Three consecutive losses have knocked Natus Vincere out of the playoff picture at ESL One Los Angeles while Alliance have taken their place following a devastating 2-0 sweep today.
Na’Vi managed to put up a fight, but Alliance have slowly started looking like a better Dota 2 team under s4’s leadership throughout the event, leading to a big win and a jump to second place in the Group B standings.
A sort of odd draft from Na’Vi left the core players needing to play a nearly perfect game between the Troll Warlord, Kunkka, and Timbersaw, while s4 fell back to Nature’s Prophet position three that was used to help set up Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov’s Morphling.
The CIS squad made one good push early in the game, but some of their heroes weren’t ready to fight at the start, leaving Alliance with a clear edge even without the Morphling in action yet. Na’Vi did catch up later in terms of their teamfight, but by then, the Morphling was too powerful to stop when paired with the Nature’s Prophet and all of Alliance’s assets.
Even with s4 dead and backed against their base, Nikobaby was able to lead his team in a fight against Na’Vi and take out three heroes, including the Troll Warlord. Na’Vi conceded because they knew they couldn’t defend with only two players.
That all-in push at the end of a close game was as close as Na’Vi would come to winning a game, though. Alliance steamrolled them in game two with a mix of comfort and meta picks.
Nikobaby continued the trend of position one Weaver being a nuisance in the current meta while s4’s Death Prophet and Limmp’s Templar Assassin did their own work to carry Alliance forward. Not even 9pasha’s Mars was enough to help Na’Vi win a lane. The Riki and Shadow Demon quickly fell behind their core counterparts.
Na’Vi overcommitted to a defensive turnaround 25 minutes in and lost Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek almost immediately. The undermanned roster tried to fight back, but Alliance slowly picked them off with stuns, showing that there was no chance Na’Vi could win in a full fight.
Instead of prolonging the battle, Na’Vi gave up early and handed Alliance the 2-0 victory, losing their third series in a row and dropping to sixth in the Group B standings. Alliance are now the second seed in the group and will play a series against top seed Team Secret on April 15.