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VGL NA Quarterfinals Massive Review

If you missed some of the VGL quarterfinal action, check out the gameplay on Twitch here! Each of the quarterfinal rounds is covered below, including picks and bans. Note that any series that played a third game was blind pick with no bans.

Team TAS eSports vs Legacy Reborn

Game 1


Legacy Reborn  Team TAS eSports
ardan_square vox

On the 1.8 patch, Vox was a special class of crystal carry because he had the same ability to delete a full team, especially in the late game, but had the extra mobility of Sonic Zoom.

Catherine was banned because she enables so many stunlock comps like Catherine, Joule, Celeste, and Catherine, Celeste, Glaive. Rather than run the risk of seeing one of those comps, Legacy Reborn banned the early power of Catherine.

Legacy Reborn
PONtheoriginal Oldskool R3cKeD
taka_square celeste ardan_square
Team TAS eSports
12tacos12 Corpus Nastja
skaarf glaive_square adagio

Legacy Reborn quickly picked Taka after Vox and Catherine were banned. Glaive was the most banned hero in the VIPL, and Team TAS eSports opted to use their early picks to get him and Skaarf. With both Celeste and Skaarf left in the hero pool, it seemed they wanted to decide the lane matchup.

Despite Team TAS getting to counterpick the Taka, and having the early power of Adagio, they still fell behind very early and were never able to recover. From an early stage, the casters were suggesting that Team TAS start looking forward to game two.

Oldskool put on a clinic, finishing a 20 minute game with over 210 creep score. PONtheoriginal was constant pressure on his Taka, easily moving into the jungle of Team TAS, soloing both members of their jungle duo.

Game 2


Team TAS eSports  Legacy Reborn
vox taka_square

Despite the expectations of the casters, Team TAS eSports took this opportunity to leave Taka available. This forced Legacy Reborn to ban Taka, or else Team TAS could pick him up. It was a clever move to force their opponent’s hand.

Team TAS eSports
Corpus 12tacos12 Nastja
joule skaarf ardan_square
Legacy Reborn
Oldskool R3cKeD PONtheoriginal
celeste ardan_square glaive_square

Team TAS grabbed Joule with their first pick, setting up the potential Joule/Catherine combo. Legacy countered by picking their crystal carry of choice in Celeste, and selected Ardan, who would later prove to be a great selection against a stun-heavy composition.

Team TAS rounded their hero selection out with Skaarf, for their lane, and Catherine, to enable their stun combinations. Team TAS had a game plan, got the picks they wanted, kept Legacy away from Taka, and got to play blue side! What could possibly go wrong?

Famous last words. The jungle duo of R3cKeD and PONtheoriginal were devastating. I can’t remember seeing a jungle duo pull that far ahead before. Ever. R3cKeD was higher level than the enemy jungle carry for the entire game. PONtheoriginal was fighting by himself against both Corpus and Nastja when they were level four, because he was already level eight.

Later, Oldskool was jumped in the lane by both Corpus and Nastja. The double stun locked him down for a minute, but remaining calm and cool, he unleashed his full combo, and utilized his Eve of Harvest to sustain him through their burst. After he killed both of them and got the ace bonus for his team, the game became a matter of formalities to determine how long until Legacy Reborn destroyed the Vain crystal.

Legacy Reborn moves on to the semifinals after their impressive 2-0 win against Team TAS in these quarterfinal matches.

VON vs The Sillys

Game 1


VON  The Sillys
glaive_square skaarf

In a completely different ban strategy, VON took Glaive out of this game, and The Sillys countered with a Skaarf ban. This immediately suggested that the choices of crystal lane carries would be shifted to Celeste and Vox.

joule taka_square ardan_square
The Sillys
SillySmurf SillyOmar MackDaddyB
vox celeste adagio

Picks went in a completely different direction. VON went after Joule for their first pick, and allowed The Sillys to pick up an amazing ranged composition. VON tried to rotate early to pick a 3v2 fight, but Adagio’s early strength was more than VON bargained for. SillyOmar was able to rotate and catch VONE and VONC in a beautiful Core Collapse.

Once The Sillys pulled ahead, it seemed nearly impossible for VON to commit to a fight against this triple ranged comp. The power of triple ranged was very apparent against the triple melee comp VON had opted for. This game felt like it was lost in the hero selection phase.

VON managed to stall this game until they could balance out the experience discrepancy, but an ace at 22 minutes sealed the deal. VON managed to take Celeste down quickly, but SillySmurf was able to stack a Breaking Point while being ignored, and then was able to clean up 2v3.

Game 2


The Sillys  VON
ardan_square taka_square

The Sillys didn’t want to deal with the pressure of Catherine, and VON protected themselves from a first pick Taka.

The Sillys
SillySmurf MackDaddyB SillyOmar
vox adagio skaarf
celeste joule ardan_square

This game would be one of the closest matches of the day, with both teams trading kills aggressively right from the start. VON channeled their inner phoenix in this game, really showing their second lives despite the gold difference in their first loss.

VONE hit his stride at level eight, being able to overdrive his Heliogenesis. VON immediately started to pressure The Sillys into team fights while VON had that advantage.

