Dota 2: The International 10 – Main Event Day 1

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Dota 2: The International 10 – Main Event Day 1

ESTNN recaps all the action from the first day on the main stage in Bucharest.

TI 10 came back to our screens with a bang today, packing plenty of triumph, heartbreak and fake applause. We take a look at some of the most memorable moments from the first day of our Upper and Lower Bracket series.

Team Spirit push iG to three games

Our day opened with a cracker of a series; Team Spirit faced off against Invictus Gaming and stole the first match with a combo of good fortune and bold strategy. Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk’s Morphling scoring a Double Damage rune was the good fortune. The bold strategy was capitalizing on their high ground win, pushing straight for T4’s instead of taking iG’s Barracks. It was a daring, and maybe somewhat cheeky move, but it gave them the Game 1 victory.

Spirit came back into Game 2 ready to take it as well, snatching first blood. But Invictus weren’t about to make another mistake. The Chinese team played with discipline and defense managing to take control of the map once things moved out of the laning phase. Spirit never really clawed the lead back, although they did manage to hold out for a solid slog. Invictus Gaming brought the series to a tie just before the 49-minute mark.

But it was Game 3 where the Chinese team really pulled out all their stops. A comfortable draft saw Jin “flyfly” Zhiyi score a Specter, as well as Storm Spirit for Zhou “Emo” Yi and Phoenix on Hu “kaka” Liangzhi. That line up would spell disaster for just about any team. And Spirit was no exception. Invictus Gaming took Game 3 with a 38-kill lead, claiming the first victory of the day and keeping themselves snug in the Upper Bracket for now.

Upper Bracket Highlight: Team Secret knock out OG

OG’s Upper Bracket dreams ended today after they fell, 2-0, to Team Secret in our second series of the day. Marking it the first time OG have faced the LB Gauntlet since 2017.

Game 1

We saw an even start to this series in Game 1. OG picked Io in the offlane for Sébastien “Ceb” Debs, a nod to former OG star Anathan “ana” Pham’s carry wisp back at TI 9. And with Johan “N0tail” Sundstein on Mars and Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan on Ursa, OG’s draft looked good, with plenty of initiation and save to build a strong game around SumaiL.

But things weren’t so simple, especially once Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen secured his Aghanim’s Scepter at the 27-minute mark. Then, thanks to Ludwig “Zai” Wåhlberg running Earthshaker, it was time for a Matu Morphshaker special. This provided Morph with some nasty initiation and plenty of opportunity to just jump in and devour OG’s heroes.

With the help of Michał “Nisha” Jankowski’s never-ending remnants on Ember, (he went 20/22/3 this game), the turnaround from the 30-minute mark was hard and fast. With Secret ahead with an 11k lead in the net worth by 35-minutes. And piling up the kills. The board was 42-26 by 37-minutes. Secret’s map control and mobility once they’d hit their timings was just too much for OG. Secret swiped the first win of the series at 40-minutes. The final score 51-27.

Game 2

If Game 1 had us breaking out the copium, we needed more in the tank for Game 2.

It was an absolute bloodbath. It looked like both teams picked a lot of comfort heroes through the draft, and many were expecting to see a N0Tail Elder Titan this game. However the hero landed on Martin “Saksa” Sazdov and N0Tail ran his Legion Commander. A Clinkz for SumaiL once again made OG’s draft look formidable.

But Secret weren’t looking too sloppy either, with team captain Clement “Puppey” Ivanov running his signature Enchantress and Matu taking babby’s first Ursa this time around. But the picks from Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat and Nisha definitely spelled trouble for OG.

YapzOr’s Windranger was instrumental in setting up some of the vicious pickoffs and team fights we saw through this game.

And if you start to notice a lot of mid lane Tinkers in your pubs, you can thank Nisha’s performance for that. He gave his team a boost through the lanes, blocking Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen Hoodwink out of valuable early farm. Then he just rolled through everything OG threw at him, he was undefeatable, going 13/0/18. OG barely managed to land a kill on the board at all; the final score was 42-5 when Secret closed out the game just shy of 28-minutes.


Fnatic, Quincy Crew, Alliance and EG survive LB Round 1

Round 1 of our Lower Bracket were of Bo1 series, which is always a bittersweet affair. Every team that’s made it to TI’s main stage deserves to be there, but not all of them can advance toward the aegis.

We saw Fnatic shatter Undying’s shot at a share of the USD $40 million dollar prize.  Quincy Crew sent Aster packing. Alliance reigned triumphant over beastcoast. And EG managed to keep themselves in the game, claiming their victory over Elephant.

Here’s two of our favorite Lower Bracket moments.

Lower Bracket Highlight: Quincy Crew’s come back

Team Aster vs Quincy Crew got off to a slow start, with QC finally claiming first blood after the 5-minute mark. But the score was an even 8-8 as Aster took the first Rosh around 19-minutes in. With aegis on Du “Monet” Peng’s Luna. But even as the Chinese team moved to push their advantage and the T2 in top lane, the score stayed neck-and-neck. Although Aster were holding the gold lead, QC were not letting them pull too far ahead. Aster went hard at 35-minutes to try and take Quincy Crew’s high ground, but QC managed to hold, throwing down their buybacks.

Just 4-minutes later, QC were running down the mid lane after taking a team fight. It was a heartbreak for Aster, who say goodbye to the TI main stage.

Lower Bracket Highlight: Alliance send beastcoast home

All our Lower Bracket series were packed full of excitement but watching Alliance and beastcoast duke it out to stay alive at TI was definitely one of our highlights. While beastcoast were the favorites of many heading into this series, Alliance showed why they continue to maintain their status as one of Dota’s most storied teams.

Things looked good for beastcoast in the draft, Héctor Antonio “K1” Rodríguez landed Sven, a hero he’s more than comfortable on. While Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov was running Spectre as the hard carry. The mid lane match up was just as rough. Adrián “Wisper” Céspedes Dobles took Sand against Linus “Limmp” Blomdin on Lina, a pairing that definitely went in Alliance’s favor.

As our game opened, first blood went to Alliance, with team captain Gustav “s4” Magnusson taking down K1 just before 1:30. Then the second went their way too. The score was 6-1 in the European’s favor by 6-minutes. Things were off to a slow start for beastcoast, who had chosen Alliance as their opponents for this Bo1.

Limmp was at the top of his game on Lina, landing stun after stun to spell disaster for bc. While SA’s last hope managed to hold out against the onslaught, and even take a vital team fight at 26-minutes to push into the Rosh. But it wasn’t enough to stop Alliance from building toward the win. The final score was 44-19 as Alliance claimed victory. Despite a fantastic DPC season and a strong performance here in Bucharest through the groups, it was time for beastcoast to say goodbye. A heart breaking end for South America’s run at TI 10, but a welcome win for Alliance who go on to face the fallen from the Upper Bracket in Round 2 of the LB.

The International 10 returns later today with PSG.LGD vs T1 first up on the stage. Be sure to catch all the action live on Twitch.

Avatar of Eliana Bollati
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.