TI Days 1 & 2

Hello everyone,

First off let me say Im sorry for not posting yesterday. I greatly underestimated how exhausted I was going to be at the end of the day. It also didn’t help that I managed to forget my wallet at home so I wasn’t able to eat until I finally had dinner at like 10pm. So sleep shortly followed. But let’s start there and talk about the amazing day that was yesterday (The International Day 1).

My day started off by waiting at the red carpet to greet the players as they walked up with hopes of high fiving my favorite player Puppey of Team Secret. While I did get to see him, no fives were highed. Though not all was lost, I was wearing my hat for the Shitty Wizard cosplay that I put together with the help of Choaskub and was selected to be interviewed by the Meme-Lord Sir Action Slacks. So that was a great way to start my morning, but it only got better from there. As the lines were moved to the entrance and all the patrons swarmed to find some seats we all began the wait for the opening ceremony to start.

An hour went by so quickly as anticipation grew, until the crowd began to chant the countdown 10,9,…3,2,1 and the opening video began to play welcoming to this year’s crucible ready to forge another team in the fires of victory. All of the teams were brought out and Gabe Newell took the stage welcoming us to the Dota 2 International 6 and that we were/are in store for many surprises. The lights went down and stage which was covered by curtains light up showing us a silhouette of a figure with a violin, there is only one person that could match the hype of this event, Lindsey Stirling. The curtains dropped as she began to play to show off her amazing Windrunner cosplay and she played the main Dota theme. I was grinning from ear to ear as she danced and played, “This is what it’s like to be here in person” I thought to myself. And just as soon as it had started the opening event was over and the wait for the first games began. But we will get to the game analysis soon enough.

Later on in the day I had the fun of getting to go pick up my free swag bag. Any of you who have been to events such as Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) are most likely thinking that this is something small or not worth the time to get it. But Valve does it right, giving out high quality sling bags, a really nice water bottle, sunglasses, an attendee pin, a high quality 3D sticker, a large Journal, a T-shirt, and a paint your own hero figure. I love how much they give you with your ticket and the water bottle is nice since there are many fill up stations in the arena. But my search for stuff wasn’t over yet. I walked over to the customer service booth and donned my Shitty Wizard attire and finally acquired my Cosplay Pin for TI6 and I couldn’t be more happy with it. Valve really doesn’t half ass things and the pins are no exception.

On to the games, if you are curious as to who I predicted to win go check out the Day 0 post where I go into some of the reasons why I think X team with win. Moving on though, Series 1 was between OG and MVP Phoenix. And to the surprise of many, OG lost 1-2 heading down into the loser’s bracket. The favorites to win the tournament had lost in the first round to a team that looked weaker in the group stage. The games were amazing and had so many epic plays but OG feel in the end with many people are now readily accepting our new Korean overlords. My prediction score 0-1

Series two I thought would be the weirdest set and boy was I right! Wings Gaming vs. Digital Chaos (DC) was an utter bloodbath in game 1 only for Wings to pick some crazy heroes in game 2, all around me people are just yelling “What the F$%^ are they thinking?!?”. The game started off looking like they had this planned all along but quickly turned into the defeat many expected from their crazy draft. Game 3 though was just an absolute clinic put on by Wings destroying DC’s hopes of the winner’s bracket. Wings wins the series 2-1, my predictions 1-1.

On to the losers bracket where all games are a best of one. Where a bad draft of a single misplay means the end for your team. Game one between TNC and VG Reborn was quite the weird one VGR started off great but TNC quickly took over and sent the china squad packing, on the back of their carry players epic plays. TNC advance to face OG in Round 2. My predictions 1-2

Game two was one of the sad ones, Team Secret vs. LGD Gaming. Where at the end of the game one of two legends would be heading home. What proceeded was an early stomp by LGD quickly gaining the lead and establishing dominance. Though they were unable to close out the match allowing Secret to farm up and pose a real threat, but after a gruelling 70 minute game the stars aligned for LGD and they finally closed the game out. Sending Puppey home and likely meaning the end of this current Team Secret Roster. LGD move on to face DC in Round 2. My predictions 1-3

Our third match between Fnatic and Escape Gaming doesn’t have much to say about it. Escape drafted a really weird composition and Fnatic picked up some comfort heroes. Who then proceeded to lay the smack down on Escape where their Templar Assassin just chased down everyone until Escape finally GG’d out and ended their tournament run with a record of 2-13 (post wildcard). My predictions 2-3.

