Both LGD sides go undefeated and Team Liquid impress on the first day of The International
On the first day of Dota's premier event, we saw a pair of teams (both from the same organization) go undefeated, a strong Team Liquid, and a few underdogs make strong showings. Here's everything you need to know.
Only two squads remain undefeated after the $23 million event's first day of competition, and both happen to be competing under the LGD banner. LGD Gaming and LGD.Forever Young won a total of five series with flawless scores.
The organization's main squad looked particularly sharp on the first day of games, as they took down Fnatic, Team Empire, and Team Secret in three consecutive 2-0 series. The standout was star midlaner Lu "Maybe" Yao, who tore through all three teams with great effect on heroes like Timbersaw, Ursa, and Leshrac. The second day will likely prove to be more interesting for LGD, however, as the team will be playing against Invictus Gaming Vitality and Team Liquid.
LGD Forever Young's path in the first day was also successful enough to earn them a top spot in Group B. But just like the main squad, the roster played against far less established opposition in Execration and HellRaisers. Now the question is whether the team will retain their flawless record after the second day of play.
Team Liquid played some of the best games of the day
The European Team Liquid side, which fields notable players like Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi, Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen, and Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi, were challenged heavily in their opening series against Invictus Gaming Vitality. The Chinese team, led by Yang "InJuly" Xiaodong, held their own for the majority of the two games against the tournament favorites, with impressive individual play from carry Zhang "Paparazi" Chengjun and support player Gao "dogf1ghts" Tianpeng in the first game of the series. Team Liquid's response as the game dragged on, however, came in fielding two massive damage dealers in Miracle-'s Troll Warlord, and MATUMBAMAN's Necrophos—which ultimately sealed the game for Liquid.
Despite the opening game of the series taking 43 minutes to complete, the deciding game stretched on even longer, as Invictus Gaming Vitality were unable to make the most out of a substantial gold lead for the majority of the game. A botched teamfight from the Chinese team at 41 minutes saw Liquid storm Invictus Gaming Vitality's base, razing most of it and securing a 10,000 gold lead. From there, Liquid secured Roshan, and proceeded to end the game shortly afterwards, earning them a 2-0 victory.
The European favorites' second series of the day saw Liquid completely dismantle the Southeast Asian Fnatic roster in two quick games, before splitting their final match of the day against Evil Geniuses.
Aside from the expected results of the first day, there was a fair share of upsets involving some of the pre-tournament favorites that definitely deserve mentioning:
Evil Geniuses all series on the opening day
The most successful name in North American Dota 2 history is off to a surprisingly shaky start at The International 7. Although the team has been able to secure multiple tournament victories and top three finishes across various events throughout 2017, the favorites were unable to win a single series on the opening day. Instead, the Filipinos in TNC grabbed the second game of their opening series off the back of a clever draft. After they secured Silencer, Sand King, and Batrider, Evil Geniuses had little hope of stopping any teamfight initiations from TNC, which gave Marc "Raven" Polo Luis Fausto's Phantom Assassin free reign to cleave through the Evil Geniuses side.
Evil Geniuses then lost the second of their series against Invictus Gaming Vitality, despite completely dismantling the Chinese side in less than 20 minutes during the first game. The North American's final game of the first day ended with yet another split series against tournament favorites Team Liquid, as Evil Geniuses came back from a loss in the first match.
Infamous perform above expectations
Despite Dota 2 enjoying an almost religiously enthusiastic fanbase in Peru, the nation has seldom gotten the opportunity to compete at Valve events. So far, however, the winners of the tournament's South American qualifier, Infamous, have performed admirably in the first day of competition—earning themselves a 2-2 record after splitting their two series against Team Secret and Team Empire.
Fnatic bottom out
At The International 6, Fnatic were able to finish the event in fourth place—the second best placement of any team at an International. At The International 7, however, it looks as if Fnatic will be having issues replicating those results—at least if the first day of group stage games is anything to go off of. Losing all three of their series, Fnatic are currently sitting at the bottom of Group A. They should be able to alleviate some of that pressure today, however, as they will only be playing one game against Infamous.