All the action from week 1 of Western Europe's DPC Winter Tour.
Several months after the end of The International 11, the 2023 DPC is finally here. The world’s best teams will have to battle in their respective regions to determine which of them will attend the Majors. Speaking of the devil, this DPC will have 3 Majors, so we can’t wait to see the best in action.
Before we have the chance to watch the Major, it is important to remember that the DPC 2023 rules are slightly different than before. Instead of watching Division I and Division II side by side, we will be able to watch them one after another.
As for the regions, there aren’t any changes there, which is why this article will focus on Western Europe. This is the best region in Dota 2 for a reason, especially after Tundra won TI. WEU is also the only region aside from China that gets 4 slots for the Majors. Needless to say, the competition will be fierce, so let’s learn more about what happened in the first week.
OG vs Tundra Esports
The first match of WEU’s Division I was one of the most anticipated series. OG had to go up against the reigning TI champion in a match that was more important than it seemed. Albeit the first series for both, they are competitors for the top 4 finish, so every victory is essential.
Although most of us expected to have a close series, in reality, Tundra was better than their opponents. Interestingly, OG accumulated a substantial kill advantage in the first game of the series, and things were looking good for them. However, the team made a couple of crucial mistakes that allowed their opponents to bounce back.
The two teams kept up with each other until the mid-game, as neither of them could take the lead. OG even got the Aegis, but this item wasn’t enough for them to win. Slowly, Tundra regained control of the series and won the first map.
The second game of the series looked similar to the first one in many ways. OG had a better start again and accumulated a solid kill and net worth advantage in the early game. Sadly, this did not last long because Tundra recovered and slowly gained full control.
OG’s Drow Ranger strategy failed to use the momentum, so they had to play defensively. Unfortunately, this is not easy when you go up against a top-tier Ursa. Despite giving their best, OG lost the map and the match.
Team Liquid vs Team Secret
Day 1 of the DPC in Division I gave us access to another fantastic series. This time, it was between Liquid and Team Secret. Besides the fact that these two met at the TI Last Chance Qualifiers, as well as at TI, Nisha, Team Secret’s star player, became a part of Liquid. Needless to say, he wanted to defeat his ex-team.
We thought that Secret and Liquid would allow us to watch an epic match with tons of back-and-forth action. However, as soon as the game started, it became clear that Liquid was on another level, at least in this match.
The team had hardly any problems in the laning stage and quickly gained a massive lead over its opponents. Secret tried to delay the game and wait for an opportunity to bounce back, but it never came. Liquid won the first map.
Similar to game one, Nisha and his new team won the laning stage and used it to its advantage to gain a solid lead in the mid-game. Sniper and the rest had no problems out farming Secret’s cores, which meant that TI 11’s finalists had no chance of winning. After turtling for a couple of minutes, Secret used the GG call and lost its first match in the DPC.
OG defeated Team Secret
Almost every series in WEU’s DPC Division I is like a TI grand final, and this one wasn’t an exception. After both teams lost their opening matches, it was time for them to bounce back. Although most people expected Team Secret to be the one that dominates, bzm and the rest of his teammates won the match.
In the first game of the series, Secret tried using the popular Drow and Primal Beast combo. To be fair, Puppey and the rest had a fairly solid start, but their success didn’t last long. OG’s tiny draft slowly but steadily got a lead after securing several important kills.
After winning in game one, OG seemed fired up and eager to win the second map as well. Interestingly, Secret decided to get Alchemist and focus on a 4 protect 1 lineup. Sadly, things didn't go as planned because OG’s Ursa and Puck draft was too strong.
As expected, the team started playing aggressively right away in order to prevent Alch from farming. 30 minutes later, Yuragi and the rest got a massive lead, resulting in a fast victory.
Team Liquid vs Tundra Esports
After winning TI 11, Tundra is regarded as the best team in the world. They’d already defeated OG in Division I, but it was time for them to face Team Liquid. The latter is one of the best in Europe right now, especially after they’ve added Nisha to their roster.
Game 1 between the two turned out to be a lot more intriguing than we thought. Tundra got a very good start, and everyone thought they’d win. However, this was when Team Liquid’s Ursa and Dark Seer draft exploded and suddenly gained a huge advantage. Slowly, Liquid got 2 lanes of Rax and eventually defeated their opponents.
We expected the TI champions to bounce back in the second game of the series. However, this didn’t happen because Team Liquid was more motivated to win and was in control throughout the game.
After numerous fights, the last big one occurred 38 minutes after the start. Team Liquid killed all 5 heroes, which forced the GG call from Tundra. This was Tundra’s first loss after the team defeated OG and Nigma Galaxy.
Aside from everything mentioned so far, we also have to mention Nigma Galaxy.
Despite having one of the most promising rosters, the team failed to win its first 2 matches. After losing to Tundra, Kuro and the rest lost a match against ITB. Sadly, this puts them in a difficult position because they will have to go up against the big names in Division I in the upcoming weeks.