Another fantastic day of Dota in Bucharest, we recap the highlights right here.
TI 10 has truly delivered when it comes to memorable moments and yesterday was no exception.
Our broadcast format switched up, and we opened with our series in the Lower Bracket. With elimination looming over their shoulders, we saw some truly inspired performances.
End of the road for Alliance, EG
Only two teams were left standing at the end of our LB games. T1 have been making waves at The International 10, and they continued to impress in our opening series against Alliance.
Game 1 of the series saw Karl “Karl” Baldovino running his iconic Lina in the mid lane which proved to be a tough match up for Linus “Limmp” Blomdin on his Ember. Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon put in the work for his team on Wraith King to lock Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov’s Morph out of farm during the lanes, giving T1 a small gold lead as the game moved into the mid phase. But things were looking even in the kill-count.
Then, at 17-minutes in, a beautiful jump from T1 onto Nikobaby and Simon “Handsken” Haag in Dire’s top lane let T1 take the edge they needed.
Alliance didn’t stand a chance against the onslaught T1 unleashed. T1’s captain, Carlo “Kuku” Palad created multiple opportunities with Magnus’ skewer, allowing both Karl and 23savage took kill after kill.
The SEA team took the win at 37-minutes with a 39k net worth lead.
Game 2 saw T1 come back even harder, closing out the win at 33-minutes with a mammoth 29-kill lead over the boys from EU. It was a stunning performance from T1 that left Alliance with no choice but to pack their bags.
Our second LB series saw Evil Geniuses and Vici Gaming fight tooth and nail for the chance to advance. This series gave us the full spectrum of Dota finishes, from a quick first game stomp to a grueling 57-minute slog. So much excitement it was impossible not to crown it our LB highlight.
Lower Bracket Highlight: Vici take the victory
Vici flipped the script on EG in an electrifying series, eliminating the NA team 2-1. We break down their path to the win, one game at a time.
Watching EG’s performance in our first game, you could be forgiven for assuming the NA team had this one in the bag.
EG’s draft this game was packing plenty of punches; with Artour “Arteezy” Babaev on Clinkz, a hero who has proven quite nasty in the current meta, but who we haven’t seen quite as much of here at TI 10. Yang “poyoyo” Shaohan on the other hand, took Medusa this game, who’s sitting on a clean 50% win rate and #20 in the top Hero picks so far.
Abed “Abed” Yusop took Ember to the mid for a spirit showdown against Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang’s Storm. While Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen took a surprising Skywrath Mage for a whirl down bottom, Skywrath has only seen a total of 9 picks at the tournament so far.
But although EG’s unconventional draft did look to have the advantage, Game 1 started out fairly even. With Vici even building a small 1k lead for themselves through the lanes. But once they ended, the danger in EG’s draft became apparent. Arteezy and the boys started pushing hard at the 15-minute mark, and the rest of Game 1 was over so fast you could have missed it if you blinked.
22-minutes saw them close out the game, taking the first win of the series in a quick stomp.
After the blistering defeat EG delivered last game, many thought it might have been curtain call for Vici. But the second game of this series proved to be another roller coaster ride at this year’s TI.
Arteezy took the Razor this game, a hero who he’s more than comfortable on. And it certainly looked a lot more threatening than poyoyo’s Monkey King.
But Vici came back fighting, taking first blood on Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang’s Beastmaster in the bottom lane and pushing every little advantage in their draft hard through this early game. It was a move worth making, because it set them up with a comfortable 2k lead in the net worth by 6-minutes.
EG weren’t sleeping though. At the 17-minute mark, they took a huge team fight on Radiant’s side. Cutting down three on the side of Vici. It was enough to let them press their advantage, pulling the gold lead back their way and roll into Roshan by 21-minutes.
This was one of the closest games we’ve seen here in Bucharest so far, as Vici pulled things back their way at 31-minutes. The net worth was swinging back and forth like a seesaw, as EG snatched the lead back just ten minutes later. Only to lose it to Vici, then get it back again.
