posted by Brasozial,
Day One of the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 is complete. The upcoming games come with some tasty highlights, including TI winner eu Team Liquid. Also, can eu Team Secret prove their strength against NA's number one?

Two losses at ESL One - now the other way round?

Since winning TI7, eu Team Liquid are seen as the clear favourites at every tournament in which they participate. Despite showing strong performances, winning three Minors and finishing second in the DPC rankings, they haven't won a single Major since that TI triumph.

Their hopes at ESL One Katowice 2018 were dashed by a single team they lost against twice - cn Vici Gaming, who are currently 5th in the DPC rankings.

In Katowice, Liquid just won one match in a best-of-three series in Group A. Ending up in the lower bracket, they won against my Mineski and eu OG to qualify for the playoffs.

After beating DreamLeague Season 8 winner and Kuro's old mate ee Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov, Liquid had to face VG once more in the semifinals. The Chinese team again seized the advantage and won the BO3 with a 2:1 scoreline.

Miracle- is back to win some points

Despite using coach kr Soung-Gon 'Heen' Lee as a stand-in for DreamLeague Season 9 and still showing a strong performance to end in third place, jo Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi is now back and Liquid is again a threat for the title.

On home soil, VG is one of the few teams who have a strong lineup against the TI7 winners, and that could again prevent them from taking home the title. However, this time a single defeat is not as influential, thanks to the new round robin format.

Arteezy's two homes in a never-ending battle

Dating back to the founding of eu Team Secret, there is a tough rivalry with the North American stars of us Evil Geniuses. The transfer policies of both teams have made this even tougher - ca Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev switching from EG to Secret and back again.

While both teams have had their down periods, Secret are especially back on top thanks to being one of the biggest surprises of the DPC season so far. They have won a Major, and are currently third in the rankings - way ahead of cn Newbee.

Who do you think will win these match-ups? What are your highlight matches of the day?

You can find the rest of our Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 coverage here.

Photo credit: ESL - Bart Oerbekke

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