The Top 5 Plays from The International 2023 Group Stage

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The Top 5 Plays from The International 2023 Group Stage

Here is a list of our picks for the top 5 plays of the The International 2023’s recently concluded Group Stages that stood out as a true display of Dota 2 prowess

The International 2023 started in Seattle last Thursday, after heaps of anticipation surrounding Dota 2’s biggest event. A record 20 teams from around the world faced off in the Group Stage over the weekend, trying to stay in contention for the Aegis of Champions. The teams were divided into groups of five and faced off in a round-robin format. After being treated to two days of intense best 2 showdowns, we got our 16 seeds who will make up the Upper and Lower Brackets of the Playoffs.

These games produced many amazing moments, and a set of incredible plays. In this article, we will be counting down our picks for the 5 best places of the Group Stage of TI 2023.

The Top 5 Plays from The International 2023 Group Stage
Credit: Win.GG

Top 5 Plays Of The International 2023 Group Stage

Without further ado, let’s dive straight in to our list of the best 5 plays of the TI 2023’s recently concluded Group Stages –

1. Topson – Pugna: Tundra Esports vs PSG Quest (Game 2) 

Topson Pugna has a magical relationship at The International. In every TI he has played so far, he managed to show up big time on his trusted Pugna. He has continued on that trend this time as well.

In game 2 of Tundra’s Group Stage clash against PSG Quest, Topson dominated on his Pugna. In a teamfight near the radiant safelane tier 2 tower, Topson decimated the Quest Heroes with immaculate spell casting. 

Quest had a 10k net worth lead over Tundra, and were barrelling down the bottom Tier 3 tower after managing to get a pick-off on Topson. Tundra were able to buy time for him to respawn, and Topson charged right in towards the Quest Heroes. With Pugna’s Aghanim’s Shard upgraded Life Drain, Topson was able to deal an insane amount of damage. He managed to pick up an ultra kill in this teamfight.

Despite a very challenging start, Topson came back in style and ended the game 13-10-17. Tundra had demolished Quest in game 1 as well on the back of Topson’s Zeus, as they secured a 2-0 series victory. They finished with a 7-1 score in the Group Stages.

Game Time: [41:35-42:30] 

2. Somnus – Earth Spirit: Azure Ray vs Shopify Rebellion (Game 2) 

Earth Spirit mid has gained prominence in recent patches. The Hero usually dominated the early games, but fell out in the later stages of some game. But Somnus ES in game 2 of Azure Ray vs Shopify Rebellion was not one of those games. Somnus put on a stellar performance out of the mid lane and did not fall off throughout the entire course of the game.

Shopify got a great start in the laning stage and built a substantial net worth lead within 10 minutes. Azure Ray was forced to play catchup, and try to buy time for their Spectre to reach his timings.

Azure Ray had lost their first game versus Shopify Rebellion, so they were under some pressure. After being dominated by Abed’s Earth Spirit in the previous game, a lot was expected from Somnus when Azure Ray managed to snatch the Hero away in game 2. Somnus delivered in full strength. In a clash near the Dire Tormentor, Somnus annihilated the entire Shopify lineup.  He charged straight head-on into the whole of the enemy team with Blade Mail active.

Shopify was decimated in the teamfight and lost all five of their Heroes. Azure Ray went on to win the game convincingly on the back of Somnus’s 11-7-16 Earth Spirit.  the series 1-1.

Game Time [19:29-20:16]

3. 23savage – Morphling: Talon Esports vs Gaimin Gladiators (Game 3) 

Morphling has been nerfed more than once in recent updates. But that didn’t stop 23savage to bring out his Grandmaster Tier Morphling against tournament favorites Gaimin Gladiators. In game 3, 23 put on an unbelievable performance as Talon completed their comeback following their Game 1 loss.

It was very hard to choose one from a stellar set of plays he made during this game. 23 was a menace throughout the entire game, ending the game 14-2-7. After quite a lot of thought, we have decided to put the first teamfight near the dire Tormentor, where he dived the Gaimin Gladiators base to kill Dyrachyo. After morphing into Faceless Void and using Time Dilation on him, 23 dived into Gaimin’s high ground with his Black King Bar (BKB) and killed Faceless Void and Jakiro before waltzing back out with Time Walk. Talon won the series 2-1, securing their place in the Upper Bracket.

Game Time: [32:50-33:06]

4. Larl – Puck: Team Spirit vs Shopify Rebellion (Game 2) 

Larl had received a lot of flame throughout the year. People were expecting a lot from Team Spirit owing to their incredible victory at TI 2021. When TORONTOTOKYO left the team, his you g replacement Larl had enormous shoes to fill. Larl took a while to fit into the team and showcase his full power, and Team Spirit have since reaped the rewards of trusting him through and through.

Larl’s power was fully demonstrated by his performance on Puck in game 2 of their route to the  Upper Bracket of the Playoffs. Against Shopify Rebellion, where he went 16-7-14.

In a fight near the Radiant bottom tier 2, Larl tore through the Shopify lineup with his silky Puck plays. After jumping on the Ancient Apparition in the back line, Larl chipped away at his enemies, picking up a Rampage on his first TI appearance. Team Spirit dominated game 2, and handedly defeated Shopify Rebellion 2-1 to make it to the Upper Bracket.

Game Time: [54:09-54:43]

5. NothingToSay – Earthshaker: LGD Gaming vs Gaimin Gladiators (Game 1) 

Earth Shaker is another Hero that has become a popular pick in the mid lane. This is an exciting turn of events for fans of wombo-combos. In the Group Stage clash against Gaimin Gladiators, the Hero was utilized to the max by LGD Gaming mid laner NothingToSay. 

In the second game, NothingToSay took full advantage of the Hero near the dire Tormentor. Gaimin was trying to kill the Tormentor with all their Heroes. They were all very low while trying to kill it to gain an Aghanim’s Shard for their team. NTS sneaked in through their line of vision by using a Smoke of Deceit. He jumped in with a Blink-Echo Slam in just the right time while they were stacked together, killing Muerta instantly.

He then landed multiple four-man spells, and his team immediately followed up his chain-stuns. Gaimin lost two Heroes as the rest of the Heroes scampered back to the fountain. LGD won the game convincingly within 15 minutes of this play, with NTS’s Earthshaker going 3-2-7. LGD also won the second game, securing a 2-0 series victory against the European giants.

Game Time: [20:55-21:11]

An Epic End To The Group Stage

The International completed the first phase of its round-robin Group Stages. After a few days off, the players will take to the stage to compete in the Playoffs. Tune in to the broadcasting of The International 2023 for some exhilarating Dota 2 action. And stay tuned for more updates!

The Top 5 Plays from The International 2023 Group Stage
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