OG undefeated in day one
Clear favorites of the group A, OG did not disappoint on the first day, and are in fact the only team to win all their games. The triple Major Champions opened the day with a stomp over Wings Gaming, both games being decided around the 30 minute mark with a huge kill score in OG’s favor. Game one was all about Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein’s Terrorblade, who only died once through the entire match. In the second game, Anathan ‘ana’ Pham grabbed the spotlight with a 1.1k GPM Alchemist, brilliantly supported by OG’s duo Fly/JerAx (Visage/Rubick ).
Although OG second bo2 series, held against Faceless, didn’t go as smooth as the opening one, they still managed to finish the day in the pole position of group A. In the first game, Faceless gave OG serious reasons of concern by playing extremely aggressive, forcing early teamfights and pressuring N0tail’s Bloodseeker. Despite losing their lives a few too many times in the first 20 minutes, OG recovered, courtesy of their deadly Rupture-Glimpse combo. Running very mobile cores (Anti Mage, Ember Spirit and Timbersaw ), Faceless went with split push item builds, the BkB’s coming online only after the 30 minute mark when OG had already taken the map control. Game two was a bit of a different story, even though Faceless had quite the same split push plan in mind with an Invoker for Anucha ‘Jabz’ Jirawong and a Spectre for Dominik ‘Black^’ Reitmeier. Despite also having a very strong pick off potential, Faceless were not allowed to take the early advantage, OG’s supports once again making the difference for the their team. Without a successful early game, the Spectre Radiance was not enough to mess up with OG’s teamfight and the series closed with a clear 2-0 victory for the Europeans.
Empire deliver the big surprise of the group
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Team Empire at a LAN event, July 2016 to be more precise, when they finished bottom two at Nanyang Dota 2 Championships Season 2. After countless roster changes, they seem to have finally found the right mix to pose as a real threat after they finished the first day of the group stage on the second position in group A. They might as well be called Monkey King spammers after this first day, but the hero worked beautifully in Yaroslav ‘Miposhka’ Naidenov’s hands, who has been an extremely disruptive support in the three games (out of four) he got to play MK. Always hidden in the trees behind the enemy lines, or hunting down couriers with his disguise abilities, Miposhka created the perfect set-up for Empire to take their opponents by surprise and snowball on the back of a very dominant laning stage.
LGD Forever Young were Empire’s first victims, and it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t mention Rostislav ‘fn’ Lozovoi’s amazing performance in the mid lane. Although the flashy, ballsy MK plays are easy to spot and remember, fn’s Magnus and Sniper in the LFY series were definitely the key heroes. Equally amazing plays coming from fn, this time on Shadow Fiend, allowed Empire to take a game from Faceless as well, which places them only two points behind OG with a total of two wins, one draw and no losses after the first day of the group stage.
Rough start for the Chinese teams on home turf
From all the three Chinese teams drawn in Group A, only Wings managed to score a clear 2-0 victory and that happened against their compatriots, VG J. Unfortunately for Jeremy Lin’s boys, who just recently amazed everyone in the Kiev Major qualifiers, the DAC first group stage day ended almost disastrous with only one draw, which puts them at the bottom of the group, tied with LFY and Faceless with only one point accumulated.
With two more days of action ahead of us, the DAC group stage is far from over and everything can change for any of the participants, starting with tomorrow. The schedule for day two is packed with a total of six series as follows:
03:00 CEST: Wings Gaming vs LGD Forever Young
05:30 CEST: Faceless vs VG J
08:00 CEST: Team Empire vs OG
10:30 CEST: Wings Gaming vs Faceless
13:00 CEST: LGD Forever Young vs OG
15:30 CEST: VG J vs Team Empire