Another awesome aspect of this game was VONC on weapon Joule. With weapon Joule you don’t get the awe-inspiring Big Red Button ultimates, but instead you get massive critical strikes on Thunder Strike. These would play an important role against the double crystal composition of The Sillys.

At around 14 minutes in, SillySmurf sold his Tension Bow to invest into his Alternating Current and Broken Myth build, along with two Light Armor buys. This reduced the damage types of The Sillys, and VON responded by purchasing more shield, and even sold their tier one and tier two armor items they had purchased.

The Sillys tried for a quick Kraken as VONE was respawning. The Solar Storm came screaming in from the red side of the map, but visually it wouldn’t get there in time! VONC lined up his Big Red Button, and managed to snag the last hit on the Kraken, with Phoenix immediately starting a fight.

don't cross the streams
Don’t cross the streams!

VON used this Kraken to close the game out, forcing the third game!

Game 3

In the third game of these best of three series there are no bans, and picks are reverted to Blind Pick, so teams don’t know what the other team is picking until we get into the match. Here’s what each team decided to run:

ardan_square celeste joule
The Sillys
SillySmurf MackDaddyB SillyOmar
taka_square ardan_square celeste

After how close the second game was, The Sillys and VON knew that they would need to step up to close this series out. VON stepped up the challenge early, jumping to a 4-0 kill lead, including a solo kill for VONE in lane.

As the lead ballooned, the jungle dominance grew more and more apparent. Just 12 minutes in, each member of The Sillys’ jungle duo was 0-6-0. With a final score of 23-1, VON moves past The Sillys in crushing fashion.

Ardent Alliance vs Team Rin

Game 1


Ardent Alliance  Team Rin
joule taka_square

Despite an attempt to ban “Joseph”, Team Rin eventually settled on banning Taka, again, to prevent it from being the first pick.

Ardent Alliance
iLoveJoseph FlashX MICSHE
vox fortress_square skaarf
Team Rin
XenoTek HardCarrying wailmer
rona_square celeste ardan_square

XenoTek did a good job showing the early strength of Rona, keeping up with the ranged DPS of Vox in the jungle. After some early trades, the game was still insanely close, tied at 4-4 in kills, and the gold lead was negligible.

As the game progressed, Team Rin was forced to engage on Ardent Alliance, otherwise MICSHE just got endless amounts of poke into the ranks of Ardent. Team Rin was able to pick up multiple Krakens, but sending a siege beast into the clearing power of Vox and Skaarf never felt efficient.

FlashX unleashed the Fortress ultimate to distract the members of Team Rin while Skaarf and Vox dealt with the Kraken. After the Solar Storm came out of HardCarrying, all the members of Ardent Alliance were still alive, and they immediately took the fight to Team Rin. After a clean ace, Ardent Alliance was able to rush down the lane and finish the game in a 28 minute thriller.

AA vs TR game one gold

Game 2


Team Rin  Ardent Alliance
taka_square vox

With these two teams switching sides, Team Rin took this chance to ban Taka, leaving Vox available for a potential first pick. Ardent Alliance didn’t want to make Vox available, so they used their ban on Vox, allowing Team Rin a shot at picking Celeste with their first pick.

Team Rin
HardCarrying wailmer XenoTek
celeste adagio rona_square
Ardent Alliance
MICSHE FlashX iLoveJoseph
skaarf ardan_square glaive_square

With HardCarrying, XenoTek, and MICSHE on the same heroes as the game before, the biggest dynamic in this second game was the move away from Fortress, and Team Rin getting to pair the Adagio with the Rona.

XenoTek purchased an infusion in the early minutes of this game, encouraging him to invade and be aggressive to recoup some of that cost. HardCarrying had an unfortunate solo battle with FlashX in the jungle where one of his Heliogenesis got stuck in a wall. With clever positioning by FlashX, he was able to dodge two Helio’s in a row, buying him enough time to solo HardCarrying down.

iLoveJoseph had a courageous gold mine steal during the first attempt by Team Rin. However, using Afterburn to steal the gold mine left him in a scary predicament that he knew would end his life.

Now with an 8-1 kill lead, Team Rin was looking to balance out the series. They captured gold mine to hold that map objective while they were ahead, giving themselves another ally on the map to help stay ahead.

Despite a 10-1 kill deficit, Ardent Alliance was only down by 700 gold at ten minutes. However, XenoTek was displaying the full strength of Rona with his impressive 6-0-5 record. Also, Rona’s Kraken killing speed was ridiculous, especially while buffed by Adagio with his Agent of Wrath.

After two Krakens and a final score of 16-4, Team Rin managed to extend their run to a third game.

Game 3

No bans and blind pick really changes the dynamic of these games, which makes for an exciting stage to decide a series!

Ardent Alliance
MICSHE iLoveJoseph FlashX
vox taka_square adagio
Team Rin
XenoTek HardCarrying wailmer
rona_square celeste adagio

XenoTek picked Rona for a third match in a row, showing that he was willing to play Rona into any match up. He became the one hope for Team Rin, as they fell behind, and he had every kill for his team.

