The first day of The International Wild Card Turkey ended with two two-way ties for first and second. Every team went into the second day of matches with an even shot at making it to Grand Finals, but it was The Chiefs eSports Club and the Bangkok Titans that came out on top, with both teams emphasizing an aggressive, kill-focused playstyle that put objectives aside.
Game 1: DetonatioN FocusMe vs Dark Passage
Both teams played patiently to start off the game. Zeitnot and Rydle tried to bully Rokenia out of lane, but couldn't find a kill due to Astarore's near-constant presence. However, they did manage to push in and take one of DFM's turrets with the help of Crystal.
DP moved on to take first dragon, then returned to mid lane to pressure the outer turret there. DFM repelled them but it was clear that DP was looking to establish an early lead with aggression to deal with DFM's late-game scaling comp.
DP kept up the push in the mid lane and took the turret, but paid for it with Rydle's life. The opening led to three kills and turrets starting to fall for DFM. Despite the early aggression, DP was playing from behind, down 10-4 in kills after disastrous team fights and poor vision control led to multiple massacres coming from Yutapon's Rumble.
But it was Ceros' Gangplank that was the real star of the show, who took a turret in the top lane before picking up a Pentakill and an inhibitor turret.
DP bounced back with three kills after DFM got cocky with a tower dive in the mid lane, then secured Baron. But they made the same mistake and overextended on a dive, which let DFM bust right back into their base to take two inhibitors.
DFM faded back to take the second Baron, then burst into the red base again. DP bounced them away with Naru's killer arrows, so DFM went for the third Baron, but Naru's arrows were still dominant. He stole Baron, led his team into blue base, and broke down the Nexus to take the game.
Game 2: Bangkok Titans vs The Chiefs eSports Club
The Chiefs got off to an aggressive start and attempted multiple ganks on G4 in the mid lane while Swip3Rr took an early turret in the top lane. The Chiefs slayed the first dragon, but gave up three kills to BKT, who used the opening to get immediately destroyed by Spookz' Ekko to the tune of a Triple Kill.
But BKT were ready to take objectives of their own, killing Swiffer and Raydere to open up the opportunity to take the second dragon and a mid lane turret. The Chiefs didn't let it stop their aggressive, objective-focused game though, as they picked up a quick four kills and the last outer turret in the bottom lane.
The Chiefs quickly cleaned up the inner turrets, maintaining a gold lead despite behind in kills. They let BKT take their third dragon, then jumped on them on their way out of the pit. Two kills gave the Chiefs the opportunity to secure Baron, and an opening to rush base from the top lane.
The Chiefs took the inhibitor, but G4 chased them away. BKT left base to secure their fourth dragon and hunted down the Chiefs for a few kills. However, they completely forgot about Swiffer, who had already slipped into their base and chipped down the Nexus to win the game.
Game 3: Dark Passage vs Bangkok Titans
Things got off to an explosive start, as Lloyd and Moss made hyper-aggressive plays to drain Zeitnot's life bar before 007x came in from the jungle with a Body Slam for First Blood, followed by two more kills beneath the turret.
Lloyd and Moss kept it up, and shoved in their lane before they kicked off a team fight that gave them two kills and their first turret.
DP attempted to strike back by taking the outer turret in the bottom lane, but BKT picked up its top lane opposite, along with a few more kills as a bonus. Just like in their last match against DP, BKT focused on kills above all else, with objectives only being met as a result of the bloodbath.
The last of DP's outer turrets fell as BKT handed Zeitnot's fourth death, and they secured their second dragon. DP looked for a way to contest Baron, but BKT wouldn't stop bleeding them dry. A quick succession of kills on Elwind, Naru and Zeitnot got them started on DP's inner turrets.
BKT secured Baron, killed off three members of DP in the ensuing team fight, and mopped up the remaining inner turrets, cementing their monstrous 24-4 lead. One three-way split push into the red base was all BKT needed to break down all three inhibitors, and one more invade secured them the Ace and the game.
Game 4: The Chiefs eSports Club vs DetonatioN FocusMe
The Chiefs got things started as Swip3Rr got First Blood for a kill on Yutapon after a quick gank from Spookz. The Chiefs kept on rolling with a kill on the first dragon, and the top lane outer turret at ten minutes.
DFM took a turret of their own after the Chiefs left them alone long enough to take the second dragon, but they weren't going to take DFM's aggression laying down. The Chiefs jumped all over DFM, secured three kills, and the remaining outer turrets.
Another team fight kicked off, which ended with the Chiefs securing the Ace and getting started on cracking the inner turrets. They put another four kills under their belt before they secured Baron, their third Dragon, and the last inner turret.
With a Baron-empowered three-way split push, the Chiefs plowed through DFM in base and took two inhibitors. They popped out for a moment to visit their fountain, but they celebrated their return to the red base by destroying the last inhibitor and the Nexus to secure their spot in grand finals.
Game 5: Dark Passage vs The Chiefs eSports Club
Both teams got off to an early start on turrets, with DP taking a top lane turret, and the Chiefs grabbing the outer bottom at four minutes in. DP leveraged it though, and grabbed four quick kills in the top lane, putting them 2k gold over the Chiefs.
The Chiefs tried to make a comeback, but over-committed to punishing a failed tower dive from Naru and were once again shredded by Elwind's Fizz. DP pressed their advantage to take two more turrets, while the Chiefs couldn't quite figure out how to get in.
Meanwhile, DP kept on rolling and broke the Chiefs in a team fight that they quickly transitioned into a two-tower dive. DP proceeded to kill Baron, then killed Spookz for failing to steal.
With Baron Buff in tow, DP cleaned up the last outer turret, broke into red base. The Chiefs threw them out a few times, so DP went to secure their fourth dragon and their second Baron before they came back, busted the inhibitors, picked up a Quadra Kill and took the game.
Game 6: Bangkok Titans vs DetonatioN FocusMe
BKT picked up First Blood at less than a minute in, as the entire team ganged up on a defenseless Yutapon in the jungle. They also secured the first dragon, just as G4 took the outer mid lane turret and proceeded to pick up two more kills. Once again, BKT was all about kills, with objectives being used as bait for DFM to initiate team fights.
Back up in the top lane, BKT dove in on the outer turret and ended the team fight with five extra kills, the last outer turret and a 5k gold lead. But DFM wasn't out yet. Moss hooked Astarore in the bottom lane to start another fight, but DFM turned it around as Ceros picked up a Triple Kill before Rokenia completed the Ace.
DFM evened out the gold lead and secured their second dragon, but BKT was right there to shred through them, then move to take Baron. With buff in hand, they broke through DFM's inner turrets and an inhibitor turret. DFM managed to win the team fight in their base however, and pushed BKT back, but not before they lost their last inhibitors.
One last Ace from BKT sealed the game, and got them their spot in the grand finals.
Daniel Rosen is a writer for theScore eSports. He really hopes Elwind named himself after the Fire Emblem spell. You can follow him on Twitter.