For day one, it’s China #1 in their hometown.
The Dota 2 Asia Championships group stage kicked off yesterday with two best-of-two matches for each team, and with only the top 2 of each group making it to the upper bracket (the rest will have to go through the dreaded best-of-one elimination match), and a 2-0 win over an opponent being awarded 3 points instead of just 2, winning every single game is extremely important.
All three Chinese teams on Group B are sitting pretty on at the top of the table, with Newbee and Invictus Gaming tied with 4 points on top of the table, and iG.Vitality following soon after with 3 points of their own. Team NP is up next with two points, and surprisingly, favorites Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid round out the group with only one point each to their name.
Newbee’s placement on top of the table is thanks to their dominant showing over fellow Chinese team iG.Vitality, both games showing off Song “Sccc” Chun’s prowess on the Ember Spirit mid. Their second series versus Liquid however, featured a nail-biting 72-minute game that kept going back-and-forth, a definite must-watch for this tournament. Newbee took the match thanks again to Sccc, with his phenomenal Storm Spirit play, making a good case for the Aghanim’s Scepter build, and his teammates following-up exceptionally during team fights near the end.
Meanwhile, Invictus Gaming’s 2-0 came courtesy of their match against Team Liquid, where the first game was a commanding performance from Ou “Op” Peng on the Tinker, going 16-5-12, racking up nearly half of his teams total kills, and an even more impressive second game, pulling off a last-pick Spectre for Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei and executing it according to plan – closing the game out in a mere 26 minutes. Their other point is from their series against team NP, where the first game did not go in their favor thanks to Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling’s impressive performance on the Ursa, while the second game went in their favor thanks to BurNIng showing up on Juggernaut and NP being almost completely shut down – they ended the series with a 26:2 kill-score in 29 minutes.
iG.Vitality’s 3 points on the board are from a surprising 2:0 against Evil Geniuses, who came into the match-up heavily favored. iG.V heavily countered EG’s Alchemist-Magnus draft with a Morphling for Zhang “Paparazi” ChengJun and Xu “Sakata” ZiChen on the Juggernaut racking up the kills for their team, ending the game in a quick 27-minutes. The second game was another commanding performance from Sakata, this time on the Storm Spirit. The team managed a comeback from a shaky laning stage thanks to a string of great teamfights at around the 25-minute mark.
The EG vs. NP match-up went 1:1, with the first game going the way of NP with a Lifestealer-Slardar combo, along with Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao earning a 15:6:4 KDA on the Shadow Fiend – they managed a comeback from a near-disastrous thanks to a fortuitous team wipe against EG at around the 60-minute mark, giving them just enough to close out the game. The second game didn’t go in their favor however, as Evil Geniuses manage to tie out the series, shutting down Aui_2000’s Meepo and convincingly taking the game.
KaLeRei usually can’t shut up about video games, so she writes about them instead. Single-player RPGs or empire-builders/strategy games are her usual cup of tea, but she’s also been an avid follower of the Dota 2 and CS:GO professional scenes for a while. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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