Image by Valve on Flickr
Day 2 of the main event saw the rise of CIS Dota as both Virtus.pro and Team Empire won their series, edging out potential title contenders. In the meantime, two European teams faced off against one another and TNC is set to face OG in the lower bracket yet again. As a big reveal, Valve announced the release of a new Dota 2 themed card game.
TNC surprised with an Alchemist pick, trying to keep up with LFY’s farming capabilities through Terrorblade and Nature’s Prophet. The Chinese had a good start into the game, but TNC made sure to trade favorably on the back off of Sam_H’s space creating Sand King. Naturally, TNC pulled ahead in terms of networth but aside from Alchemist, the team struggled to find the necessary items to take on LFY. Regardless, TNC managed to bring them down in a big teamfight and were able to take a lane of rax, but just a few minutes later, LFY forced an engagement and killed Alchemist without buyback, spelling the end of the game for TNC.
In game 2, TNC looked to throw off LFY a bit with a Broodmother last pick, but LFY remained unimpressed. An aggressive dual lane and roamer were supposed to win the laning stage for the Filipinos, but LFY still came out ahead, making it easier for them to pick TNC apart in the mid game. The nature of TNC’s line-up didn’t allow for them to take fights in the mid game, an issue LFY thoroughly exploited to grab the series win.
Game one saw Virtus.pro virtually run away with victory. The team absolutely dominated the laning stage and progressed into the mid game with a tempo that LGD could not keep up with. The Chinese only had 5 wins to show for at the end of a 25 minute game.
Virtus.pro picked a rather aggressive early and midgame line-up, smoke ganking LGD numerous times early on with Ogre Magi and Chen. The CIS squad constantly applied pressure, never allowing LGD to farm up necessary items to fight them on equal terms. VP’s line-up allowed them to transition every successful engagement into a push and as a result the team forced out yet another sub 30 minute gg.
Team Secret surprised with a last-minute Drow Ranger mid pick. The story of the game though was Puppey on his Spirit Breaker with which he effectively won the entire laning stage, setting up kills across the map. Miracle’s Puck died x times within the first 10 minutes, heavily delaying any mid game impact he could’ve had. Liquid struggled to keep up with the pressure of Secret’s Drow Ranger line-up and lacked the sustain to take them head on.
Game two looked much more promising for Liquid early on and the team transitioned from a solid laning stage into a profitable midgame. Liquid managed to find crucial kills on enemy cores without giving a single kill on Miracle away since the laning stage. Secret couldn't keep up with the amassed networth and overall strength of Liquid's line-up and their cores lacked the damage to take down the tanks in the form of Night Stalker, Alchemist and Lycan.
In the final game of the series, Secret once again pulled ahead with Puppey’s Spirit Breaker, finding kills all over the map, especially on Matumbaman's Necrophos. Liquid waited patiently for an opening and any kill with a Necrophos ulti bought them time and space to gain control of the game. A kill on MP led to a Roshan kill and an Aegis, allowing Liquid to take the map and lead. From here on out, Secret struggled to find the necessary kills, especially on Miracle's Troll Warlord.The nature of Secret's line-up meant that any beneficial teamfight could be converted into objectives, but Liquid never gave them such an opening and eliminated them.
Evil Geniuses started out strong, playing an aggressive trilane and finding early kills, effectively winning all three lanes and pulling ahead with a sizeable advantage. Empire however made sure to keep up in farm on their cores and the likes of Batrider or Ancient Apparition don't need much farm to be effective. The CIS squad found crucial kills and turned the game around, picking off EG bit by bit with Ghostik’s Batrider. A constant back and forth ensued as both teams traded blows with numerous fights around the Roshan pit, but neither could truly stay ahead, with a small advantage going Empire's way. Empire eventually found an opening to break highground and after forcing out buybacks and killing EG again, the North-Americans tapped out.
Game 2 saw EG once again do well in the laning stage, but Empire did not give them much breathing room. The team surrounding stand-in Resolut1on consistently picked off SumaiL's Puck, but EG managed to keep up in networth through their split push and map control. Regardless, Empire took control of the game and Resolut1ons Sven was able to pick off virtually any hero. The North-Americans fought valiantly, but Empire's teamfight control and coordination was too much to handle.
After Secret had been eliminated, Valve announced an entirely new game. Artifact is a card game based on Dota 2 and is likely to be released in 2018. The official teaser can be found below.