The playoffs are well and truly under way at MDL Macau. The main stage saw plenty of exciting action in both the upper and lower brackets; including a tense three game battle between Evil Geniuses and Vici Gaming, and a surprise return for EHOME.
Let’s look back at some of the day’s highlights.
RNG drop to the lower bracket
Our first series of the day was a Bo3 between Royal Never Give Up and Team Liquid.
RNG beat Liquid in their Bo1 round robin back on day 1 of the group stages. They spent day 2 of the event battling it out against fellow Chinese teams to make it into this first round of the upper bracket. Today saw them face Liquid once more.
RNG had been looking like a strong contender throughout the competition so far. But their series today we saw some of that consistency fall to the well-oiled machine that is Liquid’s line up.
From the laning phase of game one, Liquid dominated this series. RNG tried to hold their own and keep things even, but Monet’s Terrorblade just couldn’t compete against the power of Liquid’s weighty three-core draft. They took the win over RNG just before 34 minutes.
Game two was fast and brutal. Liquid mopped up the win in just 26-minutes, securing their place in the next round of the upper bracket with a 2-0 victory.
This series was a great performance for Liquid, who have had some hiccups throughout the tournament season this year. They seemed to have both games against RNG in the bag from the start. The final overall kills for this series saw Miracle in the lead with a total of 22 across both games. While Kuroky led the assists, helping secure 26 kills for the team throughout their series.
EG’s bloodbath victory
Our second series in the upper bracket today provided us with some of the most exciting Dota 2 we’ve seen on the main stage at Macau. EG and Vici treated us to a three-game series that seemed like it could go either way. Our first game went to EG after 42 minutes of back-and-forth ganks which saw a total of 95 kills across the map, 25 to Vici and a massive 40 kills for EG.
Game two was no different in terms of its nail-biting pace, but favour eventually swung towards Vici who ended this match with 19.4k net worth.
But the third game turned into a bloodbath for EG.
EG’s chances for this game were looking good straight from the draft, and both Viper and Ursa proved to be excellent picks against Vici Gaming’s line-up. The current patch has been great for Ursa, and Arteezy showed us why in this game. But the real star was CC&C on Viper, who’s pressure kept Paparazi and Dy really getting into the game.
This was a 22-minute massacre. EG ended the game with a lead of 22 kills, sending Vici Gaming down to the lower bracket.
ASD returns to EHOME’s roster
EHOME were our first elimination of Macau. They lost their lower bracket series to Newbee.
Despite the loss, there was still a pleasant surprise for EHOME fans today. ASD arrived in Macau in time to play in this match. Unfortunately, ASD’s Outworld Devourer pick suffered for farm in the laning phase and he lost some important XP and CS over a few of the early waves which set him back. His return wasn’t enough to stop Newbee’s relentless push towards victory.
Sccc’s Nature’s Prophet was a huge part of securing the win for Newbee. Excellent rotations in the laning phase set him up to lead the net worth by the end of the game. But Moogy also grew to be beastly on Morphling. Even arwen’s Ursa in the offlane managed to come online quite quickly thanks to plenty of pick offs that continued to set Newbee slightly ahead as the game moved into the late phase.
EHOME fought hard into the late game, mounting good defence and keeping close in kills, forcing this Bo1 past the 45-minute mark. In the end it still wasn’t enough to hold off Newbee, who had plenty of offensive potential from their draft that let them not only initiate fights but turn them around.
Newbee had a shaky start to this tournament, but their recent matches have proven they still have what it takes to play at the top. After this win against EHOME today they advance to play Royal Never Give Up in round 2 of the lower bracket tomorrow.
Virtus.pro making a comeback?
The last Bo1 in today’s lower bracket saw Virtus.pro meet Invictus Gaming and we caught a glimpse of the VP we’re used to seeing.
The early phases of this game looked good for Invictus Gaming, they had some pushes that brought the pressure, forcing some buybacks before the game hit twenty minutes.
But the tables begun to turn as the game passed this point as Ramzes came online with his Luna pick. Swiftly and surely, he climbed in net worth to become the killing machine VP needed to turn the game around. Ramzes ended the game with a massive 33k net worth and 14 kills.
IG did not give up easily, fighting back and ending with a three-kill lead against the game stretched towards the sixty-minute mark.
Virtus.pro are undoubtedly one of the strongest teams in the world, and it was good to see them playing at their peak again in today’s match. Tomorrow we’ll get to see them face Vici Gaming in round 2 of the lower bracket.
We’ve still got two more days of MDL Macau to look forward to with our lower bracket Bo3’s starting tomorrow and Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses facing off in the upper bracket final. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for all the latest Dota 2 news, and check out our YouTube for daily esports updates and video highlights.
Videos via Beyond The Summit