Finally we had another conflicting matchup Na’Vi vs. Liquid Gaming. Where either the poster boy of Dota, Dendi or the unflinching Kuroky would be heading home. Many thought that Na’Vi had looked like the stronger team in the group stages as Liquid struggled to find footing. But the Liquid that walked into that booth was the one that we had seen in the past, ultra consistent and always 2 steps ahead of Na’Vi. After 35 minutes and some epic plays on both sides, Na’Vi admitted defeat and was headed up in 14-16th place. My predictions 2-4.

With those games done and feeling defeated after watching my teams lose all day I’d normally be writing about what I would expect to see today (TI Day 2). But since I am writing this as a looking back point I will keep things brief and follow up with the results.

Match 1 EHOME vs Alliance. Both of these teams have huge followings but EHOME since coming from the wild card has looked unstoppable and while many people speculate that Alliance is back in top shape. I don’t think that EHOME can be stopped at this point and predicted an EHOME win over Alliance. And man was I right both games Alliance gave up the tournament favorite picks to EHOME and they were punished hard for doing so both games only lasting 36 minutes and EHOME moved on to the next round. Sending Alliance and their many fans to the loser’s bracket. Prediction score 3-4

Match 2 between Evil Geniuses and Newbee is a similar situation where EG’s new lineup seems to be clicking based on their performance in the group stages but Newbee has been on epic win streaks leading up to TI and looked quite strong themselves in the group stages. I gave the win to the Chinese squad. But I gravely underestimated the ability of EG’s mid laner Sumail. He was drafted 2 of his comfort picks and he unleashed havik on Newbee ending the first game in 31 minutes with a dominant performance. While in the 70 minute second game he played a pivotal role in picking off heroes and helping the team stabilize. EG defeat Newbee 2-0 advancing to face EHOME in the next round. Predictions 3-5

On to the losers bracket which are now best of 3’s where TNC face off against OG. Everyone has OG pegged as one of the teams to at least take top 3 in the tournament so even seeing them in loser’s this early is a insane to think about. TNC a team that was formed just before the open qualifies for TI vs a 2 time Major champion Team. Hands down I gave the win to OG. But so many people were wrong, OG picked a strong strategy to start with but didn’t round out their composition with high impact heroes and eventually fell to the comfort picks of TNC. The crowd was stunned after the first game but of course OG would bounce back and make it to game 3. OG had an epic draft but failed to last ban Huskar, the hero many use to cheese their way through games if the other team doesn’t have the proper composition to deal with him. So despite having an amazing early and mid game, Huskar couldn’t be stopped in the end and OG went out of the tournament 0-2 stunning everyone. But raising the hopes of all the fans of the Philippine team. Predictions 3-6.

Last but not least was DC and LGD. Honestly I think that my original analysis of LGD stand correct and I gave the win to DC in this regard. And it became quite evident that DC was paying attention to LGD’s game against Secret and forced them to deal with an illusion heavy composition and ratted them out in the first game to take a 1-0 lead. Sitting in the middle of all of the fans from China was amazing their passionate chants and cheers echoing through the stadium. But in game 2 DC drafted one of Resolut1on’s favorite heros though he is not really in the meta. But after the team made it through the mid game Resolut1on took off and brought tons of damage to the lineup helping the finish off LGD and sending Xiao8 to join Puppey on the sidelines. DC move on to face TNC in the next round. Predictions 4-6.

So after all of those games we are left looking to tomorrow (TI Day 3) where we start with the losers bracket with Alliance vs Fnatic. Remembering that these are best of 3 matches I expect to see some crazy picks from Fnatic and Alliance alike. But I view Alliance as the stronger team expecting them to come out on top in the best of 3.

The real challenge I see in the loser’s side being Liquid vs Newbee. Where if Liquid shows up like they did against Na’Vi and performs like the consistent team we have seen the last 6 months then the series will be quite close and I believe that they have the potential to beat Newbee. That being said Newbee’s games against EG where close and and I think that they are a team that does plenty of research and Liquid actually has games for them to review. I believe that Newbee will be motivated after that loss to EG.

We then go back to the winner’s bracket and start with MVP Phoenix and Wings Gaming. Both teams have shown that they are strong but I think that Wings has a wider hero pool and should they be able to make some of those pocket strats work they will come out on top.

