, the fight after forces all of uzzy’s(nike) cooldowns, but no one dies. The lead for Noble is too great, and they take the Fire giant, and shortly after the titan. Game 1 for Noble, with Moswal(thoth) going 10/0/6. In Game 2 Wowy ends up getting to pilot Skadi, but it’s Whalrus(Cu Chulainn) who gets first blood onto Vianianx3(Athena). Artio also makes it through picks and bans for Uzzy to pilot. Overallt he bout ends up taking about 51 minutes, as A mighty Storm continues to mount defense after defense,thanks largely to a herculean effort from Uzzy(Artio). Wowy(Skadi) ends up 5/1/12,leading his team in damage.
eUnited 2-0 Trifecta
The final set was a dream matchup between Trifecta and eUnited, but Snoopy wouldn’t be a part of it. Meerkat(Jing Wei) is the sub. Cynosure takes Raijin into the jungle though, sticking to eUnited always making picks you can’t predict. Screammmmm(Thor) up into the air and lands down on hurriwind(Skadi), immediately returned though, by KikisoCheeky(Cu Chulainn). 7 minutes in the gold is all even,as are the kills. Trifecta get off to a strong lead, Cynosure rocking a 3/0/1 stat line 12 minutes in, but PolarBearMike(terra) punishes Aror(sylvanus). eUnited play the objectives a little better, despite how even the game is. Tier 1 in mid dows fall. eUnited secure gold fury at 24 minutes. Benji is a terror on the Artio and even with Meerkat(jing Wei) and Hurriwind(skadi) dropping in damage they can’t handle him. Even without the fire giant eUnited are pushing down tier 2 towers in mid and solo. They do fall back and pick that FG up though and go for their final push. PolarBearMike(Terra) ends up 1/1/10, and eUnited wins it in 33 minutes. In the final game of the week, eUnited start off hot, and Screammmm(Awilix) in particular getting the first two kills of the match. Cynosure picks an assassin this game in the form of Serqet, and Meerkat pilots Rama. eUnited takes the gold fury while Cynosure(serqet) and hurriwind(Thoth) pick up two kills on the solo lane side and the speed buff and the portal demon! Hurriwind(Thoth) even picks up another kill. Cynosure looking very comfortable on serqet, 2/0/3 through 17 minutes. Eunited, though, have developed a 5k gold lead through 20 minutes. Tier one and tier two in duo and solo have fallen. eUnited clean up the gold fury and fire giant at 22 minutes. The objective dominance is way too much for Trifecta to fight into, as phoenix on the right falls. 34 minutes in, 2 phoenixes are down and eUnited have the Fire Giant. Screammmm(Awilix) and Pandacat(Skadi) continue to be terrors, sitting at 7/3/4 and 4/1/5 respectively. eUnited 2-0 Trifecta, though it is without their starter Snoopy.
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Anatoliy “AnatoLiy” Alekseyenok is an Associate Esports Specialist at HiRez Studios. You can follow him on Twitter @iGAnatoLiy.