Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid and NP finish the first day in the group of death with underwhelming performances.
Dota 2 Asia Championships group stage kicked of disastrously for the three western teams placed in group B. The two IG squads, both coming to the event via qualifier rounds, delivered huge upsets. Invictus Gaming opened the day with a 2-0 victory over Team Liquid, and iG Vitality wiped the floor with Evil Geniuses. Although not exactly regarded as one of the stronger contenders of the group, NP has managed to snatch a game from both EG and IG to stay ahead of their western rivals, even if with merely one point.
Day one started in group B with a back and forth game one between Newbee and iG Vitality that lasted almost an hour before Newbee’s late game cores finally managed to tank Xu ‘Sakata‘ Zichen’s painful OD right clicks. In the second game, Newbee went with a fast tempo lineup and pressured the mid lane to take the early advantage. With the full magic damage item build on Ember Spirit (Veil of Discord, Maelstrom, Boots of Travel), finished around the 20 minute mark, Newbee sealed the deal within the next 10 minutes to secure their first three points of the day. They were really close to mimic OG’s undefeated performance from the other group but a very angry Team Liquid, denied Newbee’s 4-0 sail through day one. Playing around the pre 7.04 meta did not work well for Liquid as the hero proved to be worthless against both IG and Newbee. Despite the good amount of farm, Lasse ‘MATUMBAMAN‘ Urpalainen’s Alchemist game versus Newbee was shut down, ironically, by a Aghanim’s Scepter Storm Spirit – infest bomb combo.
After a three losses streak, Liquid had to change the gameplan in their last confrontation of the day, and Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi summoned the Monkey King for himself and let Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi to have his fun on Invoker while MATUMBAMAN split the map on Furion. The clear strategy, built around Invoker’s pick off potential with Sunstrikes, got Miracle a personal 23-0-13 K/D/A and allowed Team Liquid to grab their only point of the day.
In the same dire straits are Evil Geniuses, who had a very bad start against iG Vitality, interestingly enough, the series being lost by the boys in blue also with a mid-lane Alchemist. Game one was a clear stomp in which the Vacuum-Wall-Magnetize wombo combo of iG.V proved to be too much for EG to heal trough, while the second game was a painful struggle to watch. Although Syed Sumail ‘SumaiL‘ Hassan reached 1.2K GPM on his Alchemist, had all his late game items done, made three Aghanim’s Scepters for his teammates and also bought four Moon Shards for the team, EG could not breach iG.V’s high ground defense and were forced to admit defeat.
Evil Geniuses’ only point from day one comes from their draw score with NP, where Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy‘ Mao went with a bit of an experimental Meepo draft in game two. At the end of the first day in group B, NP is the only western team to not lose a full series, which places them in the middle of the pack, while the Chinese squads are leading the chart.