MDL Chengdu Major’s Lower Bracket elimination matches continued with the second round of the Lower Bracket. European squad Alliance went up against China’s own Team Aster in a best-of-three elimination match.
Alliance took the early lead against Aster during the early phase of the game. And, once Alliance grouped up as five, they completely dominated the team fights with Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov’s Chronosphere ultimate.
Alliance stopped Aster’s split-push attempt by sending two heroes to stop the enemy Naga Siren, while Nikobaby caught two heroes in his Chronosphere.
When Alliance attempted to disengage, Aster found some success by draining Faceless Void’s mana to force him to retreat while the rest of the team were left behind.
Team Aster’s Bloodseeker pick failed to make an impact in game one and at the 38-minute mark, Alliance charged into the Radiant fountain and forced the Chinese team to call good game.
Alliance had a great start to game two with a successful laning stage. They also drafted well, having multiple low-cooldown stuns at their disposal.
After being 9,000 gold down against Alliance, Team Aster started making smoke gank wrap-around plays that caught their opponents off-guard. At the 35-miunte mark, Lin “Xxs” Jing was able to catch the enemy Sniper with a Blink-Reverse Polarity into Skewer and this gave Aster the lead.
Alliance fought back by claiming the Aegis of the Immortal and taking down four Aster heroes at the Roshan Pit.
But Aster’s Juggernaut-Magnus combo proved to be too much for Alliance as they continued to lose team fights. They eventually lost multiple lanes of Barracks, which put Aster in a comfortable position.
With an eager Team Aster ready to force a final game three, they charged into the Radiant base and burned their Black King Bar usage early. Linus “Limmp” Blomdin’s Sniper shredded through the Chinese squad and extended the game despite a 31,000 gold lead.
But, as soon as Alliance moved out of their base, Aster was ready with the high-ground play that caught the Radiant core heroes without buybacks. With no heroes left to defend, Aster took down the Radiant Ancient and forced a third game.
In the last game, Team Aster bet their tournament hopes on a Faceless Void pick paired with a Sniper and Jakiro that synergized well with the Chronosphere ultimate. In response, Alliance countered with a Kunkka and Puck that disrupt the enemy’s damage output and spell casting capabilities.
The final game went completely according to plan for Alliance. They kept forcing team fights before Aster had the net worth or levels to match up against their 5-man lineup.
From then on, Alliance made the map smaller and smaller for their opponents. There just wasn’t a safe space for Aster to catch up in gold or levels.
At the 24-minute mark, Team Aster was able to force Alliance out of their base, but it cost them four buybacks.
Alliance eventually regrouped and after Aster used up their Chronosphere, they had no other way to stop the enemy team from claiming Mega Creeps. The Chinese squad decided to call good game, which ended their tournament run on day four of the Chengdu Major.
With a 2-1 victory over Team Aster, Alliance has secured at least a Top 8 finished at the MDL Chengdu Major and sets up a third-round Lower Bracket elimination match with the former Alliance squad who are now under the Team Liquid banner.