With EG taking the Rosh at 55-minutes, it looked like they were finally moving to close the game. But Vici were having none of that. They leapt on Arteezy’s Razor and burned through the aegis almost immediately. With Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang taking the follow-up kill. He had a tough time through the lanes, but here in the late game he was cleaning up on Queen of Pain.
Vici swept the rug out from under EG’s feet. At 57-minutes, they tied the series, taking us to a game three.
EG found themselves on shaky ground right from the draft.
Vici flex picked the Monkey King for Xiong “pyw” Jiahan. Letting poyoyo snatch a Spectre. They also managed a nice comfort pick for Ori, taking Void Spirit for the mid. Team captain Ding “Dy” Cong’s Enchantress and a last pick Lycan for old eLeVeN, Vici’s draft was looking very nice.
With Arteezy’s hero pool vastly limited by the bans, EG’s draft saw him running Troll Warlord. Abed took Storm and Cr1t- choosing to take Skywrath again. Meanwhile iceiceice went with a Legion Commander and team captain Tal “Fly” Aizik on Elder Titan. It was hard to see what EG’s draft was building toward.
Still, they managed to come into Game 3 fighting, taking the advantage through the laning phase. Then, as the game neared 20-minutes, something familiar happened. Vici’s cores started to come online and they pushed hard. Just as EG had in Game 1.
From that moment it was a stomp to the finish. This time with Vici claiming the ultimate victory at 37-minutes. Taking the series 2-1 and eliminating Evil Geniuses from the tournament. They bow out in 9th -12th place. The last time EG placed this low was the team’s TI 2 run back in 2012. A disappointing end for one of NA’s top teams. And the regions last hope at Bucharest.
Secret and LGD in a race to the finals
After all the excitement of the LB, Our Upper Bracket series didn’t come up short either. With both PSG.LGD and Team Secret advancing through to the Upper Bracket Finals.
Team Secret knock down Invictus
Our first UB series saw Secret and Invictus smash it out in what was a total stomp for Secret. They secured themselves strong drafts, with Michał “Nisha” Jankowski and Clement “Puppey” Ivanov securing Templar Assassin and Enchantress across both games.
Game 1 saw Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen on Monkey King and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg on Vengeful Spirit too. Giving Secret loads of initiations and dukes to get into iG’s head and tilt.
Puppey’s bait plays were next level, keeping Nisha more than fed on a steady died of iG’s cores. Secret’s mid laner went 14/0/11 over this 30-minute game. A truly outstanding performance on TA.
Invictus put up more of a fight in Game 2, and Jin “flyfly” Zhiyi’s Spectre pick did better for them than his first game Weaver had. But letting the TA and the Enchantress slip through a second time certainly didn’t help iG’s situation.
The game stretched out longer, but Secret maintained control across the whole 45-minutes, with Matu’s Naix the standout performer for them this time. He went 11/3/11 in K/D/A. But perhaps more impressively he delivered 5k building damage to help Secret close out the game, and the series.
LGD continue to dominate
PSG.LGD’s series against Virtus.pro saw the Chinese team continue to reign victorious. Smashing the bears in a 2-0 series that ran for just over an hour in total.
Game 1 saw both teams land themselves strong drafts. VP picked Bristleback for Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko, while LGD took the Luna for Wang “Ame” Chunyu.
VP’s mid was also looking strong, with Danil “gpk” Skutin securing the Ember Spirit. Plus Illias “Kingslayer” Ganeev was also on Silencer, a strong support in the current meta.
Aside from the Luna, LGD were running Kunkka for Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang and an unexpected Visage on Zhang “y`” Yiping. While Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida took Tidehunter to the off lane.
Still, despite a decent draft from VP, LGD snatched the lead immediately and then didn’t let it go. They controlled the pace of the game from lanes right to it’s close. Although VP managed to stay close in the kill count, none of their pick offs were valuable enough to give them any net worth advantage.
LGD took the first game at 43-minutes.
Then they came back for Game 2 and cleaned it up in a measly 26-minutes. Earning themselves a ticket straight to the Upper Bracket Finals against Team Secret on Saturday.
Virtus.pro will have to face off against the winner of OG vs Team Spirit if they went to survive the last of the Lower Bracket.
Be sure to catch all the action live on Twitch!