The second set of quarter finals at the APAC Premier in Shanghai got off to another explosive start with one of the most anticipated matches.
The first match saw South Korea’s AF Blue up against Rogue from Europe. The first map was Watchpoint Gibraltar, with Rogue getting off to a sluggish start. AF Blue managed to roll over Rogue, claiming the first two points with relative ease, though they finally ground to a halt on the final point. Rogue found themselves struggling when they switched to attack, getting held at the first point for a long time, though they eventually managed to push through, cleaning up the second point in no time. Rogue kept up the momentum and managed to push through, finishing the map and claiming victory.
The second map was Hollywood, a good map for Rogue. They started with a solid defense, keeping AF Blue held up at the second point and forcing them into overtime. AF Blue managed to push through to the second point and then the third in overtime, but it wasn’t enough as Rogue pushed hard on attack, with Tviq taking apart AF Blue’s defense as Hanzo on the first point. Rogue managed to finish the map with four minutes left on the clock, leaving them four minutes to re-take the first point which they did handily to win the second map.
Lijiang Tower was the next map to come up, picked by AF Blue to play to their strengths. A bit of a back and forward was shown on this map, with both teams trading maps, trading points, however Rogue were unable to counter AF Blue and ended up losing the map, although the match was a fairly close one.
We then saw these two teams clash on Dorado, a fairly obvious pick from Rogue after losing Lijiang Tower. They started strong, pushing past the first point in a respectable time. AF Blue mounted a strong defense on the second and third points, however Rogue managed to push through, capturing the third point in overtime. AF Blue, on the other hand, found it difficult to push Rogue off the first point, pushing the cart within two metres of the first checkpoint, but were delayed and eventually shut down, unable to clear it and giving the map, and the series, to Rogue three maps to one.
The play that won the match. Nano-boosted Tviq tears through AF Blue’s defence on Dorado.
The last quarter final match up was between two Chinese teams, All Strike Gaming and NGA. However,
Numbani was chosen as the second map between these two teams, but it started with a very dominant performance by NGA. All Strike’s composition was questionable, with Samsara on Genji instead of Reaper, and ended up getting walked over by NGA’s defense, not even capturing the second checkpoint. NGA’s attack was far cleaner, taking the first point in the first push and pushing through with no trouble.
Nepal was chosen as the third map, All Strike’s last chance to stay alive. The first push saw NGA continuing their dominant performance over All Strike, taking the first point quickly and keeping All Strike out with an aggressive defence. Going into the second map, All Strike’s Rain had some technical issues and disconnected from the game. In the end, the tournament organisers said that the results stood, letting NGA take the final map and winning the series three to zero.
Now we know the matches for the semi finals tomorrow at 11:00 BST. First, we will have two of the favourites clashing with NRG vs Lunatic-Hai followed by our winners from today, Rogue and NGA, facing off afterwards.
– Lexi Taylor