Today, three more teams have left the tournament, which means that there are only three remaining to fight for the first Major of 2019. The big question is which team will claim the $1,000,000 prize pool?
EHOME vs. Evil Geniuses
The opening game of the day was between the NA powerhouse and the Bucharest Minor Champions. Evil Geniuses is one of those teams that have an incredibly high win rating against Chinese teams, and they showed us why yet again today.
In the first game of the series, EHOME decided to try a heavy magic damage composition. This did work for the most part, and the Chinese were able to keep up with EG up to a point. However, as soon as the game progressed past the mid-game, the NA team was able to get control over the game.
EHOME had the heroes needed to defend their base, but the pushing power from EG was just too much. Similar to yesterday, Sumail completely obliterated the enemy with his Outworld Devourer. Seeing no possible solution, EHOME called the GG 48 minutes into the game.
If EHOME wanted to stay in the event, they had to make stuff happen. Evil Geniuses, however, had other plans.
Seeing how powerful OD can be, EHOME decided to snatch it off the NA team. Everything was going according to plan for the Chinese. They were slowly taking control of the game, and it looked as if there would be a decisive third game.
However, little did they know, EG is called the kings of the Lower Bracket for a reason. The strange Death Prophet pick, combined with Terrorblade, completely traumatized the Chinese. Realizing their situation, they had no other choice but to admit defeat, sending EG forward to meet their next opponent.
Despite the loss, EHOME walked away with $60,000 as well as 900 DPC points, which will help them nicely on the road to TI. The young squad played very well, and we will surely be hearing from them in the future.
PSG.LGD vs. Fnatic
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) January 26, 2019
The second series of the day was brought the best Chinese and the best SEA team together. As expected, the series was an epic one. The winner had to go head-to-head with Evil Geniuses later.
In game 1, Fnatic decided to try a late-game focused lineup. OD was picked yet again, making him one of the most picked core heroes at the event. On the contrary, PSG.LGD was focusing heavily on the mid-game by getting Razor and Gyrocopter as core heroes.
As expected, the Chinese were using every opportunity to fight and run down their enemies. However, Fnatic was able to respond reasonably well, despite having those late-game cores. Twenty minutes into the game, it was looking as if the SEA was slowly regaining control of the map.
Regardless of that, PSG.LGD stormed Fnatic during the mid-game. They won several team fights in a row, which gave them the needed net worth advantage. After securing the first lane of rax, they were looking to close the game, and they did, snatching game one.
The second game of the series welcomed the return of an iconic mid-laner – Queen of Pain. On top of that, LGD picked Jug and Magnus, which meant that their team fight was going to be deadly. The response from Fnatic was Razor, but instead of putting him mid, the hero was sent to the safe lane.
The early rotations for Fnatic did not look good. These missed opportunities gave the Chinese the advantage as they managed to outmaneuver the enemy supports. Just 20 minutes into the game, the situation was looking pretty grim for the SEA team. LGD’s Juggernaut was just out of control and was the most farmed hero on the map.
Fnatic did outburst in several team fights, but it was not enough, because LGD were just too far ahead. After the win, PSG.LGD moved forward to meet their biggest nemesis – EG.
Evil Geniuses vs. PSG.LGD
The third game of the day was a real clash of the titans. Both EG and LGD have met many times before. In fact, EG is the team which has the highest win rating against other Chinese teams, despite not being in their best form right now.
In game one of the mega-fight between the two, LGD went with a very beefy lineup, whereas EG got the easy yet super effective PA + Magnus. Artour was yet again the main focus of the NA team as they made everything possible to unleash his full potential.
During the early stages of the game, there were a lot of rotations going on from LGD as FY’s Tusk was one of the MVP’s of the game. As soon as we entered the mid-game, having that Magnus really paid off. Both of EG’s cores had been slowly gaining a significant advantage over their enemies, and now was their time to shine. Even though Slark went for Midas, he was not able to keep up with the empowered PA.
After a very messy fight near the Rosh pit, EG managed to kill all five of the enemy heroes. Seeing how the game was going, LGD decided to call GG, giving the lead to EG.
Facing elimination, PSG.LGD rolled out one of Maybe’s strongest heroes – Kunkka. Despite that, EG played yet again another amazing game, and wasted no time getting an early advantage. They managed to win all of the lanes, and just 14 minutes into the game had a net worth lead of over 6k.
The mid game was a real bloodbath. Both teams traded kills left and right but neither of them was able to get a clear lead over the other. However, after winning yet another team fight that forced the buyback of LGD’s Terrorblade, EG were looking like the winners.
After 44 minutes of the highest quality Dota, the NA powerhouse was able to finish their opponents and advance forward. Their next challenge – Team Secret. As we know, there is a lot of “bad blood” between them, so we can expect even better entertainment.
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) January 26, 2019
Tomorrow is the final day of what has proved to be an epic Major. The first series of the day will be the Lower Bracket final, followed closely by the Grand Final, both of which will be Bo5. With the elimination of LGD, there are no more Chinese teams left in the event, which proves yet again that having the home advantage does not always give you the lead.
Images via: EG's Facebook & Liquipedia