Esports VainGlory International Premier League 1

Champions Rise to the Top – VIPL 3rd Round

With the best of the best battling live in Korea on Thursday, some teams stepped up to the challenge.

If you need to see what the match-ups were, check out the 3rd round preview, where we cover what to expect from each team, and describe some of the expected playstyles and picks of different players. However, in this review, we will cover the details of the games, specifically highlighting the key elements and players that are helping curb the meta.

3rdrr review overview

early petal pressure

I wasn’t sure when Petal would make her return to the meta, but expect to see her more and more in solo queue. Ruin had impressive early-game pressure that translated into a gold advantage. Despite jungling against pQq’s Rain on Taka, Ruin rocketed ahead in creep score — a dominating 63 to 31 at one point.6x2_Match3_PQQ_INV

Despite the gold deficit, pQq rallied behind the impressive mechanical ability of their laner, druid, on Vox. Once druid was able to bring his mid-game powerspike, pQq stabilized and mounted a comeback in one of the closest matches to date.

The closeness of this game was testament to the power levels from each of these teams. The deciding factor was definitely the patience of druid, arriving at the right time to massacre Invincible Armada with his Pulse into Sonic Zoom combo. At 18 minutes into the game, his Vox was stacked with items, and he knew how to use them. Between the Alternating Current, Broken Myth, and Shatterglass, druid easily dominated the final team fight when Invincible Armada chose to group up.3rdrr review ruindarealmvp

While pQq took the match in what MonteCristo described as an upset, I couldn’t help but be moved by the positive competitive spirit displayed by Invincible Armada’s jungle carry, Ruin. Here’s his handshake after the game with Mauloa.

early vs late6x2_Match3_BEYOND_GANK

Beyond decided to run a double crystal composition that they’ve been relying on lately of Catherine, Skaarf, and jungle carry Adagio. This comp is designed to scale, with Adagio and Skaarf hitting their powerspikes late in any match. This would prove immensely difficult, as the American powerhouse, Gankstars, opted for some early strength in Ringo lane, Koshka in the jungle, and Adagio as support.

The roaming presence of Adagio doesn’t take time to scale, as he relies on the base damage of his abilities to pressure in the jungle. Ringo hits his stride with the completion of his Tension Bow, but has impressive damage output as early as level one with the use of his Twirling Silver.

Beyond fell massively behind in gold and experience. Gankstars’ CullTheMeek reached level six by 3:58 into the match, but function wouldn’t reach that same plateau until 7:30. The level discrepancy was immense, but Beyond was not out of this match.

With two teammates on his back, ForgottenWar went to work. Battling through the early deficit, ForgottenWar’s Skaarf skills started to shine through. Both function and Yotta rotated up to pressure lane to ensure the dragon could safely scale.

Though the creep score difference between IraqiZorro and ForgottenWar was never close, ForgottenWar was playing an impressive game to keep his team relevant. After an ace around 12:00, the kill lead was down to one for Gankstars.

Gankstars changed strategies to beat Skaarf’s Reflex Block. IraqiZorro initiated the next fight with his Hellfire Brew, prompting ForgottenWar to use his Reflex Block. The second it was down, CullTheMeek pounced, trapping Skaarf and winning the team fight for Gankstars. This strategy proved priceless, as Beyond was surviving this stage of the game on the poking power of Skaarf.3rdrr review iraqizorro mvp

Another key decision in this game was the War Horn purchase by gabevizzle. Though he deserves an official name-change to “bait-vizzle”, this War Horn enabled his team to close the gap against ForgottenWar’s Skaarf and put an end to his fiery reign.

Both of these teams are poised to emerge as the top teams in their group.

Hunters and the hunted6x2_Match3_HACK_HUNTERS

MonteCristo actually commented on the weakness of this group, but I feel the truth of the matter is that Hunters know how to play together, and they know how to look good doing it. Each of Hunters team kills was a work of art, with one team member providing crowd-control for an ally, or with damage all funneling into the poor unsuspecting enemy. Their aggression knows no bounds, and this game was no exception.

Despite dropping first blood in an early lane gank, Hunters soon found themselves farming the back doubles of HACK’s jungle. When HACK collapsed, Hunters fearlessly stood their ground, forcing the two-for-one trade, and claiming all the jungle gold for themselves.

HACK had some chances in this game. With the all-in pick of crystal Joule, HACK kept an eye open for opportunities to land a Big Red Button to swing fights in their favor. Hunters were not as eager to find said opportunity. It seemed when the laser would crash through a key battle, Hunters had seen it coming from miles away, and they were quick to avoid the danger zone.

Hunters pushed for a relatively clean win in just 14 minutes. HACK, who made some roster adjustments before this game, may need some more experience working together as a team before they can challenge the likes of Hunters.3rdrr review godfather mvp

Some excellent matches with more to come! Be sure to tune in this Saturday, the 29th of August, when we wrap up the second game for all the teams and revisit the bracket!

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Aug 28, 2015 7:09 am

    That comeback by pQq was really impressive! INV had them bottled up in their base and had full control of their jungle, but pQq exhibited great patience in avoiding fights as much as possible until Vox hit his late power spike. Druid really was masterful; would be great to see him go up against IraqiZorro or Godfather in lane.

    The Gankstars-Beyond match was also really interesting because Gankstars was winning but really had to close it out around the time they did or they would have had a lot of trouble late game I think. They invested everything into the early game and Beyond almost seemed to stretch it out long enough to survive the super early infusion pressure and get to their late game double crystal power spikes.

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