Arena8 brought the best teams from Korea and Japan into a single tournament. Four teams from each country were placed together in a single elimination tournament. The eight teams were selected and ranked by their past performances and Autumn Season 2016 results. The Arena8 preseason came to a close this past weekend in an exciting finale. After 3 weeks of single elimination matches, 4 teams were left to battle for the top spots and the majority of an $8,000 prize pool.
Consolation Match: Ace Red (Korea) vs. DetonatioN Gaming (Japan)
In the first matchup, Ace Red (Korea) took on DetonatioN Gaming (Japan) for 3rd place in a BO3 format. The team fights and kills were even in the early game. DetonatioN Gaming (DNG) took an early lead by securing a turret and Ace in the mid-game. Ace Red fought back winning a team fight that led to a strong 3 turret Kraken push. ViViQIZ’s great Phinn play led to the next team fight heading in DNG’s favor with a 2 turret push and a captured Kraken, leaving one turret left for Ace Red. The late-game was dominated by conservative team fights filled with much poke and Kraken contests. DNG’s tataki217 single handedly contested and stole Kraken, leaving Ace Red low on health. DNG cleaned up Ace Red for a final Ace buff and the first round win.
Match 2 saw much of the same early-game trading kills with First Blood going to Ace Red. Ace Red rany in the mid-game with an excellent Gauntlet from ACEnata and follow up Triple Kill from ACEImPaLe leading to the first turret being destroyed at the 10 minute mark. Ace Red continued to control the rest of the mid-game, forcing DNG back and allowing for an uncontested Gold Mine before Kraken spawned. After much back and forth in the Jungle, Ace Red caught ViViRoyal overextending, and utilized Kraken to push down 2 more turrets at the 20 minute mark. DNG was able to sneak an uncontested Kraken as Ace Red was caught farming and clearing the lane. DNG had a strong Kraken push getting into Ace Red’s base and tying the remaining turrets, moving into the late-game. A team fight broke out as DNG was trying to pull the Kraken. DNG turnt the fight around, preventing the Ace Red steal, securing an Ace, the Kraken, and their comeback victory sealing a 3rd place finish in the Arena8 preseason.
Championship Match: New Challenge (Korea) vs. Team Phoenix (Korea)
The Championship match was played between New Challenge (Korea) and the first ever Vainglory World Champion—Team Phoenix (Korea)—in a BO5 format. First blood came at the 3 minute mark as New Challenge caught Team Phoenix’s Mango alone in the Jungle and Willy sacrificed his life to save his teammate. New Challenge pressed their early-game advantage by repeatedly invading Jungle and taking down a turret. Continuing their domination, New Challenge got an Ace leading to 3 of Team Phoenix’s turrets down under the 10 minute mark. Team Phoenix was unable to stop the bleeding, giving up another Ace and a 4th turret by 11 minutes into the match. New Challenge finished out the match in a commanding fashion: 13-0 kills and a shattered Vain Crystal in the 13th minute.
Match two found the World Champions on the backfoot and a conservative early-game with Team Phoenix pressuring the Lane, getting New Challenge’s first turret at the 6 minute mark. Team Phoenix extended their early lead by taking a Gold Mine payout and a First Blood on a slow Phinn. Catching TenaciTy out allowed them to push another turret and bring pQq down, once again leaving Team Phoenix in total control of the Fold. New Challenge finally swayed a team fight in their favor and pushed down Team Phoenix’s first turret at the 14 minute mark. Team Phoenix forced a fight by luring the Kraken. They poked down pQq and forced New Challenge to retreat, allowing them to safely release the Kraken. Team Phoenix pushed towards the Crystal with Kraken leading the way. They got the final Ace with great positioning and poke to even up the series 1-1.
The third match found both teams settling into the match and the first 5 minutes displayed great plays and counters from both teams. Team Phoenix punished TenaciTy for overextending in the Lane, leading to a Jungle invade. Not to be outdone, New Challenge counter-Jungled, leaving their turret exposed, which Team Phoenix capitalized on. Coming out of the early-game on top, Team Phoenix pushed their advantage to another turret and extended their lead to 5-0. Unable to secure any kills because of Willy’s flawless Lyra play, New Challenge settled for Team Phoenix’s first turret in the 10th minute. Team Phoenix secured an Ace, but almost risked being Aced themselves if it was not for Willy’s expert escape. pQq slammed down an aggressive gauntlet which caught Team Phoenix off-guard but also pulled Kraken aggro. Team Phoenix Aced New Challenge with the Kraken’s help and finished off the final, taking the lead in the series 2-1.
Team Phoenix began Match 4 with very early aggression, invading TenaciTy’s Jungle Celeste. New Challenge fought off the invade—taking down Kestrel—while Willy once again showed off his Lyra skills, escaping to avoid another Team Phoenix death. Team Phoenix got a return kill minutes later in the Lane after New Challenge’s aggression caused them to overextend. Willy dove between two turrets to get a kill on StriVE, however, it cost him his life as well as Mango’s, allowing TenaciTy to push down the first turret at the 8 minute mark. pQq landed a great Forced Accord on druid to single him out for elimination. Team Phoenix arrived too late to help and ended up getting Aced for their trouble under the turret. New Challenge extended their lead with another turret and Gold Mine capture. New Challenge pushed too far into the Lane, losing all 3 members in an extended team fight. They narrowly avoided the Ace because of StriVE’s kiting skills with Skye. A great One Shot One Kill finished off Skye, allowing Team Phoenix to take 2 turrets and the gold lead at the 15 minute mark. An Ace by Team Phoenix secured by a well positioned Active Camo trap led to another New Challenge turret dropping, leaving only two turrets between them and complete victory. Mango chunked down pQq leaving New Challenge’s Carries exposed in the Lane. Team Phoenix jumped onto them, getting another Ace and finishing off the Vain Crystal for the first ever Arena8 tournament title.
Congratulations to Team Phoenix on taking the Arena8 Preseason Championship! They came back from a devastating first match loss to win the Championship 3-1 over New Challenge. Team Phoenix continues their dominance of the Vainglory competitive scene, but will another rise to knock them down next season? We have a lot to look forward to as Arena8 is just warming up!
If you want to see the replays for yourself, you can watch the final day replay on Vainglory Korea’s Twitch Channel.
If he isn't in-game or doing something for the stream, he is prolly getting swole or watching anime.
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