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

Where does ‘Hijump’ come from

In a time before I owned my own gaming PC, I used to go to an internet cafe to first get into World of Warcraft as well as dabble in a few games that were popular with my friends like DotA and Counter Strike: Source (CS:S). One day we decided to play CS:S on one of my favorite modded maps, ScoutzKnives. On this map you only have a scout rifle and a knife. It’s a game mode where you can either flail for hours or seem like an untouchable god. At the time I was more in line with the former. The map also has zero gravity, so major antics can and do ensue.

I loaded into a random server and peaked outside the doorway to line up a three person headshot. My shot was so successful that I was immediately accused of hacking and banned from the server. It feels pretty good to be accused of hacking due your skill, but as a very novice player, it was incredible.

At the time, as most young gamers do, I was cycling through different screen names, still unsure of what I wanted my online identity to be. On that fateful day I landed the perfect shot and was accused of hacking, I was playing as “Hijump”. I never did the sport of high jump, despite the name being a play of the two words, I just liked the way it looked and sounded. Aesthetically I liked the lowercase i next to the lowercase j with their two dots together.

Immediately after I was banned from the server my mind raced with dreams of being a legend, the kind of player so skilled that they get banned for being as good as a hack. From that moment on Hijump became my handle across all the games I played. I wanted my name to be known for quality plays and high achievement.