Virtus Pro and Nigma, two of the strongest teams at ESL One Los Angeles Online had some scares but ultimately managed to survive to advance.
The third day of competition saw another clash between CIS bruisers as VP and Gambit Esports clashed, but even after taking a close game one, fng and his team couldn’t hold out against VP’s new-found offensive power.
The combination of Resolut1on’s Timbersaw and iLTW’s Ember Spirit dominated the mid-game of the opening match, but Gambit found some huge kills heading into the final push and swung the game at the last minute. Kiyalbek “dream” Tayirov had a strong monkey king performance while Danil “gpk” Skutin backed him up with Shadow Fiend, pushing their team to a surprising win.
VP were quick to adapt in game two, going Shadow Demon/Mars offlane and running iLTW’s Slark that helped them out in the last round. Even with a strong laning draft from Gambit, VP only lagged behind for the first 10 minutes before running over the competition for the next 15.
VP didn’t give Gambit a chance to breathe or farm their Juggernaut in the series’ final game, crushing their supports early and dominating the various team fights spattered throughout the mid-game. None of Gambit’s core heroes got anything going for them as Resolut1on and No[o]ne cleaned things up.
And while VP were able to clean things up with little issue, Nigma had their own back-and-forth in a messy battle against Cyber Legacy.
After getting swept by OG on the first day, Nigma was ready to get on the board, handing Miracle- a last pick Ember Spirit after building up a strong support system around their core. He ended up going 24/3/18 for 57,000 hero damage, while KuroKy and MinD_ContRoL both had over 30 assists.
After losing in a decisive 51-16 stomp, CL had to bounce back in a big way after losing the laning phase and getting dominated in team fights. A second pick Centaur Warrunner and a third pick Earth Spirit set them up nicely, while Nikita “Palantimos” Grinkevich was free to farm his Razor.
The turnaround was massive as CL won two lanes and drew middle against Miracle-, and while things weren’t clean, they did manage to come out of most interactions with Nigma at a net positive. A slow burn eventually led to a high ground push where Nigma’s lack of sustain cost them the game.
Game three was a much more competitive affair, with both sides having strong core presence and leading at multiple points in the match, but Kuro’s Keeper of the Light was the deciding factor in the game as it is one of the strongest supports in the current meta.
His KotL play opened things up for Miracle- to build a massive Riki and Nigma’s last pick Outworld Developer for w33 matched Miracle-’s damage output, which was the turning point on either side. Palantimos was the only player for CL that was able to match one of Nigma’s core players in damage, but the combination of Nigma’s team fight was too much for CL to handle in the end.
VP now sits in the top two for Group A of ESL One Los Angeles Online, while Nigma finally put themselves on the board heading into their third day of competition. Both teams will play again on April 9 when they swap opponents, with Nigma playing Gambit and VP taking on CL.
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