Looking back at the exciting first day of Dota’s premier tournament
Today was the day every Dota 2 fan has been waiting for, and it didn’t disappoint. On a jam-packed day of no fewer than 25 Dota 2 matches, there was enough action to go around for everyone and then some. It was impossible to follow everything at the same time, so we understand if you missed some bits. You’ll find all the results along with snippets of the matches here.
There were all kinds of results on the first day, including hard fought battles, comeback wins, stomps, and a few upsets to shock anyone who knows even a tiny bit about the Dota 2 pro scene. Without any further ado, let’s get right into the thick of things.
TI11 Group A Recap
Teams in Group A had three series each on Day 1, and the table doesn’t quite look like most people would have expected. PSG.LGD had a horror start to a tournament they’re one of the favorites to win, while Evil Geniuses have really shown up strong. Royal Never Give Up are certainly performing better than expected, while OG, Team Liquid, and Gaimin Gladiators will be disappointed to have lost the games they did.
By far the biggest surprises of the day came in the form of Hokori, who took games off of some heavyweight opponents. Soniqs, BOOM Esports, and Betboom Team will all be disappointed, especially the last one. The newcomers are yet to win a single game, and are the only team to be in such a position at the entire tournament.
Round 1 Matches
The day began with an upset as PSG.LGD ended things all square with Hokori, with the South American team probably making some cheeky bettors very happy while unsettling many Chinese hearts. The best thing about their win was the fact that it’s not like PSG.LGD went for a risky draft or some cheese strat — they brought their A game and Hokori just outplayed them.
Liquid fought long and hard to win their first game against RNG, but the Chinese qualifier winners punished the Europeans in the second, finishing the game off in a mere, jaw-dropping 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, EG took out regional rivals Soniqs 2-0 with ease. Although most people expected that result given how the teams have historically performed against each other, this was just a sign of things to come.
OG vs BOOM might look like a straightforward 2-0 on paper, but the matches went on for a while each time. Game 1 was a hard-fought skirmish that could have gone either way with both teams having a strong advantage at different points, and Game 2 was a brilliant comeback from the Antwerp Major champions after being on the backfoot for a long time.
BetBoom had Gaimin Gladiators dead to rights in Game 1, and should by all means have won the match. However, the latter came back at the very end to win it. Game 2 was a similar story, with a sizable lead being thrown away by the EEU team.
Round 3 Matches
Given EG’s over the last year, not many people expected them to come out guns blazing on Day 1. However, they beat tournament favorites so convincingly that it became impossible for teams not to become wary of them. Their first match was a total stomp, and although the second one went on for 50 minutes, EG were almost always in control. This was PSG.LGD’s first series loss in the Group Stage of TI since TI8, where they lost a series to the same opponents.
Soniqs took out Liquid in convincing fashion in Game 1, with a slow lead building into complete, comprehensive map control into a smothering win. Game 2 looked as though it was headed in the exact same direction, but the game dragged on and on, and Liquid’s Heroes simply outscaled those of their opponents in the long run.
BOOM had such a dominant performance against Hokori in Game 1 that it seemed like the SA squad had had a fluke against PSG.LGD. However, they turned the tables in Game 2 to tie the series and move further up the table.
OG’s games against GG went identically, with the 2-time TI winning clan taking a while to gain a lead and then simply massacring their opponents, Although the two teams had had many exciting clashes in the DPC, this was all OG.
We have a feeling the BetBoom squad won’t be able to sleep tonight. The team seems to have a habit of taking early leads, keeping them for a while, and then losing them and getting overrun. In short, whatever happened between BetBoom and GG also happened between BetBoom and RNG.
Round 5 Matches
EG’s powerful run continued as they swept the other tournament favorites in their group, arch-rivals OG. Game 1 was a terrific back-and-forth game which EG won right at the end, and Game 2 was just a one-sided thumping by the TI5 winners.
PSG.LGD’s nightmare day continued as they drew against Soniqs, whom they were expected to beat with ease. They took Game 1 comfortably and looked primed to take the second, but the Americans took the game by the throat and closed it out.
Something seemed to have broken inside BetBoom after their first two losses, because they couldn’t put up anything of a fight against Liquid, who walked all over them in a 2-0 sweep.
There’s a joke in here somewhere about teams with ‘boom’ in their name losing games they should have won. BOOM had two such turns against RNG. The SEA outfit led Game 1 for a long time before conceding the lead and the match. Then fell victim to some old-school Rat Dota that would have made Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg proud in Game 2.
Hokori took control of their first game against GG after 26+ minutes of dominance by the Europeans, and closed it out 10 minutes later. Game 2, however, was a tour-de-force from GG to even out the result.
TI11 Group B Recap
Unlike Group A, Group B’s results kept things a lot more interesting. Every team won at least one game from their two series, and there’s barely anything to separate them heading into Day 2. Teams Aster, Secret, Spirit, and Thunder Awaken will be relatively happy with their results, but Spirit will undoubtedly be bummed out at having dropped a game to Fnatic.
TSM and Tundra Esports split both their series, which included one against each other. Meanwhile, beastcoast, Entity, and Talon Esports failed to impress and are currently in the bottom half of the table. Fnatic are with them, but at least they took a game off of defending champions Spirit.
Round 2 Matches
Secret vs Thunder Awaken was just a story of two teams taking turns stomping the other. There was little or no contest each time around, with teams merely holding on for as long as they did just in case the opponents got overconfident and that led to a comeback.
Spirit showed sheer class as they stomped Fnatic in the first game. Game 2 on the other hand was a tumultuous affair that went on like a tennis match for over 30 minutes, but Fnatic proceeded to build up an unassailable lead to even the series to the surprise of many.
When Entity breezed through Game 1, not many expected beastcoast to be able to hold a candle to the European powerhouse in Game 2. The resourceful Peruvians, however, struck back strong, finishing the second game in just 27 minutes.
Talon gradually and methodically choked out TSM in Game 1, outfarming and eventually outplaying the American side. Game 2, though, was a beastly effort on the part of the latter, who bulldozed their opponents to square the series.
It was all Aster in Game 1 as they led the game from start to finish, with Tundra being outmatched and outmaneuvered every time they tried something. Game 2 flipped the script, and although Aster put up a better fight, they were no match for Tundra’s wintry might.
Round 4 Matches
Entity may be a strong force in Europe, but Spirit are TI and Major winners for a reason. The CIS giants were comprehensive in their routing of their WEU opponents, displaying clinical Dota in both games.
In Fnatic vs Thunder Awaken, the SEA side’s jubilation from their victorious encounter against Spirit earlier evaporated as they lost back to back games without much contest — if any.
Secret were given a solid scare when beastcoast came out swinging, jumping to a massive lead within 20 minutes and looking absolutely dominant. The Last Chance Qualifier winners, however, held strong and found their chance as they outscaled and later outplayed their opponents before smashing them in a short second game.
TSM and Tundra, both relatively new teams with a lot to prove, shared the spoils of their encounter. TSM took Game 1 following a drawn-out struggle that was mostly just them being careful, and the Europeans struck back in what was a short one-sided game.
Finally, Aster was simply untouchable in their series against Talon as they waltzed to easy victories in both games, with the South-East Asians being given absolutely no chance past the laning stage.
The Group Stage will continue for another couple of days, so join us for Day 2’s once those matches end.
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