IPL 5 Day 3 Recap: Always be Closing

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IPL 5 built upon a great first two days with an all-out thriller on Day 3. 10 teams entered the day with hopes of an IPL crown still within their reach but only 4 remain going into the last day of the tournament. We saw old favorites like TSM and Azubu Blaze fall early on and World Elite continued to cruise towards a title. Only one series went all 3 games on Day 2 but 5 best-of-3's on Day 3 went the full 3 games and fans from around the world were on the edge of their seats for the entire day. For the complete bracket, schedule, and VoD's head over to Leaguepedia. Let's take a look at just how the teams fared on Day 3.

So long, Farewell....

The Singapore Sentinels got to face a familiar foe early on in Day 3 in the Taipei Assassins. The two teams duke it out regularly in the Garena Pro League, but unfortunately for SGS this match was no different than normal as TPA made quick work of them in 2 games. SGS had their moments and plays some unusual champions, but just isn't ready to compete on the world stage just yet. They were joined at the exit with Curse.EU who fell in a close series to their brother team Curse.NA. Curse.EU came in and didn't play poorly, despite having a substitute support, but just fell short twice against two North American teams.

Nyjacky and Cop had great days to get Curse.NA past Curse.EU, but they just couldn't hold up against the superior team synergy and skill of the world champion Taipei Assassins. The series was over in two games, and although Curse definitely showed improvement in this tournament, they are still a long way off from contending at the highest level of play. Curse.NA finishes in the same spot as Azubu Blaze however, which not many people would have predicted going into the tournament. Blaze had a back and forth series with Moscow 5 and ended up on the wrong side of the 2-1 finish. Blaze looked the best they had all week today, but never seemed to be able to get up to the level they were at when Shy was subbing for them at MLG Dallas just a few weeks ago. Blaze will certainly practice hard to try and remedy this next time, but their whole team underperformed this tournament and they didn't seem to be on the same skill level as the other top teams in this tournament.

The last two teams eliminated on Day 3 were both in the winner's bracket at the start of the day. Both CLG.EU and CLG.Prime looked poised to finish strong in this tournament, but couldn't close out the games and series they needed to in order to advance on to the final day. CLG.Prime found themselves against Fnatic and leapt out to an early lead only to play sloppily in games 2 and 3 and give the series away. Fnatic went to a tried and true strategy of camping the CLG.Prime AD and Support in the second two games of that series and were able to finally cool off a Doublelift who came into the day on top of his game. CLG.Prime went down to the lower bracket to play against Moscow 5 and again jumped out to a commanding 1-0 lead courtesy of some truly terrible positioning by Genja. However, again CLG.Prime found themselves outpicked and outplayed in back to back games of the series. They finished as the highest placing North American team, but that is hardly saying much at this point in time.

CLG.EU had a very similar day to their North American counterparts. In their winner's bracket match against World Elite they found themselves absolutely steamrolled in game 1. World Elite jumped out to another lead in game 2 of that series, but CLG.EU roared back as they can do and put World Elite on their heels thanks to a scary Kog'maw. However, 2 inhibitors down early allowed World Elite to avoid teamfighting them once they knew they couldn't win large engagements, and Caoimei's backdoor Rengar eventually helped World Elite close out a truly epic 69 minute match that is one of the best League of Legends matches to date. You couldn't expect much less out of these two teams who have a history of putting on terrific matches as recently as the world championships. CLG.EU bounced back to take the early lead 1-0 against TPA thanks in large part to Froggen's amazing Lux play, but even with Froggen getting Anivia in Game 2 they couldn't knock the champs out.

Still alive...

For the teams left in this tournament they should make a note of their huge success. It has been a grueling affair that has pit some of the world's best each over several days. Moscow 5 found themselves on the brink of elimination twice today, and twice they staved it off by coming together and just obliterating their opponents. This team had really been Alex Ich and the Moscow 5's for most of the tournament with Alex having to do all of the heavy lifting but the rest of the team stepped up today when it mattered most. Darien's Rengar play in particular helped carry them past CLG.Prime and absolutely wrecked shop causing havoc all over the map. Once Moscow 5 gets an early lead in these games, they seem to be the old unstoppable force that use to never even drop games on LAN. They get a rematch tomorrow against TPA, and they will need to play like they did in the second two games against CLG.Prime if they hope to knock the world champs out for good.

The Taipei Assassins are another team that hasn't looked quite the same as when they were their dominant selves. They have been relying heavily on their bottom lane and Bebe in particular to carry them to victory without getting much out of their solo lanes. That changed today, as the Toyz from the world finals was back in full force. He came to play and not only was able to keep up with Froggen's Anivia on Orianna, but also impact each and every game and pose a threat to their opponents. Stanley came back with his awkward but effective Nidalee build and TPA just has to beat a Moscow 5 team they have fared extremely well against to ensure at least a top 3 finish, and probably a shot at the finals.

Everyone finally gave Fnatic their much needed respect after they easily dismissed TPA to the loser's bracket on Day 2 of the tournament, but the rumblings that Fnatic was possibly a fluke came back after they dropped the first game of the series to CLG.Prime. Their bottom lane was manhandled and the team didn't look that competitive in the opening game, but they proved they can be resilient as well as they bounced back and quickly corrected their mistakes in the first game. xPeke's Katarina play paced the Season 1 champions and they bounced back to win the next 2 games against CLG.Prime and guarantee themselves another shot at World Elite. Fnatic zeroed in on shutting down Doublelift and put heavy pressure on the lanes in the last two games of the series and were able to keep Doublelift down. Without Doublelift having a huge presence in teamfights, CLG.Prime crumbled as Katarina sliced through their champions. Fnatic has their work cut out for them against a waiting juggernaut in World Elite, but they have proved time and again this tournament that you shouldn't bet against them.

World Elite entered Day 3 of the tournament having yet to drop a game. They exited the day the same way, although they were certainly tested more than any other time in the tournament. After absolutely obliterating CLG.EU in the first game of their series, they found themselves in familiar territory in game 2. World Elite had CLG.EU on the brink of elimination just like in the world championships, but couldn't seem to close them out as the game kept dragging on and on. It became clear that their teamfight power was not as strong as CLG.EU's as Kog'maw could simply rip them to shreds, but they didn't let that mean they couldn't score a victory. Caomei's Rengar has been nothing short of spectacular in this tournament, and he continuously pressured the CLG base by backdooring inhibitors and pressuring their last few turrets. He ended up being the reason they won the 69 minute gauntlet of a game, and World Elite looks poised to take home first place in IPL Vegas

IPL 5 will conclude on Sunday, and the best games are surely still to come. 4 teams are left in the tournament and all are deserving of a victory, but only one can come out on top. Be sure to watch tomorrow's games and stay tuned to Reign of Gaming for more updates on IPL 5 and all your other LoL related news and theorycrafting!

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