Day two did not disappoint when it again took nearly three hours for the first game to start. This time the rumored culprit was a DDoS attack on the game server. We took the break to give out Plus codes (keep checking our Twitter tomorrow!). Today, two more teams were eliminated, EHOME upset the championship favorite, prodigy mid players showcased their talents, and March let out a primal scream.
Complexity’s draft did what it was meant to do: establish the early game with Chen and use that to propel through the mid game using Clinkz’s efficient damage from Medallion and Desolator. The last step, closing the game, was their problem.
Complexity, by 11 minutes, destroyed all of EG’s tier 1 towers, giving them a 7k gold lead. By 14 minutes, they secured Roshan and Swindlemelonzz picked up an Aghanim Scepter off his strong start from killing Sumail, with help from his team, twice.
Despite the early game dominance, Complexity never fully utilized their lead to establish map control and they never smoked to pick off EG leaking out to farm. Fear snaked behind enemy lines to cut creep waves and delay the game.
Swindlemelonzz’s picked up an Octarine Core as his second item. In hindsight, this was one of many grave mistakes, as a hex would have given coL. an answer to stop Anti-Mage’s split push. EG continued to climb back, as Fear farmed with impunity.
By 30 mins, Aui_2000 had a gem and Complexity had no wards on the map. Complexity, in one last ditch attempt, smoked to try to gain any small victory, but it was broken and Fear netted a triple kill. Complexity’s window finally closes.
EG wins game 1
Summary of coL’s draft: pick the heroes that have armor passives or armor actives. Never mind what your opponent does if you’re the one forcing them to answer your lineup. EG’s answer: Sumail on Ember Spirit.
CoL. focused on gaining an early advantage for their mid lane, but Sumail turned a skirmish and killed both Dragon Knight and Sven, with his team’s support. Keep in mind that this was their one-position Sven, who by 30 minutes, was trailing in net worth to ppd’s Crystal Maiden.
This game was the Sumail show, as he teased earlier on Twitter. His stats after the first 17 minutes: 8 kills, 0 deaths, 4 assists. 94 cs. Treads, Aquila, and Battlefury
At some point Complexity should have given up trying to hit Sumail with a spell. He dodged and consequently outplayed nearly everything CoL. threw at him: Sven’s Stun, Lina’s Stun, and even Dragon Knight’s stun, which has a cast point of 0.
Complexity at one point did manage to kill Sumail, twice, off the back of his Aegis. In exchange, however, they traded all their heroes and two buybacks.
EG wins series 2-0. Complexity drops to lower bracket.
Arteezy, unchecked, had 110 cs at 11 minutes, a mek, and his team had claimed two t1 towers. They moved forward to t2 and thwarted EHOME’s response, wiping EHOME's team at the cost of Arteezy.
At 15 minutes, Arteezy led with 145 cs. EHOME’s highest cs was on their Gyro, at 70.
The game turned when Secret ran uphill into EHOME’s smoke squad. EHOME used Winter’s Curse on Arteezy under his BKB and picked him off. Cty’s Storm Spirit, coming back from a rough start, gained three more bloodstone charges. It was the first of many victories for EHOME.
At min. 32 EHOME finally executed what we were all waiting for: the wombo combo of Winter’s Curse and Phoenix Egg. 7k networth change in EHOME’s favor.
Secret drafted as if they didn’t need an answer for Storm Spirit, expecting to win before he had any effectiveness. By the end of the game, they desperately needed an answer for Cty, who ran rampant on Secret’s supports. Top this off with Winter Wyvern, who consistently countered Arteezy’s Shadow Fiend with Winter’s Curse, while with Cold Embrace, thwarted any attempt by Secret’s physical damage lineup to pick off a hero.
EHOME wins game 1
Secret ban that dreaded Winter Wyvern. This time they opened with both SF and AM—a sign of confidence—but it allowed EHOME to counter with their surprise last pick Nightstalker.
Secret’s commitment to their dual lanes this series did not pan out, as EHOME picked Axe off early. EHOME forced Secret to play defensively for the rest of the game, using a series of smokes to success. They not only killed S4 on Shadow Fiend, but they also killed him while he was killing his jungle stacks—the recovery mechanic for SF’s with poor starts. EHOME limited S4’s throughout the game, meanwhile, Arteezy was cutting lanes and trying to buy time, as Fear did against Complexity.
However, EHOME warded both jungles to hinder Arteezy’s movements, and they found a kill on him at minute 16. Cty by then had a desolator on his Templar Assassin.
We’ve seen so far a few failures from teams who couldn’t secure the map when they had the net worth advantage. Other teams would always find a hole to sneak out to farm or to find a pickoff. EHOME displayed their late game solution: Aghanim Scepter on Nightstalker.
Here were CTY’s item slots at 33 minutes: Daedalus, Yasha, Desolator, Blink, Mkb. By the way, zyf also has the same net worth. Secret committed everything for TA, but they were left with nothing for zyf, who cleaned house. Secret never managed to bounce back.
EHOME wins series 2-0. Secret drops to lower bracket
This was a game defined by QO’s confidence, and overconfidence, with varying results.
Example: Min. 8: QO’s TA pressuring Resolution’s Storm. 45/22 cs against 23/3. To add insult to injury, Resolution then dies from a Lion gank.
Moments later, QO pushes further into the mid lane, and QoP rotates to net a double kill on both TA and Lion.
After that, QO leads a chase that results in the deaths of himself, Io, and Lion.
Still, this was another familiar TA game with an item timing close to Cty’s previous game at 27 minutes: Blink Dagger, Desolator, and Daedalus. At the same time, March came back on his Bristle, from a tough early lane, with a Mek and Crimson Guard.
