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The first day of The International 9 is done for Group B participants.
Tournament-favorites Vici Gaming lead the table, winning two series to secure a 4-0 record. Virtus Pro and OG follow closely behind with three wins apiece. The rest of the Group B standings can be seen here:
|6||Royal Never Give up||1-3|
|9||Ninjas in Pyjamas||0-2|
Vici Gaming went against compatriots Royal Never Give Up and Southeast Asian all-star team Fnatic, winning both series without a sweat. While Vici had a slight scare in both series, it was clear that they had the edge by patiently waiting for opportunities and pouncing on them without mercy.
Vici and Fnatic had an interesting battle in game two of their series. Fnatic tried something fresh with a Pudge carry pick. While it didn’t get them the victory, it did cause a ton of hijinks. Despite the clownish nature of the game, Vici kept their nerve, only going for the high ground when they were absolutely sure that nothing could go wrong for them. With their day one showing, Vici have established that their EPICENTER Major victory was no fluke.
VP had beaten Ninjas in Pyjamas all year, and today was no exception. VP did away with NiP rather easily in game one. While game two was closer, NiP couldn’t hold on to their lead and fell once again.
While NiP played decent in both games, it wasn’t enough to topple the CIS giants’ killer instincts. If NiP made a mistake, VP hungrily capitalized on it. NiP will begin the second day winless but will take heart in knowing that their worst matchup is completed.
VP’s next series against RNG was more difficult. RNG actually managed to take one game off of the CIS giants. While game one went according to plan, VP’s greedier draft in game two proved to be their downfall and RNG duly capitalized to pull out an unexpected win.
RNG will count themselves lucky to escape day one with a win after they faced two heavyweights in VP and Vici. While they’ll end the day with three losses, RNG can be proud that they brought their A-game to both VP and VG, coming threateningly close to a more severe upset.
OG played against two qualifier squads today, serving Infamous Gaming two fresh losses. But the Natus Vincere series reminded OG that the defending champions aren’t invincible. Game two of the series came down to the wire, with OG dominating the early exchanges before Na’Vi regained some momentum off some obnoxious heroes in Treant and Viper. Anathan “ana” Pham’s signature Spectre was easily countered, and even a carry of his caliber couldn’t bring OG another victory.
Evil Geniuses will be disappointed with their performances on day one. The North American team was one of the most consistent performers in this season’s Dota Pro Circuit, and many expected the prestigious organization to be contenders for the title. The first day definitely didn’t go as planned for EG’s players. They only secured one win against Natus Vincere and none against Fnatic.
Fnatic and Natus Vincere were expected to be middle-of-the-pack teams after both squads made roster changes right before TI. But EG struggled immensely against both squads. EG were close to ending their day winless, but they grinded out an exhausting win against Na’Vi in an 82-minute game.
EG fans will take solace in knowing that the team has a history of underperforming on day one. EG’s TI5 championship run started with two tied series on the first day of the group stage. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see if EG find their championship mentality.
While some teams will be disappointed with their results, there are still three days of group matches to be played. Hope is not lost for teams who have underperformed on the first day. Group B matches will resume on Aug. 15 at 8pm CT.