The annual Dota 2 championship, The International, is off to an interesting start. Fledgling teams have powered through the old guard as instant classics were made.
European team OG was considered the heavy favorite entering the tournament. They had won both the Frankfurt and Manila major decidedly, scoring 3-1 against both Team Secret and Team Liquid, respectively.
However, they are among one of the first teams sent down to the loser’s bracket. They lost in heartbreaking fashion to Korean team MVP, with a score of 2-1. The games were frenetic, with both teams putting all of their skill on display, But in the end, unpredictability triumphed over calculated play and MVP moved on. However, OG is not out of the tournament, but instead placed in a “loser’s bracket” which they can climb back into the tournament with a streak of wins.
North American team DC battled Chinese team Wings later on in the day, with Wings winning 2-1. It did not seem very close, as Wings drafted a mix of under-powered or seldom picked heroes in the second game. While it made for some funny banter between the two teams, Wings got back to business afterwards and sealed the deal, moving on to the next stage.
Chinese-based LGD dueled with EU squad Team Secret for the third match of the day. Team Secret is an all-star cast of Dota 2 players that on paper should be claiming championship after championship. However, after this year’s international, it is apparent that they cannot find their footing on the grandest stage in the game. They lost to LGD after a grueling seventy minute game, and were eliminated from the competition.
In a series over in the blink of an eye, European squad Fnatic defeated Escape Gaming, the winners of the wildcard division.
The final match of the day was also the most highly anticipated. Arguably the most popular team in Dota 2, fellow European team Na’vi faced team Liquid in a single elimination bout. Team Liquid preformed well in the prior Dota 2 majors, and was expected to have a deep run this year in the International. Na’vi could not keep up with the pace that Liquid had set, and conceded in disappointing fashion after a thirty-five minute beat down.
You can find where and when the next highly anticipated match will take place on the International website. The main event final takes place on Saturday, August 13th. It’s going to be a firecracker of an ending this year, so check back for all the coverage of the event.