Dota 2: StarLadder ImbaTV Kiev Minor – Day 1 Recap

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Dota 2: StarLadder ImbaTV Kiev Minor –  Day 1 Recap

The last Minor of this years DPC season kicked off today, hosted in Kiev's Cybersport Arena. For many teams, this event will be their last chance to qualify for TI. So, as expected the competition was fierce.

Our teams have been split into two groups for the seeding phase of the tournament, with our first day focused on the matches between teams in Group A; EHOME Anvorguesa, Alliance and Winstrike Team.

EHOME vs Anvorguesa

Our first series of the day saw China’s dark horses, EHOME, going head to head with South American new-comers, Anvorguesa.

Game one saw Anvorguesa get the jump on EHOME with their last pick Meepo. This helped Anvorguesa were able to throw off EHOME in the opening minutes of the laning phase. But EHOME had found their groove. After successfully taking a fight under Anvorguesa’s shrine at 12-minutes, EHOME had a six-kill lead.

But that Meepo was getting fat. Anvorguesa had started to push back in a big way. Anvorguesa pushed for Roshan at 21-minutes, and Meepo took the aegis and kept barrelling forward. Despite holding out with some well-executed defences, EHOME were just unable to repel Anvorguesa’s assaults into the late game.

Whisper’s aegis steal at 33-minutes was the beginning of the end for EHOME. Six minutes later, with no buybacks available, Anvorguesa made their final assault on the throne. GG was called and game one went to the South American team.

As our second match of the series opened, it looked like game one had just been a warm-up for EHOME.

Faith Bian was unstoppable as Beast Master, he had a double kill by 4 minutes, and Ferrari’s Templar Assassin was dominating the CS in mid lane. This was the EHOME we had been expecting to see.

They seized map control and momentum early and didn’t relinquish it. 10 minutes into game two, EHOME was 10 kills ahead with a comfortable net worth lead. They had the game in the bag, and they knew it. Out-farming and out-maneuvering the South American team every step of the way. They secured victory in game two in 23-minutes.

Game three was just a repeat. As EHOME again closed it out at 23-minutes to take the series 1-2.

Alliance vs Winstrike Team

Next up we saw Alliance face-off against Winstrike for the chance to take on EHOME in the final series of day one.

This was a great series, and at multiple points across all three matches, it looked like it could have been anyone’s game.

Game one went the way of Alliance after a 45-minute back-and-forth that kept both teams on their toes. Boxi was a standout player in this game. He did an excellent job on Mars, provoking and soaking attacks for his team. This helped stretch encounters out longer, which worked in Alliance’s favor.

Game two was just as much of a nail-biter. The win probability was bouncing between both teams during the 49-minute game. Alliance had their fair share of spikes in power and control. But in the end, it was Winstrike who proved to have the superior maneuverability and staying power through game two.

Game three started hard and fast for Alliance. They took first blood and a second kill within the first two minutes.

Game three of this series went on for 1 hour and 7 minutes. Winstrike was just as thirsty for a taste of victory, racking up a massive 55 kills throughout the course of the game. Alliance proved to be the dominant team, however. Taking out game three in another 2:1 series for our first day of competition.

Winstrike will go on to face Anvorgesa in tomorrow’s elimination match.

EHOME vs Alliance

Our final matchup of the day saw winning teams EHOME and Alliance take the stage.

Qojqva had some trouble on his Lone Druid pick in the early laning phase, but overall the game started out fairly even for both teams.

Once the game approached 20-minutes Alliance were pulling into the lead. A team fight mid saw them take down 4 on the side of EHOME. They used this opportunity to push hard for objectives, starting with the mid T2 tower. From here on out, the net worth and the kills kept swinging their way.

At 36-minutes, EHOME called GG and Alliance took game one.

EHOME wasn’t ready to give up. Game two saw them come back determined. Even with an Alchemist pick on Qojqva, EHOME managed to take the lead of the net worth. By the time the game reached 15-minutes END’s Terrorblade was coming online. He had a diffusal and a solar crest by 20 minutes and was eating Alliance heroes like they were candy.

EHOME secured the win at 32-minutes with an 18-kill lead.

Alliance set the pace for game three. Dominating the laning phase and securing themselves a very early lead over EHOME. The Chinese team couldn't stop Micke’s Juggernaut. He went 14/0/11 over the 41-minute game. A standout performance for Alliance’s hard carry. Although they put up a good fight EHOME couldn't secure themselves that final win. The series went to Alliance, 2-1.

EHOME’s performance hasn’t always been up to snuff this season. We’ve seen some stubborn drafts coming out from the Chinese team at other events that just haven’t been working for them. Today's drafts showed a lot more flexibility. It’s obvious that EHOME has been learning, and improving as a team.

Day two of the Minor will focus on our Group B teams; Mineski, CompLexity Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Sirius. You can follow along with all the action live over on the official StarLadder Twitch.

Keen for more Dota 2 news and highlights? Follow us on Twitter for all the latest from the Kiev Minor, and more!

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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.