The tournament’s heating up, and we’re here to condense the best bits from the Arlington Major Playoffs Day 3.
The third day of playoff matches at the Arlington Major left some hearts broken and others hearts hopeful. While your team affiliations might leave you on either side of that divide, what is undeniable is that we all watched some top-shelf Dota.
Three series were played — one in the Lower Bracket and two in the Upper. The first series saw a resurgent Beastcoast take out Fnatic, who had earlier rocked their group’s hierarchy with three subs in the lineup. The second was perhaps the most anticipated clash of the tournament so far, with a seemingly unstoppable PSG.LGD thumping down fan favorites OG into the Lower Bracket. The final series was a clean sweep of Team Aster by Team Spirit.
As is usual, we’ll take a quick look at the best matches from the day.
Fnatic vs Beastcoast
One of two South-East Asian teams to have been alive in the competition until yesterday, Fnatic needed a win to not only progress further in the tournament. Overtake Outsiders and Evil Geniuses on the DPC rankings and automatically qualify for TI11. Unfortunately, as we will see, they failed to do so and will now have to play the regional qualifiers because of — and we’re not joking — 0.05 DPC points.
Beastcoast are well-known for a frenetic, unconventional playstyle, and that’s exactly how their draft was in the first match with Batrider, Troll Warlord, Winter Wyvern, Tusk, and Snapfire. Fnatic had a much more rounded lineup with fantastic push potential, picking Pangolier, Tiny, Death Prophet, Chen, and Phantom Lancer.
Fnatic took an early gold lead, and slowly but surely increased it throughout the game. Although it wasn’t substantial until mid-game, they also had the kill lead thrown in for good measure.
Despite a few good teamfights, Beastcoast never quite looked like they were in a winning position. It wasn’t long until the PL was uncontrollable, and Fnatic closed out the game 45 minutes in.
One game away from their umpteenth early exit from a big tournament, Beastcoast needed something special. They went with Puck, Chaos Knight, Tiny, Enchantress, and a rare Underlord. In response, Fnatic went for a very greedy Ember Spirit, Nature’s Prophet, Tusk, Warlord, and Juggernaut.
It was Beastcoast’s turn to get an early lead — and they didn’t muck about. Jean “C Smile” Salazar was an absolute beast on the Underlord, and with some solid help from the Puck, was able to take complete control of the map.
Fnatic’s gold-reliant lineup was starved out, and Beastcoast massacred the mixed SEA squad into submission within just 25 minutes.
With everything on the line, Beastcoast opted for a solid, hard-hitting, high-damage lineup with extremely active heroes. Their picks were Chaos Knight, Elder Titan, Lina, Magnus, and Tiny. Fnatic’s reply was questionable at best, with a Dawnbreaker, Phantom Lancer, Viper, and Earthshaker supported by a Dazzle.
Once again, Beastcoast looked to be leaps and bounds ahead of Fnatic. They gained another early lead and absolutely brutalized their opponents across the map. However, Fnatic fought back harder this time.
The Peruvians were, as usual, a little messy in their execution with plenty of misplays and unnecessary risks. At the end of the day, though, they were just too far ahead, and managed to end the match in the 45th minute once again.
PSG.LGD vs OG
It was a veritable clash of the Titans. Every single Dota fan had their eyes glued to their screens as the two tournament favorites locked horns. The teams have quite a history, and this was undoubtedly going to be another chapter for the history books.
PSG.LGD’s lineup in the first game was risky and questionable, with Juggernaut, Pangolier, and Slardar supported by Snapfire and Alchemist. OG, on the other hand, went with their usual aggressive play with Bloodseeker, Troll Warlord, Storm Spirit, and Io and Chen alongside for healing support.
It was the first and only time PSG.LGD has been thrashed in this tournament. They were just very clearly out drafted and outplayed. OG gave them no room to breathe and pounced on every opportunity.
Before long, OG was inside PSG LGD’s base chasing and picking off heroes. Just 21 minutes into the game, the Chinese powerhouse called GG instead of trying to prolong their suffering.
If there’s anything we have learned from this tournament, it’s that you do not mess with PSG.LGD. The two-time TI runner-ups picked Specter, Pudge, Beastmaster, Marci, and Viper, while OG opted for a more teamfight-based Puck, Elder Titan and Tiny alongside a Slardar and Nature’s Prophet for damage.
LGD’s aggression in this game seemed to take OG by surprise, and they just couldn’t keep up. Wang “Ame” Chunyu and Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang were in their element, and they destroyed any chances OG had of putting up a good fight very early on.
It wasn’t long before the Chinese giants were inside OG’s base, and 34 minutes in, the mixed bag of Europeans bowed out of the match with the kill score of 37 to 12 in favor of their opponents.
An epic battle of skill and determination was one game away from being decided (at least for the time being). OG picked Keeper of Light, Earthshaker, Marci and Viper with a questionable Morphling carry, while PSG.LGD’s picks of Pangolier, Razor, Tiny, and Dazzle were boosted by their Alchemist carry.
Early on, OG took a bit of a lead with some aggressive pickoffs. They got the first Roshan and pulled off some great maneuvers to extend that lead, and even began dominating the map for a while and destroyed their opponents’ bot Barracks.
Things changed quickly, though, as the Chinese team showed just why they’re so powerful. Digging deep and aided by some subpar Morphling play by Artem “Yuragi” Golubiev saw them come back strongly and shake OG by the collar until the latter submitted in the 51st minute.
Join us tomorrow for the recap of a fourth consecutive day of main-stage Dota 2 Major action.