The first two action-packed days of Dota 2 at the Epicenter XL Major has come to a close, and we’ve finally caught a glimpse of all 12 teams in attendance and what they bring to the table. The group stage matches have all been quite gripping and teams have been vying to establish some early dominance in the tournament. While no one has looked like the numero uno dominant team, the Europeans, OG and Team Liquid looked like the best of the lot just from their performance in their first matchups.
Let's take a look at what transpired on both Day 1 and Day 2 of the event!
Virtus.Pro vs paiN Gaming
The only game of the first day, Virtus.pro faced off against Brazilian team paiN Gaming. paiN Gaming are of course, the new home of European Pubstar Alwai “W33” Omar who showed us why he is one of the few individuals who can call themselves ‘Major Champions’ with a stunning Visage performance in Game 1.
The second match between these two teams was over in a flash, ending in just under 22 minutes with VP taking it quite easily. The third game was quite the same story with Virtus.Pro dominating the Brazil teams and taking the series 2-1.
Mineski vs PSG.LGD
The two DAC 2018 finalists opened up the proceeding for Day 2 with one of the most evenly matched up games we had, with PSG.LGD prevailing in the end and getting their revenge for DAC with a 2-1 victory.
Game 1 lasted 33 minutes with both sides levelled on 23 kills and saw PSG.LGD take it. Mineski took Game 2 courtesy of Daryl “iceiceice” Koh’s Pangolier. Game 3 was pretty close for the majority of its duration, but a crucial shot-calling mistake from Mineski handed the game on a silver platter to LGD Gaming.
Team Liquid vs Team Empire
Team Liquid overpowered and beat Team Empire in a 2:0 sweep. Team Empire put up a valiant fight and proving to be a tougher nut to crack for the reigning TI champions. But in the end, Team Liquid’s experience provided them with the edge to finish off the CIS team. Both matches in the series were riddled with pivotal fights and swings, pushing Team Liquid to claim the lead and wins in only the last moments of the games.
compLexity Gaming vs FlyToMoon
The game that was meant to open the EPICENTER XL tournament was postponed to today due to issues with player’s luggage which saw coL lose their equipment.
FlyToMoon absolutely dominated coL in Game 1, setting a pace that the NA team just couldn’t match, finding kills and objectives all over the map which lead them to taking the match in just over 21 minutes with over a 42,000 lead in net worth. coL’s Techies experiment just didn’t pay off.
The next game was much more highly contested but Iceberg’s Shadowfiend was near unstoppable – with huge crits coming out and no way to stop the CIS squad, coL had no choice but to surrender the victory after nearly 1 hour, giving FTM a 2-0 series victory.
Team Secret vs Newbee
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. When the season started, Team Secret and Newbee were looking invincible along with VP and Team Liquid. But now they’re struggling to find those crucial final points that will guarantee their TI8 invite. A good result in Epicenter XL would see either team secure their invite.
After three grueling, intense matches, Team Secret finally managed to best Newbee to enter the top half of Group B's standings. Game 1 went the way of Team Secret in 46 minutes. Newbee showed life in Game 2, but were simply shut down by Clement "Puppey" Ivanov and co. when it mattered most as Game 3 belonged to Team Secret with Newbee barely able to even land a firm footing in the match.
OG vs Na’vi
OG had a strong showing in their opening series of the Epicenter XL Major taking down Na’vi. The match-up between these two teams didn't even make it to a third game, OG decimated their opponents in the first two matches. The first match of the series between the two teams was a complete stomp for OG as coach Sébastien "7ckngMad" Debs came out with a 16-0-1 record on Gyrocopter in a stellar performance. The second game of the series started a bit more even with Na'Vi even taking the lead at one point. Unable to maintain a firm grasp on the advantage, they dropped their momentum and lead about 27 minutes in, along with the series.
The action resumes tomorrow with Group A starting things off between Mineski and FlyToMoon at 03:00 PM SGT | 01:30 PM IST.