HardCarrying managed to complete his core items of Eve of Harvest and Broken Myth and immediately transitioned to buying defense so he could take the focus of Taka and survive to stack his Broken Myth.

The story of this game could be summed up with HardCarrying getting caught by the full squad of Ardent Alliance. At the 22 minute mark, HardCarrying didn’t have a single assist. With Ardent Alliance pushing in with Kraken, Team Rin didn’t have an answer for the burst potential of Ardent Alliance.

GankStars Cerberus vs Nemesis

Game 1


Nemesis  GankStars Cerberus
glaive_square vox

Glaive has been a popular pick in the North American meta, and arguably one of the more dominant junglers. Vox has been a game-changer in the tournament thus far, especially in this top tier matches. These bans made sense to try to keep the strongest players from the strongest heroes.

Hardek SuiJeneris Koedz
taka_square ardan_square celeste
GankStars Cerberus
ROAM FooJee bigpaws
ardan_square skaarf joule

Nemesis opted to give up the priority of lane crystal carry picks in order to secure the Taka pick for their team. In response, GankStars Cerberus was ready to counter by picking up Ardan and taking the lane pick of their choice in Skaarf. Nemesis rounded out their composition with double stuns in Catherine and Celeste.

FooJee gave up first blood with a slight misstep in lane, when he hoped to dodge a Helio by stepping towards Koedz, but then was too overextended to survive back to his turret. As soon as he fell, Koedz rotated down to the jungle shop to assist in an early fight. The perk of Taka was used to its full potential by Hardek as he chased continuously and skillfully dodged Scout Traps with Kaiten.

GankStars answered the three early kills with three of their own after a good rotation by FooJee and a brave Rocket Leap by bigpaws caught Hardek and SuiJeneris on the red side of the jungle. This game would remain close throughout, with amazing plays by both teams that resulted in some epic kills, or some cheeky escapes.

Nemesis scored a clean ace against GankStars, but didn’t have enough time to finish the Vain turrets off. However, after Hardek focused FooJee down in the next fight, GankStars didn’t have enough left in the tank to turn the battle and Nemesis finished the game off in 24 minutes.

Game 2


GankStars Cerberus  Nemesis
glaive_square taka_square

GankStars has some amazing Glaive players, but wanted to manipulate the picks in their favor, so they banned Vox, forcing Nemesis to ban Taka or face him on the Fold.

GankStars Cerberus
bigpaws ROAM FooJee
vox ardan_square skaarf
Hardek Koedz SuiJeneris
joule celeste ardan_square

GankStars picked up Vox as their first pick, but opted to run him in the jungle, giving them a double ranged comp with both weapon and crystal damage types—a solid formula for success.

GankStars showed the impressive strength of Vox in the jungle, abusing the early ranged damage in his favor to force early kill and gold leads for his team.

SuiJeneris tried to lock GankStars in a bad situation during their final push, but with a final score of 14-2, GankStars looked impressive with their backs against the wall as their stretched the series to the full three games to decide the last team to make it into the semifinals.

Game 3

With a third game lining up, any hero is on the table. With Glaive banned in the first two games, I expected to see Glaive become a pick for this third and final game of the quarterfinals.

Koedz Hardek LostBoyToph
vox taka_square ardan_square
GankStars Cerberus
FooJee ROAM bigpaws
vox ardan_square taka_square

These picks made a lot of sense. Vox had been a deciding factor in so many matches that his impact couldn’t be ignored. Taka has controlled games and matches with his immense jungle pressure with the consistency of his heroic perk. Hardek was looking for redemption after his team was stomped in the second match of this series.

LostBoyToph showed the power of Catherine against a high burst composition. Catherine’s Stormguard helps mitigate the burst damage from Tension Bow, but also provides hard crowd control that helped turn a very early jungle brawl. The Merciless Pursuit proved to be more beneficial for the early engage than the Vanguard was. Once again, Catherine 1, Ardan 0. Checkmate, Julia.

Nemesis picked up seven kills before GankStars was able to get their first. There were quick item discrepancies between the mirror matched heroes, and Nemesis didn’t miss a beat in taking full advantage of that. Continuously forcing fights, Nemesis picked up a clean ace and gained some map advantage by taking an early turret down.

The map control granted by LostBoyToph was massive, between map vision and gold mine control, his presence was global.

In a valiant effort, GankStars almost turned a team fight in their favor when they quickly dispatched Hardek. The Broken Myth of Koedz amplified his damage to give him the advantage in the last few moments of the fight. That ace seemed to be the straw on the camel’s back, and GankStars couldn’t mount a defense against the concerted efforts of Nemesis.

Nemesis finished GankStars off in convincing fashion with an 18-3 routing and secured themselves the last spot in the semifinals! Here’s a quick look at the semifinal bracket.

Semifinal 1 – Legacy Reborn vs VON

Semifinal 2 – Ardent Alliance vs Nemesis

The semifinals and finals will be played on Sunday, October 4th starting at 6 PM EDT. Don’t miss these games as they will be streamed LIVE on VainGloryLeague’s official Twitch channel!


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