Dota 2: EPICENTER Major – Day 1 Recap

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Dota 2: EPICENTER Major – Day 1 Recap

EPICENTER, our final Major of this DPC season kicked off yesterday. Eight of our teams faced off in a series of Bo3’s to determine the seeding for Groups A & B.

Let’s take a look at how the day played out.


Opening Matches

Group A: Team Secret vs. PaiN Gaming

PaiN Gaming delivered a solid performance in their first game against Team Secret. They topped the kill-score, 31-27.  However, a kill lead wasn’t enough to keep Secret from taking the win in 51-minutes. PaiN was relying on Mandy’s Naga Siren pick to take them into the late game, but it was no match for Nisha’s Morphling. Secret took out game one.

https://youtu.be/fOo7PuO2TDY

Secret was out to end game two quickly, and that’s exactly what they did. Finishing off PaiN in just 26-minutes. Sending them off to face the Fnatic in the lower bracket of Group A. Secret were in control of this game from its opening moments.

Secret was going on to face the other Group A winners; Royal Never Give Up.

Group A: Fnatic vs. Royal Never Give Up

It looked like Fnatic were taking the early lead in this series. They took game one, 27-7 in 31-minutes.

But RNG gave the SEA team a run for their money over the next two games of the series. They came into game two strong. Establishing an early lead in the net worth and closing the win in 38-minutes.

Fnatic did not want to give up their chance at the upper bracket without a fight. The net worth and kill advantage see-sawed between the two teams over the course of the 39-minute game.  Fnatic were just unable to shut down Royal Never Give Up, whose persistence paid off.

Despite MentalProtector taking out the most kills across all three games, this series belonged to RNG.

Group B: Team Liquid vs. Gambit Esports

Over in group B, we saw Gambit and Liquid face-off in a three-game series. This series was our first time seeing Liquid play with their new roster, and w33 certainly proved he could shake their roster up. They shut Gambit down in game one. Taking victory at 31-minutes.

Game two went in Gambit’s favour. Afoninje’s Leshrac pick proved to be exactly what they needed to shut down Liquid’s draft. He secured 13 kills, almost half of Gambit’s total 30. They took game two at 39-minutes, forcing the series to three games.

There was a lot of damage coming through for Gambit in the early stages of game three. But things quickly shifted to Liquid’s advantage. They had an 11k lead in the net worth as the game approached the 30-minute mark. By 38-minutes, Liquid secured themselves the series, and a spot facing Evil Geniuses in Group B’s upper bracket.

Group B: Evil Geniuses vs. Infamous

Evil Geniuses stormed into their series against Infamous. Arteezy was on fire in game one, 13/1/9 on his Lifestealer. Infamous was relying on a lot more damage output from their Faceless Void pick on Oliver and Black^’s Shadow Fiend. Unfortunately, EG was not willing to wait and see what would happen once they came online. They shut down Infamous in 32-minutes.

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https://youtu.be/hGSKOCMtCO0

Game two was an even quicker stomp. EG dominated the laning phase. They hit the lead in net worth within the games first five minutes, and the advantage never swung back the way of Infamous. The combination of Arteezy’s Sven and SumaiL’s Morphling was too much for Infamous to handle. After just 24-minutes, EG took game two, and the series 2-0.

They were going on to face Liquid in the upper bracket, while Infamous and Gambit Sports would duke it out to see who would be going on to the group B decider’s match.


Upper Bracket

Group A: Team Secret vs. Royal Never Give Up

Both Secret and RNG hit the ground running in game one of this series. There were plenty of aggressive plays coming out from both sides, with 10 kills on the board in the first 5 minutes. But game one was a typical Secret Stomp, over in just 27-minutes.

https://youtu.be/O79izkm2y8s

RNG did an admirable job of holding out through game two. They pushed Secret to the limit in a gruelling 67-minute game. The final score was 59-42. But the win and the series went to Secret. They secured themselves a spot in the upper bracket of the playoffs. Taking both of their series for the day 2-0

Group B: Evil Geniuses vs. Team Liquid

Evil Geniuses came into their upper bracket series against Liquid off the back of their win over Infamous. They hit game one full of confidence, and it showed. By 10-minutes in, they’d taken the net worth advantage over Liquid and were dictating the pace. The final score was 32-16, with EG netting themselves a win in 38-minutes.

But Liquid wasn’t about to slug it out in the lower bracket. They turned the tables on EG in game two. The Io-Gyrocopter combo between GH and Miracle gave them plenty of staying power during the team fights, and w33 again proved his playstyle could be a valuable addition to Liquid. He went 10/0/3 on his Windranger pick this game. It was over in 29-minutes, 13-32.

