Day 1 at Riyadh is a wrap! We bring you a recap of all the hottest Dota 2 action.
The end of Tour 3 of this year’s DPC will disappoint some players because they have to wait for a couple of weeks until the PGL Arlington Major arrives. However, thanks to the epic event called the Riyadh Masters 2022, we can keep an eye on the best teams in the world.
Speaking of this event, it will take place between July 20 and July 24 in Saudi Arabia’s capital. Aside from the fact that it includes ten of the best teams in the world, the tournament has a jaw-dropping prize pool of $4 million USD. This makes it one of the events with the largest prize pool in the world, even larger than some of TI’s so far.
Naturally, every team participating in this competition wants to show its prowess and win the big prize. While we are on the topic of teams, players can watch the likes of OG, Team Spirit, Royal Never Give Up, Nigma Galaxy, and more.
The ten teams are split into two groups of five, and they have to go up against each other. We weren’t surprised that the first day of the event gave us access to loads of impressive series, so let’s go through some of them.
TSM's surprise victory over Team Liquid
If you take a look at the list of teams at the Riyadh Major, you will see TSM. This is the only team from North America that received a direct invitation, which is probably not a surprise, considering it reached the final of ESL One Stockholm 2022. Sadly, TSM’s dreadful performance during Tour 3 didn’t allow them to secure a slot for the second Major, which is why we were surprised to see them here.
What was even more surprising is that Jonáš “SabeRLight-” Volek and the rest defeated Team Liquid. The latter had some problems lately, but most people expected Samuel “Boxi” Svahn and the rest to win. After all, TL has the chance to play alongside none other than Anathan “ana” Pham, the legendary core player that won TI two times.
Both games were loads of fun and lasted for around one hour. As a result, we had the chance to watch a lot of back-and-forth team fights and close results.
Everyone who watched the first game was hyped because Team Liquid got ana his favorite Spectre. Sadly, TL’s job was not easy because they had to go up against TSM’s legendary Terrrorblade.
Despite the slow start and the fact that Liquid had the advantage in terms of kills, TSM had a jaw-dropping net worth of more than 18k just 31 minutes after the start. Terrorblade managed to win several fights and farm like crazy, which allowed him to have almost twice the net worth of his opponents.
As expected, the hero became unkillable once he got six slots. Even the ana’s might Spectre was unable to deal with one of the strongest late-game carries in Dota 2.
Just when we thought this series couldn’t get any better, Game 2 was even more fun to watch. With that being said, TSM’s Templar Assassin, Puck and Bounty Hunter pick allowed them to gain a big lead early on.
Similar to the situation in game one, Team Liquid was behind and had to bounce back. Ana and the rest had a glimmer of hope after securing a few important kills with pudge, but they did not have the power to man fight their enemies.
Slowly but streadily, TSM’s cores became stronger and stronger, which allowed the North American team to win this epic match.
Royal Never Give Up vs Nigma Galaxy
After watching ana in action, it was time for one of the most anticipated series of the day. The Chinese powerhouse Royal Never Give Up had to fight against the winners of Western Europe’s Division II. Nigma Galaxy was one of the most interesting invites to the event, but it seems like Syed “SumaiL” Hassan, and the rest will live up to most people’s expectations.
Although RNGU had access to some of their best heroes in the first game of the series, Nigma Galaxy was clearly the better team. The Chinese did not have a bad start, but once Sumail’s Tiny came online, the hero became too strong.
RNGU tried to delay the game so that their Spectre could get some farm, but they did not succeed. Nigma’s Tiny and Troll Warlord accumulated a massive lead that their enemies had no way of dealing with. As a result, Lu “Somnus” Yao and the rest had no other option but to use the GG call.
Following the beatdown in the match's first game, Royal Never Give Up rose from the ashes in game two. Interestingly, Nigma decided to use Miracle’s Shadow Fiend, whereas RNGU focused on the hot Bloodseeker and Zeus combo.
Nigma was in the driving seat for the first 20 minutes, but the Chinese were close behind and did not allow their opponents to gain a massive lead. Speaking of leads, Somnus and the rest won the Aegis around 24 minutes after the start, which allowed the team to build their lead slowly.
Things became even more difficult for the European powerhouse a couple of minutes later. The Chinese team was too aggressive and Nigma’s cores had no way of dealing with the deadly combo. In the end, the Chinese gained a 33k+ net worth lead, which was enough to win the game.
Day 1 of the Riyadh Masters 2022 allowed us to watch a couple of other interesting series. Royal Never Give Up had another epic match, but this time, the Chinese had to face none other than OG.
Many people expected Somnus and the rest to have no problems against OG’s young squad, and this was the case in the first game of the series. However, the winners of ESL One Stockholm 2022 got some of their best heroes in game 2. Even though the battle was epic, in the end, even Anti-Mage was not powerful enough to stop them from winning.
Aside from the matches in Group A, we also had access to two series from Group B. Unsurprisingly, Team Spirit ripped through Deboosters, but people did not expect Team Secret to defeat Tundra Esports. The latter won Tour 3 in Western Europe, which is why many people expected the team to dominate. However, this was not the case.