During the weekend we saw around twenty high-quality Dota 2 games in the Group stage of the Major. In the end, most of the favorites managed to finish in the upper part of the Group, which was expected. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what happened today.
Team Liquid vs Team Secret
Some people consider this encounter as the equivalent to the “El Classico” in Dota 2. The two best European teams had to fight each other in order to determine which one will advance further in the event.
Like I mentioned before, Team Liquid is playing without their superstar player - Miracle. This sure has an effect on their gameplay, despite having Shadow as a stand-in.
Game one was a straightforward beat down for Team Secret. Liquid went with a classic Magnus + PA pick, which is one of the strongest meta combos, considering how broken Phantom Assassin is.
However, Secret had Troll and Morphling as cores, which is a little bit too greedy most of the times but not in this game. They had an easy laning stage and free farm for the most part, which resulted in a 34 minute victory for Puppey and his teammates.
Having their backs against the wall, Team Liquid had to do something and they did, but it was unsuccessful. The second game in the series was nearly a replay of the first one with just a few changes, mainly in the core heroes. Around the 30th minute mark there was a Rosh fight, which was going really well for Liquid but after a gruesome Chronosphere from Nisha, the balance of power quickly shifted towards Team Secret. Having the momentum and around 20k net worth advantage, the inevitable happened - Liquid called it in, sending Secret further in the Upper Bracket.
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) January 21, 2019
FNATIC vs EHOME
The strongest SEA representative in the event had to prove themselves against the Bucharest Minor winner in the first round of the Main event.
The first game of the series was a joy to watch. There was ton of action even in the early stages of the game, which is something that does not happen that often, considering the fact that there is a Chinese team playing. At around the 20th minute mark, EHOME had a comfortable lead of around 7k net worth, which was quickly reduced from Fnatics’ Sven, who was able to do tons of damage after getting that BKB.
Despite that, after several unsuccessful attempts, the Shadow Fiend on the side of EHOME was just too strong to deal with. 40 minutes into the game GG was called and the Chinese got game one.
In the second game there was a classic matchup between Medusa and Antimage, two of the “hardest” carries in the game. Fnatic had a wonderful start of the game, winning pretty much every lane possible, resulting in an 8k net worth advantage just 12 minutes into the game. Having literally no answer to the rotations of Fnatic, EHOME were just forced to stay in their base. Losing yet another team fight was the moment where they decided to call it in, taking the series into the third game.
In the deciding game, both of the teams went with their comfortable heroes. EHOME rolled out the good old Visage + Drow combo, which turned out to be a successful choice as the Chinese slowly but steadily got the needed advantage to close out the game. Of course, Fnatic did not go down without a fight. Their Medusa had enough farm to be able to compete with the enemy but sadly it was not enough. After killing the “raid boss” in a dieback, EHOME were able to claim the victory.
Virtus.Pro vs Evil Geniuses
— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) January 21, 2019
Arguably the most interesting game of the day, the two powerhouses went in a full zerg mode against each other. In game one EG seemed to have a good idea what they need to do in order to beat their enemies. Sumail played yet again a Nature’s Prophet after a very successful attempt yesterday.
EG was doing well for the most part, however, as soon as Virtus.Pro gathered some core items, the game was completely different. After several crucial fights, the CIS team was able to take game one.
Realizing their mistakes, EG went into game two with a different mindset. Sumail played yet another hero which usually is not in his hero pool - Naga Siren. On the other hand, VP was taking no chances here and got the signature Terrorbalde for Ramzess. The young prodigy proved yet again why people consider him to be the best carry in his region by demolishing the boys in blue, sending them to the Lower bracket where they have to fight for their survival against the winner from NoPango vs Thunder Predator.
PSG.LGD vs Vici Gaming
The last game of the day was a classic Chinese battle between the two best teams from the region right now.
As expected, PSG.LGD dominated in both games. In game one LGD completely wiped the floor with their enemies. Having that Timbersaw and Juggernaut made all the difference as the TI runner-ups gave Vici only three kills for the entire game, making a clear sign that they have no intention in losing.
Game two was a little bit different. Vici gaming had a stable start and was able to win the early game. Vici also won two major team fights, which gave them a decent advantage. Sadly, they were unable to use it wisely as they overextended a little bit too much. Seeing the opportunity, a team like LGD managed to change the course of the game and having no hope, Vici called it in.
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) January 21, 2019
Tomorrow we will be able to witness the deadly and unpredictable Best-of-one series in the first Lower bracket games. After that, there will be two Upper bracket games - PSG.LGD vs Virtus.Pro (can’t wait for that) and EHOME vs Team Secret. Make sure to catch at least some of the matches live!
Image via: Starladder