Dota 2: MDL Chengdu – Day 1 Highlights

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Dota 2: MDL Chengdu – Day 1 Highlights

All the action from Day 1 of the group stages at MDL Chengdu.

Day one of our first Major of the DPC season is a wrap. There was plenty of excitement from Chengdu as our teams faced off at the start of our group stages. Let’s check out some of the highlights.

TNC.Predator vs Team Unknown

Game One

Game one was a brutal stomp by TNC. The boys from SEA hit the South American squad hard and fast. It was the Gabbi show, as he mopped up the kills in the early game on his Phantom Assassin pick. Although the kill-count was relatively low overall this game. In large part because it was over in 22-minutes.

16–4 was the final score, and Gabbi took home 10 of his team’s kills. His KDA was 10/0/1 as TNC took the win for game one.

Game Two

If game one looked bad for Team Unknown, then game two looked worse. The score was 3–2 just before the game hit eight minutes in. And TNC’s kill-count only grew over the next nine. They were 18-kills ahead at 17-minutes, closing out the break-neck series with a 2–0 victory.

Armel’s Ember Spirit and Gabbi’s Night Stalker were an unstoppable combo for TNC. But March also provided a lot of support on his Ogre Magi pick, securing 12 assists for his team.
TNC would go on to face EHOME in the winner’s match for this bracket. Securing another victory there and cementing themselves an upper bracket place in the playoffs.

Alliance vs Vici Gaming

Game One

Alliance put on a dominant showing in our first game of the series. Although Vici had the control through the laning phase, Alliance didn’t seem shaken.

As the game approached 15-minutes, they snatched the gold lead. Vici put up a strong defense, stretching things out to 42-minutes. But they always seemed to be on the back foot. The final score was 39–18 as Alliance closed the game out and took the first victory.

This was an outstanding game for Limmp on Lina. The hero is something of a comfort pick for the position two. He went 14/3/14 in this game, the highest kills over-all. Handsken’s Mirana also did work for Alliance this game. He scored a massive 30 assists, and only fell a single time with a KDA of 4/1/30 by game’s end.

Game Two

As game two opened, it looked like the first match had just been a warm-up for Vici Gaming. They brought their game face right from the opening moments taking the first two kills of the game by the five-minute mark. Eurus (formerly Papparazi,) was leading the net worth by this point with a CS of 37/5. This was the Vici Gaming we were used to seeing.

Alliance tried their best to keep control of the early game, rotating heroes in to set up and initiate team fights. But they just never managed to grab hold of the lead like they had in game one.

Vici took them down in 26-minutes, equalizing the series with a final score of 10–23.

Game Three

With one victory under their belt, Vici were hungry for another. And they weren’t planning on letting Alliance dampen their appetite. Pyw drew first blood for Vici at two minutes in with a pick off on Fata. Alliance on the other hand didn’t manage to net themselves a kill until the seven-minute mark. It was one of only five they managed over the 19-minute stomp that Vici delivered.

Thanks to their 1–2 victory in this series, Vici will join TNC.Predator in the upper bracket of the playoffs.


J.Storm vs Gambit Esports

Game One

This game went the way most people expected the series to go. A quick 14-minute pocket push slaughter by the CIS team that left J.Storm scrambling to secure the meagre 4-kills they had by the time GG was called.

An absolute stomp for gpk’s Shadow Fiend, who ended with a KDA of 8/0/8.

Game Two

Instead of being rattled, J.Storm came into game two with what seemed like a new-found determination. They took the lead in the laning phase. Gambit did manage to wrest it back during the mid-phase. They pushed into J.Storm’s top high ground at around 22-minutes. But the NA team defended, turning the assault into an advantage in the kills; 14–11.

Now things were starting to look shaky for Gambit. J.Storm took the gold lead back, and both nine and Moo were bringing the aggression. Building on that kill-lead to carry them to victory. Gambit called GG at 35-minutes. Our series was equalized 1–1, and J.Storm were looking like a completely different team.

Game Three

Gambit took out first blood in game three, with a pick off on Brax on Radiant’s side of the river. But that confidence from game two’s win buoyed J.Storm into another early lead. They had the net worth advantage by the end of the lanes. This game was looking a lot like a reversal of our first game of the series.

The CIS team just struggled to take kills, while Moo’s Night Stalker and nine’s Timbersaw cleaned up. Moo went 7/0/8 this game and nine’s KDA was 10/2/12 by the end of the match. The final score was 28–6, as J.Storm took their second win of the series.

Gambit now face Beastcoast tomorrow in the Group D elimination match.

Evil Geniuses vs Team Liquid

Game One

Liquid took out first blood in game one, but things looked evenly matched through the laning phase. EG had a slight lead in the net worth, but with an Alc draft, this was to be expected. But things really started to snowball in the NA team’s favour once they pushed past the 20-minute mark. They were 8-kills up and 10k ahead in the net worth at 22-minutes. With their advantage secure, EG turned their focus towards objectives. They took an easy ranged rax top at 27-minutes and avoided a retaliation smoke from Liquid. Less than ten minutes later, they were running straight back at top lane and taking out the win.
The first game went the way of EG. However, things didn’t fare so well for new off laner Ramzes on his Kunkka.  He went down six times over the course of this game, ending with a KDA of 9/6/10.

Game Two

Liquid again secured the first blood, with Boxi taking a kill on Ramzes in the bottom lane in the first minute. While EG didn’t score themselves a kill until Arteezy took down iNSaNiA at six minutes.

We saw a much more dominant showing from Team Liquid in this second game. EG did manage to even out the kills a few times. But they didn’t have an answer to Taiga’s Enigma. He provided plenty of lock down for his team, assisting with 11 of Liquid’s 34-kills and securing 8 himself.

At 50-minutes EG’s mid T3 tower fell and Liquid managed to bring down three on the side of EG. Two minutes later it was EG who were calling GG.

Still, Arteezy’s Arc Warden pick was a force to be reckoned with. He managed the most kills this game, 17 in total. It just wasn’t enough to carry EG to the victory they needed to end this series 2–0. Liquid snatched game two to take our final series of the day to the full three games.

Game Three

With the gold lead switching almost every other team fight, this was a very tight game. Neither team were willing to give an inch in the early phase. But at 19-minutes in sneaky Roshan steal from Team Liquid ended up going poorly. EG burned the aegis on Taiga immediately and took down three heroes on the side of Liquid.

Still, they weren’t out of the game yet. In fact, they were still very much in this game. A beautiful Dream Coil from Boxi’s Puck caught EG out as they attempted a high ground push in the top lane. It was exactly what Liquid needed to swing the lead their way again.

As the game pushed past the 40-minute mark Liquid brought their full assault to bear against EG’s high ground. Once again securing mega creeps. There were no tricks left in EG’s basket.

Liquid score themselves a ticket to the upper bracket. Evil Geniuses on the other hand will now have to prepare for a slog through the lower bracket.

All in all, a thrilling end to a fantastic day of Dota 2 at MDL Chengdu. You can keep up with all the action live on Twitch.

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Image via Mars Media.


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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.