The day opened up with a one-sided stomp as DK quickly demolished Vici Gaming in a game that lasted just above 26 minutes. VG’s rather unusual Pugna tri-lane with Lifestealer mid did not bring them the advantage they were searching for, and little by little they started to lose the control of the game. DK took all the right fights at the right time leading into a steady pace towards victory.
The next game was another relatively one-sided game between Newbee and VG, albeit a much longer one. VG once again went for a Pugna tri-lane on top, but this time around their mid choice of an Alchemist backfired hard, as Mu’s Invoker decimated the alchemist in the terms of farm on the mid lane. While the game was slow-paced and light on the kills until the very end, there’s no denying that Newbee had VG by the balls all the way through. With a ridiculously farmed Invoker and Slark, and with Alchemist so far behind on items it wasn’t all that hard for Newbee to break the base and force the GG. What made the biggest impression to me personally was the impeccable wizard play from Mu.
Mu's Invoker fears no foes!
The third game was Cloud 9’s first poke at the Chinese scene this year and while they could have done better against VG, they showed right from the start that they have what it takes to challenge the Asian elite. While their draft was straight from the book of “ The Least Played Heroes”, at least core wise, they were able to make it work in the early stages of the game. For the longest of time C9 was able to maintain a minimal lead, but a single mistake and an overestimation of their power near the dire T1 top, led to catastrophic results, pushing them well behind VG in the terms gold. In the end, VG’s burst damage and tankiness was far too much for Cloud 9 to handle and their hopes of an opening victory were shattered in just under 35 minutes.
The next two games between Newbee & DK, as well as DK & Cloud 9 were complete routs. Aforementioned game between Newbee & DK was a sub 20 minute beat down in which, despite an okay start, DK were obliterated very early on, and despite perhaps a premature GG, it was perfectly clear that they would have had to work miracles to come back in the game. The game between DK & Cloud 9 was another one-sided performance. For the second time C9 decided to run a rather unconventional carry on EternalEnvy, this time picking up Necrophos, and for the second time it felt like he wasn’t able to do as much as he would have wanted. With the Doom constantly on him, he was unable to contribute to the team fights, rendering him next to useless. With Burning’s Spectre and iceiceice’s Doom going bonkers and the gold lead way above 10k for Team DK, it was only a matter of time until Cloud 9 would have to tap out.
Mad cow coming through!
While almost every single game in the Group 1 was a one-sided rout, the last game to cap the day was truly a treat. Newbee and Cloud 9 went head to head in a 44 minute thriller of back and forth action, that was dead even all the way to 30 minute mark. However, after the 32-minute fiasco at the Roshan pit, Newbee was able to take control of the game and systematically push in to the enemy base lane after lane. At this point of the game, the tri-core of Newbee’s was starting to trump the dual-core of C9’s, and no matter how hard they fought, Cloud 9 was left without a victory as the GG was called and the day 2 came to a close.
This article was written by Teemu Ikonen, joinDOTA's Senior Writer. Meliora.Infinitum got absorbed into Dota during a LAN party between TI and TI2, and has been captivated ever since. Spends his spare time outdoors taking photos and writing a book. Believer of alternate universes, no legs strat and Half Life 3. Location: Espoo, FinlandFollow him on @MelioraInf.