The second day of the International is over and two more teams have joined Na’Vi, Secret, Escape and Vici Gaming Reborn as the tournament’s spectators. Second day of the tournament was even more brutal than the first one, with even more surprises and heartbreaks. The quality of the games was also higher with multiple matches turning into absolute bloodbaths with incredibly entertaining action.
EHOME vs. Alliance
Alliance came into the series as the underdogs, while EHOME were the absolute beast in the group stage. The match was very hyped nonetheless—both teams had a lot of fans in the arena and [A] is very well known to win games against all odds.
The first game of the series went exactly as expected. Despite Alliance having an arguably better draft, with no natural counters to s4 Storm Spirit, EHOME managed to come strong in the mid game after a very poor start. They have shown some incredible teamfight coordination, prioritizing the correct targets, and it ultimately led to their victory. Overall, the game was not too exciting, with below average amount of action. The few highlights of the game came from the amazing plays of old eLeVeN Sand King.
In Game 2 [A]lliance decided to amend the execution mistakes they made in Game 1 and start playing aggressively with a tempo-controlling draft they had, with Alliance.AdmiralBulldog playing a de facto position 1 on his signature Lone Druid. This forced a response from EHOME making for a very action packed early and mid game, with EHOME coming out slightly on top. This small advantage allowed the Chinese squad to propel themselves through the mid game and even the freshly purchased Black King Bars did not stop old eLeVeN from completely shutting down and controlling the enemy team.
EHOME will advance through the upper bracket to face Evil Geniuses tomorrow, while Alliance is knocked into the lower bracket and will face Fnatic in an elimination match.
EG vs. Newbee
Reinvigorated champions of two past TI’s faced each other in this upper bracket match. Given the recent results, the majority of players and analysts predicted a win for Newbee, yet by a very small margin. Truly a game that could go either way.
The first game started off strong for EG. SumaiL-‘s Storm Spirit had a great matchup against Dragon Knight, while the trilane of the NA team managed to secure an early First Blood on kaka. The continuation of the laning stage, however, did not fare too well for EG—a smart gank prediction by Newbee and a massive teamfight granted them a small but comfortable lead by minute 15. Yet, EG managed to come back right into the game with a smart smoke wrap-around and find several pick-offs right after that, fueling SumaiL-‘s Bloodstone.
Come mid game EG were in a very strong lead with an almost 10k Net Worth advantage and completely spun out of control, winning fight after fight. The support play from the team was impeccable and even the Slark of Nihao looked like a non-factor. After 30 minutes and 30 Bloodstone charges on the enemy Storm Spirit Newbee decided to call “gg”.
The second game began with what was ubiquitously considered as an out-draft by Evil Geniuses. The last pick Lifestealer for Hao felt out of place against Shadow Demon, Void and Timbersaw. The start of the game went awfully for Newbee, as expected, with a first blood and an extra kill fed by Hao.
Despite that, the Chinese team managed to break even in the laning stage. The aggressive dual lane severely tampered with Fear’s ability to farm on his Morphling and Mu was slowly getting ahead, resulting in a 4k net worth lead at minute 15. This small lead allowed the team to get map control, slowly taking out objectives and farming up Alchemist.
This lead however got quickly turned around with a massive play by Sumail on his Timbersaw. After a very chaotic teamfight, he managed to stay alive with the help of his supports and the re-engage on the enemy Strength cores with full force. After wiping Newbee twice, Evil Geniuses were comfortably in the drivers seat of the game—their draft finally started paying dividends.
The next 30 minutes of the game were filled with the most evenly matched teamfights in the tournament so far with beautiful back and forth. There are no words to describe what was happening and it is highly recommended to watch the VOD.
At the end of it, EG came out victorious and will face EHOME in the upper bracket. Newbee will play an elimination match against Team Liquid in the lower bracket.
Elimination Match OG vs. TNC
A match between one of the tournament favorites and a team which was expected to finish dead last. TNC, however, already proved that they are force to be reckoned with, while OG unexpectedly fell into the lower bracket. The series might have not been matched evenly, yet there was definitely a chance for it to go both ways—with their backs to the wall the dark horses of Dota are capable of amazing feats.
