Take a breath. No, it’s ok, you’ve got a moment. Like six hours, that’s more than enough to have a little break and maybe a nap. Relax into it, man. You deserve it. But seriously, you should probably sort yourself out because today’s the last day of the Preliminaries. Which means that there’s even more on the line for all the teams, to see if they can cause some upsets, dethrone iG and LGD from their seats of dominance, and surge into the Winner’s Bracket rather than being relegated to the Losers.
There are four games starting at 4pm GMT, with the match between LGD and Mouz being my pick for the moment. While Mouz haven’t been doing all that well so far, sitting at the bottom of Group A for the moment, they are a team that has peaked later in tournaments in the past, and they’ve got SingSing, who, at the very least, is going to be entertaining to watch.
It’s also good to root for the underdog in situations like this. If Mouz can break LGD’s winning streak, that’ll be a pretty big moment for the International. And if LGD destroy them like they’ve destroyed everyone else, then it’s not like they’re going to fall any lower in the rankings. They’ve got everything to play for, and nothing to lose. Might as well go all out.
Then, an hour later, you could watch them go at it again for the second game of their two game bout, or you could switch to CLG against EG, both middling teams so far, but when you’re middling among the sixteen best teams in the world, you’re still doing pretty good. Both CLG and EG have performed pretty well so far, and more importantly their matches have been entertaining as hell, with great tactics, brilliant flourishes and close finales.
At which point we head into Group B, where picking the best matchup is much harder. You’ve got mTw against iG, which is a similar situation to Mouz against LGD; they’re a team that has performed excellently in the past, but they’re up against the best in their group while they’re on a slump, so it’s going to be more than a little tricky for them to get a win out of it.
There’s also Na’Vi against TongFu, with both of them sitting on equal wins and losses. It’s here where the bracket is going to separate, and you’ll see who’s going to into the Winner’s Bracket (top 4) and who’s going into the losers (bottom 4). They’ve both been a little inconsistent so far, so it’s anyone’s guess as to who is going to actually pull it out of the bag for today’s matches.
Lastly, there’s EHOME against Orange. EHOME came in second place at last year’s International, and they’re still looking relatively strong this year, which you could also say of Orange. They all make up the 6/6 standings that fill the center of Group B, so whatever happens, this is going to be where the rankings for the Tournament stage are determined.
I don’t know, man. I’m sure you’ve got some preferences, so watch the team you want to go through. You’ve probably even got some pennants, you rich old dog. For my money I reckon Na’Vi are going to finally come together today and play like the team that everyone pegged for the favourites this year. Today’s the day to do it, after all.