Then, another defining QO moment. Empire wiped his team and he’s the last man standing against QoP, Storm, and Razor. They killed him once with his Aegis, but without detection, QO managed to slip through the trees near the Dire ancients. QoP retreated after taking a critical strike hit that put him in critical health. Storm Spirit chased after, using all his mana, only to face two attacks that brought him down. With one teammate running, the other dead, Razor tried to run, but QO chased and took him down with five hits.
With an underfarmed Storm, and QO able to pick off Witch Doctor and Winter Wyvern, Empire never got the chance to come back.
MVP.Phoenix wins game 1
Empire failed to capitalize on the early game strength of their Tusk and Undying lane, losing both heroes in the first eight minutes. Meanwhile, March was bullying both Anti-Mage and Bane on his Spirit Breaker. Empire underestimated the resilience of a Spirit Breaker with seven armor and a Poor Man’s Shield. They did perhaps twenty negligible damage per auto attack.
Here’s an interesting mechanic: If Phantom Lancer is rushing towards a tracked AM and that AM blinks away, he will still chase, at Bloodseeker-like speeds.
Without gaining an advantage in the early game, Empire wasn’t able to stall PL’s item progression. Undying and Bane are not the most well equipped supports to corral a farmed Phantom Lancer.
MVP.Phoenix wins 2-0. Empire is eliminated
The C9 ritual this tournament usually begins with one of their lanes losing, such as when Cloud 9 gave up a kill in their aggressive tri-lane.
On the other side of the map, iceiceice on his Clockwerk was bullying Bone7’s Phoenix out of the Radiant offlane. That’s two lanes lost, until a skirmish at the top rune resulted in the death of Fata’s Shadow Fiend and Bane. Three lanes.
Then, it was time for the Cloud 9 that the Cloud 9 fans were waiting for. Envy and Fata on his SF infiltrated VG’s jungle and stole their hard camp stack. The five on five fight over the stack ended with Cloud 9 on top.
Cloud 9 managed to find Hao’s Spectre over and over. It took Hao 32 minutes before he finished his Radiance, and he only had it for a few moments before Cloud 9 killed off four of VG heroes off the back of an excellent Phoenix ultimate. Cloud 9 took the top lane of rax and established an 18k gold lead.
It was time, again, for the Cloud 9 that fans were waiting for. VG began to climb back with a combination of flawless initiations that went like this:
They used this to find back to back kills on both Shadow Fiend and Gyro, who also had a Satanic, in addition to his BKB, that proved useless. 22k net worth erased in seconds.
Hao, from a 32 minute radiance, came back to end the game seven slotted, with a Refresher Orb on his courier.
However, this game was the Fy show. He was the architect for the multiple plays that bought Hao time on his Spectre to farm. Fy singlehandedly turned fights with his Aghanim’s scepter Rubick, making a succession of impressive plays. In one of many of these instances, he stole Phoenix egg (a mistake by Bone7), then stole Bane’s Nightmare to prevent a relocate save from Notail. In another fight, he stole SF’s Requiem, and uses his lift and the ultimate onto a retreating Phoenix.
C9 made one final attempt to backdoor the throne with SF and a Desolator pickup on Gyro, but to no avail.
VG wins game 1
In an elimination match, both teams pulled out unorthodox picks that are typical of their MO's. VG took the first Sniper of TI5. And Cloud 9 drafted an offlane Bloodseeker to complete another lineup with zero stuns.
In theory, Bloodseeker should have a decent lane in a matchup against Dark Seer, unless the player behind that Dark Seer is iceiceice.
If game 1 was the Fy show, game 2 was iceiceice’s. He dominantesd his offlane against the dual lane of Bloodseeker and Pugna. He also roamed mid, killed Shadow Fiend with ion shell and an assassinate from Super, and then stole Cloud 9’s hard camp stack. A few minutes after, he kills Bone7 in the offlane.
With iceiceice’s early Mek, VG countered C9’s feeble attempt to push their t1 safe lane tower. VG dominated the fight and took out four.
Back to the iceiceice show: at 18 mins iceiceice found an opening for a 4 man vacuum. His team followed up with a Fissure and Winters Curse.
min 22 Kill score 22-7. VG had close to a 15k gold lead and was already pushing high ground. Cloud 9 wrapped wround with a smoke and narrowly took the fight, even in the face of another Winter’s Curse. c9 take out 4 for 2. 5k gold swing towards c9.
min 27 VG tried again. This time, however, iceiceice catch both C9’s supports, on their own high ground, with another vacuum and the Winter’s Curse follow up finishes them off. Envy’s last trick up his sleeve was to flank with Bloodrage on his QoP, but Hao’s Gyro found him in the trees and Envy fell to the amplified damage.
VG wins 2-0. Cloud 9 is eliminated.
All the players from Secret made their entrance wearing sunglasses. It wasn’t difficult for me to root for EHOME to upset them.
There are a lot of Chinese Dota fans here. The cheers for EHOME and VG rivaled in volume to the ones for favorites Na’Vi and EG.
A Korean team, MVP.Phoenix, has made at least $815k in prize money. If this sum is enough to jump start more Koreans to play Dota, the makeup of future international tournaments will be interesting.
Sumail lives with eight of his family in an apartment and once had to sell his bike to play more Dota at a Pakistani game center. His team is about to make at least 1.1 million dollars.
I had predicted that we may see Techies in EG vs coL, but unfortunately both teams banned him in their two games.
Saying EHOME upset Secret belies the performance EHOME had. They thoroughly outdrafted and outplayed Secret.