QsQ and Tt eSports, two well-known teams that promise quality matches, faced each other in Thursday's winner bracket. And we did not only get exciting matches, there were also a few heroes that no one would expect to see in these roles—or played at all so high up the ladder.

Match 1

In the first match we saw TteS as Legion against Hellbourne QsQ. TteS picked a solid team with no standout hero. sLiCKz as The Dark Lady carry, wyt` supported with Glacius, Moiravus played the always dangerous Pebbles, LeonBlack` took care of Engineer-ing and Riser_ got Bubbles. On QsQ side we had the very surprising pick of Rhapsody for NoVa, Style played Aluna, NoX selected Draconis for carry purposes, Malle jungled with Ophelia and Jonassomfan got the mummies dancing with Pharaoh.

TteS built their team around The Dark Lady and Pebbles, hoping that Pebbles would have enough of an impact early to get an advantage until Dark Lady could take over. They put Bubbles mid, Dark Lady on the safe lane bottom and had an incredibly powerful trilane top. In turn, QsQ put Ophelia in the jungle—no surprise there—Draconis had to face the trilane of death alone on top lane, Pharaoh and Rhapsody went bottom and finally Aluna took care of the mid.

The game started as one would expect; both solo heroes faced a lot of harass and it took only 2 Minutes and 40 seconds until Moiravus managed to catch NoX a tiny bit out of position, which resulted in an endless stun combo and bloodlust for TteS. QsQ reacted quickly and sent NoVa to support NoX rather than help Pharaoh against Dark Lady, who was doing rather well in the first place. Less than 90 seconds later, Style took out Riser_ with a well-aimed Power Throw, but at the same time NoVa felt the pain that could be the stun combo of Pebbles, Engineer and Glacius.

QsQ realized that they could not continue like this and they went with increased aggression on the bottom lane, sending Ophelia into the Legion jungle and ganking Dark Lady successfully while Draconis started to do some jungling himself so he would not have to face the trilane. It paid off by giving them a slight gold and experience lead, but that was to be expected because TteS had no jungler. And even though Dark Lady continued to suffer from ganks and low farm at this stage, a speedy Portal Key on Pebbles led to a dead Draconis once again and it looked fairly balanced in the early mid game.

Both teams focused their farm a bit more and the first towers were destroyed by QsQ, further increasing their slight lead. Both carries recovered their farm and got their first core items. The biggest problem for TteS at this stage was that Pebbles did not make as much of an impact as they had hoped because QsQ played very carefully and never let Pebbles pick a hero off alone, so all their hope was now in Dark Lady to take over the game and outcarry Draconis.

With a Kongor kill at minute 25, the Hellbourne now felt confident enough to do some pushing and the last outer tower of the Legion was destroyed soon after. Stat-wise it was still a balanced game if you subtract the tower gold, but it felt like QsQ clearly had the upper hand and TteS were waiting for a possible break and reversal. A teamfight resulted in a setback for TteS a few minutes later, losing The Dark Lady after attempting to catch QsQ off guard.

QsQ did not feel confident enough yet to push into the enemy base at that point, so they held back and let Draconis farm, hoping that TteS would instead come to them and they could win another teamfight on their own ground. This happened a few minutes later, and although Draconis and Rhapsody died on the Hellbourne side, Legion was almost completely wiped out with only Bubbles surviving the onslaught.

With Kongor up again there was some skirmishing around his lair and a few heroes were picked off by both sides, yet neither could get an advantage over the other. The separated to get more farm elsewhere. Just 5 minutes later both teams were back, and this time a major teamfight was brewing.

QsQ started fighting Kongor and TteS reacted. The result was devastating for Legion, as only Pharaoh died on the Hellbourne side while they lost Glacius, Pebbles and Engineer. QsQ now had a free Kongor kill. Once again very careful in their play, they did not push into the Legion base and waited for some more items on their important heroes. It took 5 more minutes for them to finally and successfully push the bottom lane, killing the tower and both barracks. This was the first really visible advantage for QsQ, as the gold and experience lead was still not very big.

Now having a clear advantage, QsQ pulled back and regrouped on the top lane, planning to push this lane as well. But TteS needed to make a play before losing more, so they charged in and a teamfight erupted in the Hellbourne jungle. Big plays followed and NoVa managed to save his team from the intense damage of The Dark Lady with his Rhapsody ultimate. Draconis did not even need his token, and when TDL and Pebbles fell, victory was theirs.

QsQ took the first game after an exciting although sometimes a bit slow match.

Match 2

In the second match, QsQ was Legion this time. They went for Aluna on NoVa, Style with Fayde, NoX picked Forsaken Archer, Malle managed to get Parasite and Jonassomfan once again played Pharaoh. TteS on Hellbourne side changed their strategy completely, going for a push heavy team. sLiCKz selected Torturer, wyt` had Ophelia, LeonBlack` played Glacius this time, Moiravus took care of turtling with Bubbles and finally we had Riser_ on Tempest.

QsQ had selected a very gank-heavy team that could dish out tremendous amounts of damage quickly, while TteS went all-in with their push strategy without having a carry for late game. Pharaoh faced Tempest on the top lane; in mid Bubbles and Fayde clashed and the Legion jungle was the battleground for Ophelia and Parasite. On the top lane Aluna and Forsake Archer fought against Torturer and Glacius.

With so many heroes in and near the Legion jungle, it was no wonder that direct fighting started there first and QsQ was able to drive TteS out, getting first blood in the process. Ophelia now went back to the Hellbourne jungle, as Legion was clearly dominant in their own jungle. In mid, Fayde put a lot of pressure on Bubbles and was able to take the poor critter out easily. Even in the top lane QsQ gained the upper hand after a gank on Tempest, although that left an opening at bottom, resulting in the death of Aluna.

Up to this point it the game was still open for both teams, but now QsQ started to take the lead. Bubbles died to Fayde again and again and the team managed to keep TteS from their pushing strategy by being one step ahead at all times and aggressive ganks. In fact, QsQ was able to destroy two towers and kill several heroes with impunity while TteS struggled to keep up the pace.

TteS gathered all their strength on the top lane and made another push, this time successful, destroying their first tower. A teamfight ensued right after that and this gave them even more hope, as QsQ lost several heroes this time. They overstayed their welcome though and lost Bubbles on their way back.

A short time later, a skirmish between Pharaoh, Parasite, Torturer and Glacius turned once again into a major brawl and Jonassomfan not only killed two heroes in the fight, but also managed to survive with very low hp when his teammates went in to clean up. TteS realized that they were now at a point where victory was almost impossible to achieve and conceded.

QsQ also takes the second game by outmaneuvering TteS and denying their strategy altogether. A fast paced match at most times with an outstanding Jonassomfan on Pharaoh.

- Blaze

And here are the gamecasts—thanks to RAAWRR!

Match 1

Match 2