But game three was the brutal one. Liquid wiped the floor with EG in this 32-minute game. The final kill count was 41-8. A 33-kill lead, and an absolute slaughter for the boys in blue.

We again saw w33 pick Windranger and saw through the game with zero deaths. He went 13/0/15. Arteezy’s Wraith King had a KDA of 1/9/6.

Taking their second series of the day 2-1, Liquid secured themselves an early spot in the playoffs. While EG was going on to the group B decider’s match.


 Lower Bracket

Group A: Fnatic vs. PaiN Gaming

PaiN took the early lead in this series. They secured game one in 39 minutes, 39-22 kills. The boys from Brazil had a great game one. Both Mandy and 4dr scored 11 kills apiece.

But Fnatic wasn’t ready to give it up yet. The SEA team threw everything they had into game two. Snatching the net worth lead back from PaiN more than once. Fnatic provided MentalProtector plenty of support on his Morphling.  The result was a 47-minute victory for Fnatic that would push the series out to three games.

Game three was in the bag for Fnatic from the start. MP, Abed, and DJ all had zero deaths. PaiN’s inability to bring down Fnatic’s backline meant that they could roll all over the Brazilian team. This was over quick. A 25-minute stomp that sent PaiN straight to the lower bracket of the playoffs.
Fnatic was set for a rematch against RNG in the Group A decider’s match.

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Group B: Infamous vs. Gambit Esports

It was a rough first day for Infamous here at EPICENTER. After their 2-0 loss to EG in their opening series, they went on to face CIS team Gambit Esports on their home ground.

Game one looked like it could be close during the laning phase. But Gambit soon took the lead in the net worth, and by 15-minutes in, it was clear they weren’t going to give it up. Daxak’s Ursa was a force to be reckoned with. Afoninje’s Shadow Fiend also had an excellent game. Between them, they secured 17 of their teams 25 kills. After 41-minutes, Infamous called GG and game one went to Gambit.

Game two of this series might take the record for the fastest game at this event. It was over in just 23-minutes. Again, things looked even during the early game. But it just wasn’t destined to be a win for Infamous.

Once Gambit’s cores came online, this turned into a one-sided stomp and Gambit took this series against infamous 2-0. They would be facing EG in the decider match, while Infamous was going to the lower bracket of the playoffs.


Decider Matches

Group A: Fnatic vs. Royal Never Give Up

Fnatic and RNG met for a rematch in our final series of the day.

RNG locked things down in the during the laning phase of game one. The Chinese team was like an unstoppable train. Taking team fights and pickoffs as they brought plenty of aggression to the game right from the beginning. Fnatic managed to hold them off for 42-minutes.

Monet went 17/0/7 in game one. A fantastic performance for the carry.

RNG took game two even harder. Fnatic was 20k down at 24-minutes, and RNG was relentless. Their draft dominated Fnatic’s. It might have looked good on paper but ended up clumsy in its execution. Game two was over in just under 30-minutes.

Royal Never Give Up has come into tournament’s strong this season before. It will be interesting to watch their performance in the upper bracket of this Major.

Group B: Evil Geniuses vs. Gambit Esports

After their loss against Liquid, Evil Geniuses needed this win to make it to the upper bracket of the playoffs. But Gambit was just as eager to lock down a victory. Game one ended up being a very one-sided affair. Gambit shut down EG in 29-minutes with a 22-kill lead.

https://youtu.be/GcdqR0R2HZE?t=85

Game two was another demoralizing stomp for EG, despite the laning phase going their way. S4’s Mars pick gave them some kill potential in the early game, but they never capitalized on it. Gambit simply rolled across the map like a well-oiled machine. Shutting EG down at every turn.  It was 42-17 kills at 41-minutes as Gambit pushed the top high ground. EG called GG. Gambit took the series 2-0, sending EG into the lower bracket.

Gambit manage to avoid the Bo1 scramble in the lower bracket of the playoffs. They’ll join Secret, Liquid, and RNG in the upper bracket.


Next up at EPICENTER will be the opening matches for groups C and D. You can catch all the action live on the official EPICENTER Twitch Streams.

Follow us on Twitter for day by day coverage of the EPICENTER Major and all the latest Dota 2 updates. Get more esports news and highlights daily on our YouTube.


Image Via EPICENTER

Avatar of Eliana Bollati
Eliana Bollati
Eliana is a freelance editor & journalist from Australia with a passion for esports and video games. An avid player of video games for the better part of three decades, she began following professional esports circuits during the 2010s. She brings both a player and longtime fan perspective into her commentary on the professional scenes.