During the last GCS, the two Koreans friends LawLiet and FoCuS were also seeded in the same group with a Chinese Human legend : Infi.
FoCuS took upon the task of eliminating Infi in two matches and finished the whole tournament in third place. LawLiet qualified for the playoffs then as well.
Could they pull this off once more with TH000 in their group?
- Neo : Hey LawLiet, who do you think will win that match?
The previous seasons, when asked about the future winner of any match, he would always answer with “I don’t know, I’m noob”. It's always funny to chat with LawLiet.
During their training sessions, we saw him playing Orc against Night Elf, played by Lyn, both talking about the imbalance of their new race. The Korean group is really friendly and humble.
In the poll we organized, 53% saw TH000 qualifying together with LawLiet. The Korean has a 50% win rate against TH000 while FoCuS usually struggles against him. Only 8% said TH000 would be eliminated early.
And that is not as easy as it seems. FoCuS started the series down [0-1], losing the 1st game on LR after just a few skirmishes. He equalized on TS with a solid game before the final map on AZ.
Colorful cancelled a burrow early on and wasted much of the Blademaster’s time chasing after the DemonHunter in his base. Colorful positioned his army very well in all the fights that ensued, destroyed FoCuS’ shop several times. And so was the Korean unexpectedly thrown to the Loser Bracket; the first upset of the tournament!
Oh boy this match did not disappoint. The first game on EI is a never ending 80 supply fight at LawLiet’s expansion. The Korean seemed to have the upper hand, then TH000’s archmage retrained to Blizzard and destroyed the entangled gold mine a couple of times. The combo Blizzard + Slow really hurts those bears. LawLiet seemed back on his feet and dominated again before he mismaneuvered his DH, losing it in the process. From there, the expansion was lost and there was no coming back.
Or so I thought!
While I was typing the report I did not really pay attention to the last fight. It looked desperate with the NE bringing his Ancients of Lore to fight an army 10 supplies larger. Somehow, somewhat, TH000 typed “gg” when the DH turned lvl 6. Just go check the VOD, must see!
Second game was a Tower Rush on stupid Turtle Rock close positions and I typed already too much about the first game. Next!
Whew! The third game was an intense one as well! Both players being all over the map trying to expand while also trying to deny their opponents expansion. Both finding books of the dead and both having heroes dwindling to a few health points. LawLiet won the series [2-1], maybe the choice of using the Tinker was not the best for TH000. It’s another must see VOD.
Last Season, LawLiet was very impressive in the group stage before unexpectedly yielding to Check [1-3] in the playoffs. Colorful should not be underestimated. It's not like I ranked him as a tourist in a former article!
The first game on AI was a long Mexican standoff with both using a classic DH/Naga bears strategy before action broke lose. The finish is all about bear drops and last minute hero saves by LawLiet who finally takes the lead, not without trying to kill Colorful’s naga with a sapper!
We were not done with Colorful however, he equalized, dominating LawLiet on AZ. He went for the KotG this time, it seemed superior to the naga in bear fights thanks to the thorn aura.
Lesson learned in the third game, both going KotG second on TS. LawLiet will get an advantage early on cancelling two Lores and will never lose it. He is finally through after two exhausting matches won [2-1]. Well done!
TH000 has a notoriously high win ratio against FoCuS. However in the semi finals of GCS Winter 2017, the series was very close and ended on a [3-2] victory for the Chinese.
The always innovative TH000 wins the first game playing MK first, fast expanding on TS and killing the blademaster using bolt, dust and wand of the wind.
TH000 overpowered FoCuS again on TR and went to face Colorful for the 2nd qualification spot in the playoffs.
He is the best HvN player, he has never lost a series to Colorful, who struggles against Human and who never came out of the group stage at GCS.
What looked imbalanced on paper was on the field as well with a steady [2-0] victory for TH000.
I went on to congratulate LawLiet for his amazing performance. He rubbed my nose into my bad prediction, since I ranked him as an “underdog” or “semi-tourist” as he called it. That was just for good luck.
This was a truly amazing day of Warcraft. We will finish the 1st round with Group D tomorrow, featuring Foggy, Life, Fly, and WFZ. A very stacked group with many hurdles to overcome for our European superstar.