With both the Semi Finals ending in a 2-1 victory it is enlightening to see that these games are not 2-0 sweeps; when competing at the top of the bracket, all teams should be able to take at least one game off of each other.

Looking more into the matches from yesterday we will try to pick out what happened.

Game 1 - [C1K]Call It Karma vs. [SOZO]Team Please.

drkrose blind banned Ophelia and Tundra while TheJellyfish banned Keeper of the Forest and Tremble. Team Please followed up with bans on Hammerstorm, Empath, The Dark Lady while Call It Karma followed with Fayde, Wildsoul and Pebbles.

Now looking at this lineup you would expect the obvious, however Team Please threw a curveball into the mix, picking up Hag instead of Bubbles as their last pick for a suicide hero—risky business, but then they had no intention of doing that to begin with. Talking to them earlier I learned that ZoSo doesn't like running Bubbles because he feels he can't win games compared to a Hag. Also, it should be noted that it has been stated multiple times that Tralfamadore dislikes Hag suicide, despite zai`’s constant success in the role.

I guess Team Please listened, because they sent Hag mid with Silhouette bottom. Parasite, Engineer and Moraxus went top to wreck havoc onto Draconis' merry little lane, scoring the first blood and some lane control on Call It Karma's carry.

Despite their great success with this setup, they were able to kill Draconis several times before Aluna was able to roam top to help. By the time she did that the two of them went middle and killed Magmus with Wretched Hag's help. Forcing Aluna to yet again roam back middle, they settled for a bit with Hag top-fighting Draconis and the dual lane's mid, while drkrose on Parasite played a very aggressive game, roaming and ganking every lane.

Being up 6-0 in hero kills before Moraxus and Wretched Hag both got picked off put them at a smaller advantage than one would have expected considering what happened—not hitting more than a 2K gold and experience lead before Call It Karma was able to fight back. This took a turn for the worse as it was realized that Team Please weren't farming and instead were roaming for kills while Tempest stayed alive in his jungle. Meanwhile Plague Rider, Magmus and especially Draconis were able to farm their lanes despite all the deaths.

Unable to win a teamfight, Team Please had to fall back and group push and try to get SIlhouette some farm, but she was no match for the equally if not better farmed Draconis due to all the teamfight wins Call It Karma had in their favor.

The game ended on an abrupt note as Team Please attempted to fight over Kongor and BananaFTW’s Tempest landed an ultimate, grabbing most of the team while the Golden Dragon took over the game finishing with an 8/2/10 score, 382 creep kills and a Nullstone, Shrunken Head, Savage Mace and Symbol of Rage. There was no way he could die anytime soon, especially with that Token of Life.

I spoke to Team Please members ZoSo_oSoZ and drkrose about their matches and they thought overall they really won the early game and weren’t sure how they weren't ahead in gold and experience despite being up so much in kills. ZoSo and drkrose said that they felt it came down to the bad teamfight at the bottom tier 1 tower that cost them the match.

Game 2

Call It Karma this time banned Tremble and War Beast while Ophelia and Parasite came out from Team Please, even after their great success with Parasite last game. That is one thing we have seen a lot of teams do lately: after having a good game with a hero they will ban it themselves. It makes me question whether they just don't want the enemy to have a chance to play it since Team Please will probably have to change up their lineup to try and win this next game. Being down 1-0 they are at risk of being knocked out of Cycle 1.

With lineups looking strong we jump into Game 2 on a strong note. Call it Karma will be running the Sand Wraith, Empath combo while Team Please will have an easier time running the always good Engineer/Magmus mid.

Call It Karma responds to the lineup in a favorable way by sending Empath and Sand Wraith top to fight the solo Soul Reaper while Tundra is more tanky and will barely be able to survive the deadly mid lane.

Team Please responds by switching up, sending Soul Reaper mid versus Tundra and having their Engineer/Magmus combo give Empath and Sand Wraith a run for their money. There was a near double first blood when Tempest ganked top lane; with Magmus' help they were able to kill Empath but in the meantime Sand Wraith dove for Engineer, getting the kill on him and then getting away. Despite the first blood in Team Please's favor, that exchange was overall better for Sand Wraith and Call it Karma.

