A glance at the rear-view mirror after a second day of action in Genting.
It was an exciting day full of our favorite MOBA in the Arena of Stars, living up to the hype created by the first day of action. Some won, some drew, and some lost, but at the end of the day Dota was on everyone’s minds.
Without further ado, let’s check out some of the best games from the day.
The day began with 6 Group A matches, and of these, 4 were 1-all draws and two were won and lost. Team Aster vs Team Secret, Talon Esports vs Alliance, Entity vs Team Secret, and Talon Esports vs Thunder Awaken were mostly stomp-counter-stomps, while Thunder Awaken’s thumping of Entity and Team Aster taking out Alliance were comprehensive wins.
Of these matches, Secret vs Entity was the one that stood out.
Secret vs Entity
Given how well Entity did in the recently-ended Arlington Major, they are expected to go far in this tournament as well. That being said, Secret have looked nothing short of deadly since yesterday, and they would certainly not stand by and watch their fellow Europeans waltz by.
The first game between these two teams was arguably the most exciting game of the tournament so far, with the latter making an insane comeback. Secret went for an all-round draft with Ogre Magi, Techies, Mars, Tidehunter, and Templar Assassin, devastating in terms of damage but sorely lacking heals and saves. Entity on the other hand also lacked the same elements, but had a more slow burn draft with Bane, Ember Spirit, Pudge, Visage, and a support Sven.
Within 10 minutes, Secret had a sizable 13-2 kill lead and 2k gold lead, and despite some answers from Entity, the European squad looked dominant. In another 10 minutes, they were 9k up and still far ahead in terms of kills. However, Entity showed great tenacity and refused to stay down. Slowly, they came back to take some important teamfights, and forced their opponents to call GG.
Compared to Game 1, Game 2 was a simple one-sided affair. Secret went with Techies and Tidehunter again, but this time they added a Sven, Bristleback, and Sniper. Entity repeated their Visage and Ember, and this time they had Hoodwink, Lone Druid, and Chen alongside.
Secret took an early lead and just dominated the entire game from that moment on, not letting Entity breathe for even a second. By 23 minutes, Secret were hitting their opponents’ Barracks.
There was no comeback this time — not even a ray of hope. Entity were simply overrun and called GG at 26 minutes, going out with a whimper.
In the second half of the day, Group B saw a spread of results that were identical to Group A’s. Fnatic vs Team Liquid, OG vs TSM, BOOM Esports vs Team Liquid, and Fnatic vs TSM saw the spoils being shared, while Nigma Galaxy’s two games ended in a victory over BOOM and defeat to OG.
Without a doubt, it was the matches between Fnatic and Liquid and OG and Nigma that were the most exciting.
Fnatic vs Team Liquid
Since the Arlington Major, Fnatic have been punching above their weight. Despite playing with a new Carry in Jinn “Palos” Lamatao, they are equal to heavyweights Nigma in terms of points. Team Liquid on the other hand have been struggling to find their groove, but at least they managed not to lose any of their series today.
Fnatic’s lineup had fantastic teamfight as well as focused nuking with Venomancer, Tiny, Puck, Bloodseeker, and Shadow Demon. As the Tiny was a support, they lacked any real tanky heroes and definitely lacked any healing heroes. Liquid, on the other hand, went with a draft that would do better in a war of attrition. They had Keeper of Light, Batrider, Pudge, Nyx, and Bristleback.
Right off the bat, this match was a bloodbath. Both teams went at each other’s throats time and again, and even 30 minutes in, there was barely anything to separate the teams. If Fnatic won a teamfight, Liquid answered in kind and vice versa.
It was only after a decisive fight near the top lane that the match truly started leaning one way, a whopping 50 minutes in. After that, Fnatic showed tremendous coordination to close the game out within the next few minutes.
This time, it was Fnatic’s turn to go for the Pudge and Batrider, pairing them with Tusk, Enchantress, and Puck. In response, Liquid went for some ultra teamfight potential with Keeper of Light, Razor, Earthshaker, and Queen of Pain, with a Night Stalker alongside for pickoffs, vision, and Silencing.
Game 2 began in pretty much the same fashion as the first, with back-and-forth fights. By 20 minutes, Fnatic had moved up to a 5k lead and a total of 31 kills were already on the board. However, shortly afterwards, Liquid won some important fights, and started taking over the game.
Despite some ridiculous over-extensions, they managed to outscale the Fnatic heroes, and forced the SEA squad to yield just past 45 minutes.
OG vs Nigma Galaxy
In lieu of PSG.LGD and Team Spirit, OG and Nigma Galaxy have been considered as two of the favorites for the entire tournament. This is despite Nigma playing with a substitute who hasn’t been on the pro scene in about two years in place of the godlike Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi.
OG’s draft was heavy on teamfight with Earthshaker, Queen of Pain, Monkey King, and Elder Titan, but with a Huskar thrown into the Offlane role to shut down the enemy carry. Liquid’s draft scaled better, but was extremely greedy by comparison. They had Chen, Earth Spirit, Faceless Void, Nature’s Prophet, and Visage.
OG were quick to use their early-game heroes to work up an advantage. The weaknesses of Nigma’s draft were showing — especially Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi’s tendency to forego heroes with lockdown. Before long, OG’s advantage was evident.
Before long, OG had taken over the game completely, and despite Nigma trying to hold on for a while more, the power of flowers and friendship had begun fountain farming as per their trademark. It was all over in about 35 minutes.
Nigma tried coming back with the elephant in the room — or should we say dinosaur in the room — in the form of the recently-added Primal Beast. Alongside, they had Keeper of Light, Elder Titan, Bloodseeker, and Enchantress. OG went for more of a kiting, back-and-forth lineup with a better win condition in the form of Viper, Pangolier, Chen, Monkey King, and Alchemist.
Early on, Nigma used the power of the Primal Beast to take a decent lead and zone out the Alchemist. Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov was absolutely fantastic on the hero, and he dominated the game for quite a long time.
OG’s Viper and Alchemist, though, were getting fatter and fatter, and eventually outscaled Nigma’s cores. Artem “Yuragi” Golubiev was a beast by his own right on the Alchemist, and he managed to come back strong after a tough early game to outplay the other team. One good teamfight was all that OG needed, and they just went in and destroyed their main objective.
Join us again tomorrow for a recap of the third day of play.