The second day in Texas brought us more games, more action, and more results to discuss at the Dota 2 Arlington Major.
The sun has set on the second day of the Arlington Major, and we have borne witness to some scintillating Dota matches. There were stomps, there were slow-burn victories, and there were comebacks, and we’re here to give you glimpses of the most exciting matches of the day.
Unlike the first day, there were many more drawn series. Matches between Na’ Vi and Team Aster, Tundra Esports and Entity, Team Aster and Team Spirit, and Evil Geniuses and Beastcoast ended with the teams sharing the spoils.
On the other hand, EG surprised everyone by beating TI champions Spirit outright, while Beastcoast came back strong after a poor first day to pull the rug from under BOOM Esports’ feet. BOOM suffered the same fate against Entity, while Na’ Vi wiped the floor with Tundra. Without any further ado, then, let’s move on to the highlights of the most exciting matches of the day.
Evil Geniuses vs Team Spirit
After very different first-day performances, EG and Spirit went into their game with most people expecting the North Americans to lose. By all means, they would have lost at least the first game had Spirit not fumbled, but such is Dota.
EG’s rock-solid teamfight lineup consisted of Puck, Enigma, and Dawnbreaker, with Tusk for a save and Lone Druid as the hard carry. Spirit, on the other hand, picked Dazzle, Zeus, Void Spirit, Doom, and Monkey King. This draft lacked heavy lockdown and any convincing way to handle the bear if it got too big.
Despite picks that didn’t seem to have much synergy, Spirit got off to a flying start, putting EG on the back foot and taking control of the map. By the 29th minute, they were up 12k gold and looked set to take the map.
However, some undue aggression led to the Lone Druid getting a few important kills, and once his ursine friend was too much for the MK and Zeus to handle. EG delivered the death blow to win their first map of the tournament.
Game 2 saw another unconventional lineup from Spirit as Clockwork, Batrider, Phoenix, and Void Spirit were spearheaded by a Sniper pick. EG favored tanky cores in the form of Spectre and Viper, with a Puck mid and Chen and Snapfire on support.
Unlike the first map, this one was a one-sided affair. EG took an early lead which they never really relinquished. Spirit’s gankers couldn’t do much, and the Sniper never really shined apart from one good fight in the mid-game.
Before long, EG were walking up into Spirit’s base, and closed the game out in the 40th minute.
Team Aster vs Team Spirit
Team Aster were flying high after a flawless first day, and Spirit still had a thing or two to prove to their doubters. When the two collided, both came away with a piece of the other.
Spirit’s picks of Tiny, Void Spirit, and Rubick focused on pickoff-based play, with a Morphling and Viper thrown in for tanky DPS. Aster were more about drawn-out teamfights, with Marci and Winter Wyvern supporting a mid Pudge, a carry Terrorblade, and an offlane Razor.
Aster began the game in dominating fashion, methodically taking map control and regularly killing Spirit’s heroes. This lead continued to build for a long time, and 42 minutes in, Aster had knocked down one of Spirit’s Tier 4 towers and were looking set to end the game. Spirit were fighting a 2v4 battle after a buyback on the Morphling, trailing by 21k gold.
However, a miraculous chain of events involving a bad Roshan fight and a dieback on the Pudge saw Spirit come back in emphatic fashion to end the game less than 10 minutes later.
Aster once again went for longer fights with plenty of catch in the form of Spectre, Storm Spirit, Visage, and Dazzle, with a Tiny involved for the occasional blowing up. Conversely, Spirit’s picks made little sense when put together, with a Winter Wyvern and Skywrath Mage support duo, and Troll, Ember, and Razor as cores.
When you have so little lockdown against notoriously difficult-to-kill heroes, you will suffer, and Spirit were kited hard across the battlefield. They couldn’t catch anyone for the life of them and soon fell behind.
Things didn’t get much better as the game progressed, and the game ended up being a 35-minute stomp with Spirit being fountain-dived upon.
Evil Geniuses vs Beastcoast
North and South America have long had competitive tension in Valve games, with the North usually dominating Dota and South being better at Counter-Strike. In this instance, however, the results were even.
Beastcoast had a solid lineup consisting of Venomancer, Juggernaut, Clockwork, Ember, and Windranger, with plenty of catch and damage with the caveat that almost all the disables were situational. EG, on the other hand, went for a more four-protect-one approach with Viper, Beastmaster, Winter Wyvern, and Marci playing around a central Medusa.
The game was dead even for a long time, with fights going back and forth every time. Slowly, though, the gold lead started swinging EG’s way.
With the Medusa looking scary, EG became much more dominant in the teamfights. Beastcoast’s energy seemed to fizzle out, and the NA side took their time to end a game that was theirs to take.
In the second game, the South Americans opted for a Luna carry supported by Kunkka, Tiny, Keeper of Light, and Shadow Shaman. This seemed to be equaled by EG’s heavily teamfight-based lineup of Death Prophet, Puck, Templar Assassin, Enchantress, and Tusk. It was going to be a hard-fought win for either team.
The game was absolutely neck-and-neck. EG led throughout in terms of kills, but Beastcoast was no pushover and kept the gold income even. Every battle saw EG take one or two more kills, but Beastcoast invariably caught up with their faster farming heroes. Nevertheless, the XP difference was substantial, and the TI5 winners were looking like they had the upper hand.
All that changed after a climactic fight near Roshan when — surprise surprise — Artour “Arteezy” Babaev tried to pull off a trick that worked earlier in the game a second time and ended up dying without buyback. An all-in push ensued from Beastcoast, and the Peruvian team closed the game with 6 seconds still left on the EG carry’s respawn timer.
There’s still over a week of cutthroat Dota action to go in the Arlington Major, so keep your eyes peeled for more updates from us.