Eliana Bollati

Eliana Bollati

Eliana is a freelance journalist from Australia with a passion for esports, especially Dota 2. A casual player of the game for the better part of a decade, Eliana started following the professional circuit avidly during TI5. She brings a casual player and hardcore fan perspective into her commentary on the professional scene.

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Dota 2: EPICENTER Major - Day 3 Recap

Top Picks and Bans for EPICENTER Moscow Major Dota 2
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The third day of the EPICENTER Major was a day of action-packed games. We saw some games in our upper bracket series take unexpected turns, and our lower bracket series gave us some brutal stomps.

Here’s how things played out today on the main stage.


Upper Bracket

Team Secret vs Virtus.Pro (UB Round 1)

Secret and VP are the two top teams in the DPC this season. The two teams are evenly matched, so unsurprisingly we saw some close games in this series.

Game one was neck and neck, with both teams snatching the net worth lead from each other in the early game. But a strong team fight by VP as the game passed 45-minutes put them in the lead. Secret were unable to retake their lead and VP took out game one at 59-minutes.

 

Game two looked like it was going to be a repeat of our game one. But Secret weren’t ready to give up on their upper bracket spot yet.  Again, it was a team fight just past the 40-minute mark which was the turning point. This time it helped swing things in Secret’s favour. They pushed their advantage and closed game two in 52-minutes, taking the series to three games.

But unlike the first two games, game three was a stomp from start to finish. VP took control of the game straight from the laning phase and steamrolled Secret in 30-minutes. Yapzor secured Secret’s one and only kill on his Winter Wyvern. VP on the other hand ended the game with 20 kills on the board.

This was a great series for Ramzes. He took out 38 kills across the three games, and went 10/0/8 on his Sven in game three.

Virtus.Pro now progress to round two of the upper bracket, while Team Secret drop down to the lower bracket.


Team Liquid vs PSG.LGD (UB Round 1)

Liquid and LGD were our second upper bracket series of the day.

Game one saw a very close game in the early phases. LGD were managing to keep fairly even with Liquid in the kills and net worth. But as the game approached 40-minutes, the advantage swung toward Liquid. After 46-minutes, they closed out the game, taking the first win of the series.

Liquid looked like they were on their way to an easy 2-0 win at the beginning of game two. They had a massive lead over LGD and were pushing their mid and top rax at 22-minutes. But LGD held and managed to turn the tables on Liquid’s assault and the game.

Over the next 10 minutes, Liquid’s lead in the net worth dropped from 16k to 1k as LGD slowed down the pace to even things out. As the game pushed past the 30-minute mark, it felt like it could go either way.

LGD were pushing for the Rosh just after 40-minutes, but GH’s play pulling them out of the pit allowed Miracle to steal the aegis and the kill. The ensuing team fight gave Liquid the pickoffs they needed. They pushed their advantage, going straight up mid and for the T4’s. LGD tried their best to defend, but in the end w33’s Meepo just put out too much damage.

Liquid took the series 2-0. heading on to round two of the upper bracket to face Virtus.Pro. LGD will have to climb their way back up from the lower bracket.


Team Liquid vs Virtus Pro (UB Round 2)

The winners of our first two series, Liquid and Virtus.Pro, met again for today’s final match in round two of the upper bracket.

Game one was a snowball for Liquid. They played extremely fast and Virtus.Pro called GG after just 23-minutes. The second fastest match at the EPICENTER major so far. Between the Io-Gyrocopter on GH and Miracle, and w33’s Windranger, this game was the Liquid show.

 

Virtus.Pro came back hard in game two. They played a very aggressive early game. They’d taken 11 kills by 11 minutes. Despite having excellent farm on Miracle’s Anti-Mage pick, and two aegis steals by MinD_ControL. It wasn’t enough to carry Liquid’s game. VP dictated the pace and continued to rack up the kills. By the time the game passed the 30-minute mark, VP were fully in control. They continued to assault Liquid’s high ground, securing the win at 41-minutes. The series was going to three games. Solo’s performance on his Silencer pick was fantastic in this game. He secured 10 kills, as well as 25 assists, and was 10/5/25 at the game’s end.

Game three though was a repeat of the first game of this series. They took out first blood, and Miracle had almost perfect CS through the laning phase. He was hitting 22/22 by three minutes. Although Virtus.Pro managed to secure themselves kills in the early game it wasn’t enough.  Again, we saw Liquid dominate control of the map with great deep vision. The map control this gave them helped them take objectives early. After just 22-minutes, VP tapped out.

Liquid progress on to round 3 of the upper bracket, while Virtus.Pro will go on to face PSG.LGD in the lower bracket.


Lower Bracket

Fnatic vs Forward Gaming (LB Round 1)

The first of our Bo1’s in the lower bracket was Fnatic vs Forward Gaming. This game was an absolute slaughter for Forward. They came in strong during the laning phase with plenty of aggressive plays. Finding pickoffs and effectively shutting down any hope that Fnatic had in this game.

The kill count was 1-14 at 15-minutes in, and it did not start to look any better for the boys from SEA.

Forward constantly dominated Fnatic’s side of the map. Farming out their jungle and locking Abed’s Medusa out of any chance to get the farm he needed to carry his team.

 

At 26-minutes Forward were pushing Fnatic’s high ground. The kills were 1-26, by this stage Forward were averaging a kill a minute and they were on fire.

It was over for Fnatic at 30 minutes. CC&C’s Ember Spirit secured 30% of his team’s kills. 11 of their total 36. Forward ended this game with a 41k net worth advantage. An all-round standout performance by Forward Gaming. They’ll go on to face PSG.LGD in round two of the lower bracket. But Fnatic are going home.


Ninjas in Pyjamas vs PaiN Gaming (LB Round 1)

NiP and PaiN were originally scheduled to play their lower bracket series tomorrow. They agreed to swap with Evil Geniuses and OG due to N0Tail’s current health issues.

Things started out slow in this game, with very few kills secured by either team during the laning phase. PaiN had a slight lead in this early game, thanks to 4DR’s Queen of Pain holding the top spot in the net worth. But a great duke by PPD in and around the Rosh pit let NiP take a pick off on QoP. Sending her back down to fifth place and diminishing the early lead PaiN were establishing.

 

Ninjas in Pyjamas played a steady no risk game in this Bo1. It was a strategy that ended up paying off for them. They took small objectives and focused on denying vision to PaiN to allow Ace’s Naga Siren to get nice and fat. They knew their win condition and set everything up to ensure it.

Although pain did an admirable job. They held out against NiP’s slow and steady offensive for 48-minutes. But, in the end they just didn’t have an answer to the damage output from the side of NiP.

Ninjas in Pyjamas take their lower bracket series to go on to round two. Unfortunately, it’s the end of the road at this Major for Pain Gaming.

Keep up with all the action at the Major over at the official EPICENTER Twitch.

You can follow us on Twitter for daily updates from the EPICENTER Major. Don’t forget to check our YouTube for daily esports news and highlights.


Image via EPICENTER

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