Last but not least we have the epic that is EG vs EHOME. Now while EG have toppled Newbee it’s hard to imagine that they will be able to stop EHOME. EG have the pressure of defending their title and have a great captain in PPD but conversely EHOME has a wide hero pool and they manage to tear apart each team, so in a best of 3 I can see EG taking a game off of them but not the match. I give the win to EHOME 2-1.

Thanks everyone for reading, I will be back tomorrow with some more talk about the event and the matches!

-Hijump

Dota 2 International – Day 0

Hello everyone,

I am currently in Seattle for the Dota 2 International 6 (TI6) which starts tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited! Currently the prize pool is sitting well over 20 Million dollars, and with so many teams doing well it’s going to make for some amazing games.  

I am most looking forward to being part of the crowd. I can’t wait to be in that stadium when someone gets first blood, a team makes an epic comeback (I am looking at you Alliance), or even just cheering at a dewarding.  Being there with so many other equally excited Dota fans is an experience you can’t quite get at home.  I can’t wait to be cheering for my favorite players as they fight for the ultimate prize of claiming the aegis and showing that they are the best in the world.  I am also looking forward to meeting people: pros, commentators, content creators, and fans. I have already had the chance to talk to LD and Charlie Yang but the best interaction I had was meeting one of my viewers who flagged me down as I was filming some shots.  It was someone that I met at PAX East when I only had 78 followers and remembered me. We chatted about who we think is going to win the event.  Meeting the fans always reinspires me with streaming by reminding me that this is what I want to do for a living, to play games, to go to events, and to share my passions with you all.

I picked up a lot of sweet merchandise today. This year I skipped the 8 hour line for a chance to get pins, plushies and apparel.  Instead I preordered everything that I wanted a couple weeks in advance and just showed up today, waited 30 minutes and picked up my order.  Well done Valve and We Love Fine! So this year I picked up 4 pins sets (to get the extra rare pin), a couple of plushies, a button up shirt, and a Windrunner figure. Along with my purchase I got a bunch of emoticharm pins for free.  

So to start things off I pulled a Skywrath Mage and Dazzle plush, one being one of my favorite heroes the other being quite well made.  The pins I did okay with, I got only 1 duplicate with the random rare pins.  The duplicate was IO but I think this made it all the easier to find someone to trade for the missing Enigma pin as IO has become a giant meme and IS going to win the arcana vote (just an extra prediction there for you). So I am quite happy I got all the pins and won’t have to scour Ebay again this year.  

I have yet to open the Windrunner figure but I have seen others and the quality is amazing.  While I wish they had done this is addition to the demi heros they had the last couple of years, I will enjoy being able to pose my favorite hero in all sorts of action shorts. Also it came with a small postcard sized print that will look nice on my Dota wall.  

The button up shirt feels really nice and has some minor Dota accents to it so I won’t feel weird wearing this out to bars and the like even when dressing up a little bit.  

And finally the emoticharm pins. Each set comes with 3 pins and a code to redeem in game for those emoticons.   Collect all 6 sets and you get a special set. Luckily I ended up with just 2 duplicates and was easily able to track down someone to trade for the one I was missing.  I love having a trading space as it helps people make new friends and streamline the process of finding others looking to trade.  The extra set is amazing this year with a chicken, Legion Commander and salt shaker as the special set.  Nothing makes me happier than getting that salt shaker.

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Moving on to the main event! Let’s take a look at who is playing tomorrow, talk about their story and who I think will come out on top.  First off we have some graphics from Wikipedia to show the teams, their group record, win/loss and overall points (3 for a 2-0, 1 for a split and no for 0-2). 

OGMVP

Starting off in the winner’s bracket we have OG and MVP Phoenix.  OG the first team to claim to Major (Valve sponsored tournaments) and the team favored to win the entire event.   Since they finished top of their group they get to choose their opponent from the top 4 of the other group.  They chose the team with the weakest record, MVP Phoenix (MVP:P), a team that split most series only losing outright to EHOME (our Cinderella of TI6).  MVP:P has shown us some amazing plays and looked solid overall through the group stage. Overall I think this was a smart move by OG. Their game tomorrow is a best of 3, so they will have a chance to claim an early win against MVP:P. Even if they lose the first or second game, OG has shown the ability as a team to adapt and punish sloppy play.  I believe that this first series will end with a 2-1 win for OG.

