The final match of Day 3 between Please Buff Arthas (PBA) and Gale Force Esports (GFE) will decide which team advances to the Round of 8 on Saturday, and who will be packing their bags for the summer season.
Game 1, Battlefield of Eternity
The first battleground for PBA vs GFE is Battlefield of Eternity, yet again. Will GFE be able to recover from their recent loss?
PBA was able to secure first blood by taking down Lunara, but during the 1st immortal battle GFE double killed Tracer and Sonya. They rotated 2 heroes to defend their half health immortal while the rest of the team took down PBA’s immortal. GFE won the first immortal, and was able to get the top Fort halfway down.
With a half level lead in experience and a ton of damage, GFE is able to melt away the 2nd immortals health. GFE marched on by killing Muradin and Falstad and winning the 2nd immortal fight. The second immortal takes down the bottom Fort, pushing GFE’s level advantage to 11-9. The immortal continues pushing to take down the bottom Keep.
Using a great combo, PBA kills Rehgar and takes the top siege camp. During the 3rd immortal, GFE kills Sonya and Uther and is able to secure yet another immortal. This immortal demolishes the top keep. PBA retaliates by killing GFE’s Lunara and Li-Ming while losing their own Tracer.
GFE gets to level 16 before the 4th immortal, and with their level advantage they wipe PBA’s entire team. Ignoring the immortal, GFE easily sweeps through the enemy Core to win Game 1.
To close out Game 1, Gale Force Esports led with 12 takedowns to Please Buff Arthas’ 5. The game ended just shy of 17 minutes.
Game 2, Sky Temple:
The second map is Sky Temple, can Please Buff Arthas come back and force a Game 3?
GFE focuses on the wrong lane as the game begins, leaving PBA to burst down a tower in the top lane. However, GFE is able to secure the first kill of the game against PBA’s Thrall. During the 2nd temple spawn, GFE takes the first half of the temple without contest, but PBA is able to finish off the second half of the temple. This allows PBA to hit level 10 first.
In the bottom lane, PBA is able to catch Tassadar off guard and kill him. They lock down the fort with Sylvanas and are able to chase and kill Li-Ming. They proceed to destroy both the bottom and middle fort with a strong force of 4. When the 3rd temple spawns, PBA takes the bottom lane temple while GFE takes the mid. GFE loses Tassadar again, while PBA then takes the boss. Both teams are at level 13 at this point. However, the boss isn’t able to do a lot of damage, while GFE is able to knock down the outer walls of the top lane Keep. Afterwards, Tassadar dies again.
While the front half of the game left Tassadar dying 3 times in a row, the end of the game featured Johanna perishing 3 times in a row. After killing Johanna for the 3rd time, PBA uses the 4v5 advantage and takes the boss while both teams are at level 16. While pushing with the boss, PBA destroys the bottom keep and is able to destroy the core for the win.
To close out Game 2, Please Buff Arthas led in takedowns with 7, while Gale Force Esports only had 2. Please Buff Arthas plays a great game picking off individual heroes to win and force a Game 3.
Game 3, Infernal Shrines:
On Infernal Shrines, the second Diablo map of the series, who will move on to the Round of 8?
Despite her massive damage potential, Lunara is very weak – especially at the beginning of the game. PBA capitalized on this and eliminated Lunara for first blood within the first 30 seconds of the game. GFE turned around and revenge killed Sonya 1 minute later. The fight for the first shrine was pretty even, and although PBA is able to kill Zeratul, they lose Sonya, Falstad and the 1st punisher of the game.
During the 2nd shrine, GFE is able to kill Falstad again. Both teams hit level 10 around the same time. Lunara dies, but GFE secures the 2nd punisher. Pushing in the bottom lane, GFE and their punisher kill Johanna, Sonya and Falstad. During this very long fight over the 2nd shrine and punisher, PBA’s siege camp nearly destroys GFE’s top Fort (this is more important later on in the game).
In between punishers 2 and 3, GFE is able to isolate Falstad in the top lane and kill him. During the 3rd shrine, the teams trade Kael’thas for Johanna, but GFE is able to take the 3rd punisher and push to kill Uther. However, they lose ETC and Lunara in the process. During the 4th shrine, ETC and Kael’thas are killed, letting PBA grab their first punisher of the game. This immortal passes through an empty top lane and destroys GFE’s top Keep.
PBA hits level 20 first, and wins the 5th shrine despite losing Greymane, Falstad and Sonya. Rather than defend, GFE pushes to take the top Keep, while losing their own bottom Keep. With even levels and everyone rested and ready, the two teams meet in the top lat at the 6th shrine. After a lengthy and exciting battle, Kael’thas dies, but GFE is able to kill Falstad and Uther (twice due to level 20 resurrection). GFE then hearths back to restore health and mana, getting to the shrine a little late. With 3 members, PBA sneaks into the bottom lane to destroy GFE’s core and win the game.
To close out Game 3, I honestly don’t have the takedown counts. The last few minutes were so tense and exciting I wasn’t able to catch the number!
Using a backdoor Core snipe, PBA is able to take a lost team fight and turn it into a win, earning a spot in the Round of 8. Please Buff Arthas wins the series 2-1.
In addition, the stream announced the groups for the Second Group Stage beginning Saturday: