Group Stage Standings
Every team played a pair of two game series to start the tournament, and only one team came through with a clean 4-0 record. A few teams took 2-0 victories throughout the day, with some results more surprising than others.
Team Random* beat VGJ.Thunder 2-0 despite looking very sloppy while Team Empire beat LGD.Forever Young 2-0, ensuring that the race for second place in Group A will be an interesting one. In Group B, Invictus Gaming, Newbee and iG.Vitality all one 2-0 victory apiece.
Group A: As expected, OG rolling in points
It isn't much of a surprise, but so far no team have managed to upset OG, the seemingly strongest team in Group A. You might say that they faced the weaker teams of the group to start, but that wouldn't be true. The boys in green took down both Wings Gaming and Team Faceless* on their first day, leaving Team Empire, VG.J and LGD.Forever Young for the remaining days.
Their match against Wings was the headline tournament opener, but both games were incredibly one sided. The scoreboards almost matched at the end, with Wings taking 8 kills in Game 1 and 9 kills in Game 2, while OG took 27 in both.
Tal 'Fly' Aizik's Visage shone in the second game, netting 10 kills and 11 assists while Anathan 'ana' Pham's Alchemist and Johan 'BigDaddyN0tail' Sundstein's Terrorblade happily farmed away. After just a little over 60 minutes total game time, OG had 3 points to start the day.
Team Faceless did a much better job against OG than Wings did, but not well enough to actually take a game off of the three time Major champions. Fly's Visage returned, this time in both games. After losing to a 11/6/21 Visage in Game 1, Faceless weren't scared enough to ban it out in the second game and Fly had his third amazing Visage game of the day, finishing off Faceless in a very one-sided Game 2.
Group B: No hot start for Team Liquid
Team Liquid looked very strong coming into this event, but Group B earned its' status as the true group of death after this first day saw several upsets for teams thought to be among the strongest in the group. Team Liquid struggled, starting the day with a loss to Invictus Gaming.
Lina proved to be a versatile pick for iG, who gave it to Fu 'HHH / Q' Bin in the first game as support, then picked her up in the first phase in Game 2 but put her in Ou 'Op' Peng's hands midlane. iG's pickoff potential with Shadow Blade on Lina, Blink Dagger on Lin 'Xxs' Jing's Legion Commander, Ye 'BoBoKa' Zhibiao's Monkey King lurking in the trees and Xu 'BurNIng' Zhilei's Spectre ready to ult into a fight allowed iG to ball out of control very quickly, ending the second game just before the 27 minute mark.
Rough fucking day. China number one— Lasse Urpalainen (@LiquidMATUMBA) March 27, 2017
Liquid were probably hoping to already have a win or two under their belts heading into their second match, one of their toughest matches of the group. Their second game of the day was against the Chinese titans of Newbee, but Liquid managed to hold their own.
After what must have been an incredibly taxing Game 1 that lasted over 70 minutes, in which Newbee managed to come back against Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen's Alchemist, Team Liquid pulled off an impressive win in Game 2 by putting Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi on Invoker and picking several heroes to secure him Sunstrike kills.
23-0-13 @Liquid_Miracle pic.twitter.com/Tlo9vAMV63— Студия Аналитики (@StudAnal) March 27, 2017
Kuro S. 'KuroKy' Takhasomi's Monkey King spotted potential targets, then any one of Liquid's other heroes could be ready to initiate as soon as Primal Spring and Sunstrike had been channeled. The combinations melted heroes before they had a chance to react and helped Miracle- to keep up with Song 'Sccc' Chun's Alchemist in terms of net worth, at least in the early to mid game (Sccc finished the game with 1.2k GPM, while Miracle- had "just" 780 in the end).
It came down to rat dota in the end as Newbee's highground defense was formidable, but Team Liquid chipped away every chance they got and took the win, securing themselves a single point and denying Newbee a 6-point start to the group stage.