DC Wings

Match 2 is between the dark horse Digital Chaos (DC)  and Wings Gaming.  Out of all the matches for tomorrow I believe that this has the most potential to be the most explosive series as both teams have been known to step up and try crazy things.  I foresee this match going one of three ways, both teams show up strong and we have an epic best of 3 (Bo3), one team shows up and we have a blowout, or neither is fully prepared and there will be play mistakes all over.  But you may be asking why I say this, I mean surely both of these teams are in the winner’s side they have to be good teams, right? And yes you are correct but it depends on what team show up tomorrow at the Key Arena.  DC had an epic group stage but their prior tournament showings have not been the greatest. On the other side we have Wings Gaming a team that has shown great promise in their last few tournaments most recently winning The Summit 5 over OG with a 3-1 record.  Though what has many people worried is the team’s showing at the Manila Major just a couple of months ago where they placed 13th-16th.  In a tournament such as TI with so much pressure and all eyes on you it is a wonder if the pressure will get to the team.  Overall I think that Wings gaming will have a 2-1 victory over DC and move on to face OG.

TNC VGR

Moving on to the best of 1’s where the pocket strats come out as teams have their back against the wall and need to win to even make it to the Bo3’s. The first match features TNC and VG:R.  Admittedly I have not had a chance to watch many of TNC’s games but from what I have gotten to see they were pretty one sided matches. They have shown that they can beat these top teams but was their win against Wings a result of their own skill or Wings having an off couple of games?  Their opponent VG:R ended the group stage at the bottom of group B, and they have not looked the strongest placing 5th/6th at Nanyang Season 2 and placing 7/8th at the Manila Major.  Over all this could show to be one of the weaker matches, but we will have to see if these teams have some aces up their sleeves. I give the edge to TNC as they have shown more life in their group matches. So a 1-0 victory to them.

LGD secret

Next up we have the match I am looking forward to the most, Team Secret (my favorite) and LGD Gaming.  If you asked anyone about either team before the group stages no one would have suggested that either team would be in the loser’s bracket, let alone one of the two best players getting last place.  Starting with Team Secret (Secret) has been a roller coaster of a team from winning a majority of their events since the team’s founding in the wake of TI4 including the Shanghai Major. Secret started off strong in the group but then quickly fell into an 8 game losing streak. However LGD has faced their own issues. The first issue that this  Chinese team faced came before the tournament even started as their support MMY was unable to get a visa for the event meaning that Banana needed to come out of his playing retirement.  That being said Banana is no slouch he too was part of the Newbee team that won TI4.  This team as a whole was projected to go far in the tournament but without MMY they have been struggling managing to get some wins over strong teams but falling short on the weaker ones..  Overall we have two expected titans feeling the weight of potential disappointment on their shoulders that being said I give the edge to Team Secret as they have a broader hero pool and have shown that they can beat LGD even at their best. While Banana is not a liability he is certainly a weak link in their team and his lack of flexibility when it comes to supports can be a downfall if exploited. 1-0 Secret

Escape fnatic

Our 3rd match is Fnatic vs Escape Gaming (Escape).  Fnatic in the past has shown some quality appearances in the Majors usually ending 5th/6th. This SEA team has shown some strength in the group stages and have had pocket strats in the past and can be something to fear come time for Bo1’s.  Escape on the other hand is our 2nd wild card team but ended up with the worst record overall The team is a rather young one only being founded back in March the team looks good in terms of cohesion but lacking when it comes to playing in the current meta.   Era and qojqva have that big stage experience but I don’t think it will be enough to beat Fnatic I give Fnatic a 1-0 win here.

Liqud NaVi

Finally we have Na’Vi and Liquid two teams that have watched the world crumble around them.  Na’Vi for those of you that follow Dota at all was the team that won the first International and Dendi became the poster child of professional Dota.  Na’Vi looked to have found some footing in recent tournaments but they shocked a lot of people ending up in Loser’s. This team has a history of strong picks during the draft and have shown what happens if you let the wrong heroes through bans.  One slip up during hero selection and you may have already lost the game.  Liquid on the other hand is a team that has been quite strong in recent events placing in the top 3 of their last 9 tournaments placing 2nd at both the Manila and Shanghai Majors.  But they seem to be lost in the current meta.  While Liquid have shown consistency in the past I think what matters most is the ability to surprise your opponent and play weird picks well.  So I give the win to Na’Vi

 

-Hijump