After getting chain-stunned Sand Wraith could not regenerate his health enough before it happened again and he finally fell at top. Legion having lane control did not stop Magmus from stunning into the tower, with Empath nowhere to be seen, but she could not have stopped him anyway, not having a hard stun.

Tundra and Sand Wraith responded by going bottom to kill the Wildsoul, who also had control in the lane versus Pharaoh. They pushed bottom tower while still able to defend the counter push top from Tempest, the tower kill putting them slightly ahead in gold. They then grouped to push mid with only Soul Reaper there until Team Please responded, pushing them back and denying the mid tower.

While ever-so-slight at this point, Call It Karma was 500 experience ahead while Team Please was under a 500 gold lead until a triple kill happened top with Tempest getting a double tap. This put Team Please at an advantage larger than even last game's early success.

The game quickly spiraled out of control with several triple and quad kills coming out for Team Please and after an unfavourable exchange at the Hellbourne ancients resulting in a 3 for 1 exchange for Team Please, Call It Karma conceded the match. Team Please manages to stay in it, 1-1.

Game 3

We are down to the wire with this match-up. The score is 1-1 and the loser of the next match is out of Cycle 1 with the winner moving on to face the winner of Shit Happens and The Big Boys. Going into the match drkrose, Team Please's Captain had this to say:

"I was pretty excited coming off the 2nd game. I wanted to try something similar as far as drafting goes. I had something in mind and wanted Tempest but Call It Karma threw the Pebbles into the Lock pool; the team thought he would be stronger so we first picked him and gave Call It Karma Tempest. I wasn't happy with the draft and it showed because we ended up with a draft we normally wouldn't run with a double carry lineup of War Beast and Tremble."

Bans come out with Team Please removing Parasite and Ophelia while Call It Karma responds with Wildsoul and Keeper of the Forest. The other bans are Draconis, Fayde, The Dark Lady, Tundra, Nymphora and Silhouette.

Out of the gate, Team Please was behind due to the mis-draft so they had to play even better to come back. But Call It Karma's lanes were much stronger, having the Moon Queen/Aluna mid versus Pebbles/Glacius, Tremble vs Wretched Hag and Demented Shaman versus Plague Rider. First blood went to Pebbles onto the out-of-position Aluna in middle and from there the game took off.

Mid fought back and forth exchanging kills onto Pebbles and Moon Queen, at least until Moon Queen hit level 6. With uphill advantage she unleashed her Moon Finale and got a double kill onto Pebbles and Glacius who couldn't do anything but try and run.

From here is spiralled out of control for Team Please. As things started to look grim they fell further behind in gold while still managing to stay ahead in experience, mostly due to Tremble and War Beast farming nicely.

But it wasn't enough as eventually the resulting teamfights pushed Call It Karma into a good enough position that they could sit back and farm, pick off the occasional heroes and push to victory. By the time Pebbles was at 11 he could not kill anyone on the Hellbourne team by himself despite all their squishy nature.

22 minutes marked an uncontested Kongor kill for Call It Karma and despite all their pushing middle they could not even waste the Token as it expired soon after. 10 minutes later they got a second free Kongor kill and the Token yet again on Moon Queen. They immediately pushed bottom and freely pushed into the base after killing Team Please at their defense tower. Team Please conceded the 3rd and final match, losing 2-1 and placing 5th/6th overall in the standings for Gold Division, just one win short of making it to Diamond.

Now that Team Please's journey in Gold Cycle 1 is over they can now prepare for Cycle 2 with confidence that they can do well against mid-high tier teams, though they worry about the strong teams coming up from Silver and the teams who dropped down from Diamond. It will really come down to the brackets and how they shape up as to how well they will do next cycle.

They wish the best of luck to Call it Karma and they say they deserve the victory and that they played well. They predict it will be a Shit Happens versus Fack You Kurdi Grand Finals with FYKU winning Gold.

- Crowslaw