Game 1 started with a rather aggressive draft from OG and a defensive response from TNC, taking the team out of its comfort zone or, at the very least, from what was expected to be their comfort zone. The first blood went to TNC, however, with e denying Fly attempt to deny himself to the neutral creeps. After little back and forth, the game stabilized with a small net worth lead for OG.
As soon as the laning stage broke, with an early rotation by N0tail Drow Ranger, OG started racking up momentum, with several towers taken. Axe of TNC coudn’t keep up in farm during the early game and did not have a Blink Dagger, making initiation on far away targets impossible. As soon as Blink was purchased, however, TNC started gaining a lot of momentum off a very successful teamfight. The mid game was unexpectedly evenly matched with TNC repelling OG attacks.
They couldn’t keep up economically, however, slowly losing ground. 25 minutes into the game it looked very grim for TNC, with an almost 10k advantage on OG, but several extremely well coordinated fights brought the right back into the game and decreased the deficit substantially, even allowing them to take some objectives. After that, they managed to find several more pick-offs and get the game under their control. Carefully sieging lane after lane they managed to take the first game off the EU squad.
Second game showcased a confidence boost in the TNC morale with a Huskar pick, while OG went to the basics with Io+Tiny combo. It started off horribly for OG, with Miracle- dying to Huskar+Venge early on, but they managed to get a kill on Dazzle on the top lane right after it. They managed to score several more kills right after, completely taking over the game by 10 minutes from a lineup which was supposed to peak earlier.
It would have been an extremely short game if it wasn’t for several amazing Chronosphere placements by LFT, which allowed TNC to get back into the game and stabilize economically from a 12k net worth deficit. Little by little TNC were picking up the the pace, regaining some map control, yet slowly but surely losing the economy war. Even at this stage it looked grim for the Philippines team.
Their lineup which was supposed to fall already suddenly had a resurgence at 40 minute mark. Absolutely perfect support play from both DeMoN and e, even more game-turning Chronospheres by LFT and cores dishing out incredible damage ultimately won TNC the game where they had an almost 20k deficit. This absolutely beautiful game is a highlight of the tournament so far and is definitely worth watching.
Elimination match DC vs. LGD
Game 1 of the series started off strong for DC, with an aggressive Naga Siren, Kunkka, Shadow Demon trilane with the extra support from w33 Invoker mid. LGD approached the game quite defensively after a couple of unsuccessful ganks as well as making plans for the future with a lot of Ancient stacks.
DC managed to get a lot of farm on Resolut1on Naga early on, by constantly applying pressure to LGD. The first kill on Resolut1on was when he already had Sacred Relic and very little unreliable gold. Radiance came in a very timely manner at 16:30, on top of Arcane Boots as well as several other minor items. This gave DC a very huge power spike and they managed to swing the net worth by 4k in the following two minutes.
This has put a hold on LGD aggression and mid game was full of fight dodging, positional play and Naga split-push. As all most games with properly played Naga with an early game advantage, DC slowly choked out LGD, forced them to fight once and claimed the victory in Game 1.
The second game of the series started off a lot more exciting with a Gyrocopter pick for DC and a Necrophos for LGD. Once again, it was an aggressive trilane by DC vs. the trilane of LGD, however this time around LGD managed to come out on top.
With the early game advantage and a faster paced lineup LGD managed to take out most of the outer towers and get complete control of the map, completely shutting down DC farm. It led to early melee barracks taken by LGD, yet DC got a consolation prize by picking up several kills. This allowed the NA team to get some momentum and they even managed to win a very crucial Roshan fight.
Riding this momentum they established a dominant position on the map. LGD’s lineup has also started falling off. Playing against Necrophos, DC were extremely cautious however, with multiple defensive items on both cores and supports. They slowly poked the highground never fully committing to a fight. Teammate saves by Saksa on the Winter Wyvern prevented any chance of comeback for LGD and the series were taken 2:0 by the international team.