The biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world is finally here and after the group stage, the first round of the playoffs was played last night. The first two matches proved to be completely different from what many would have expected. During the group stage, rarely any upset happened with Team Liquid dominating the group stage.
However, the first match of the playoffs proved to be very different from the group stage as Team Liquid took on Invictus Gaming. The Chinese side is no stranger to good performances at The International because they won the trophy back in 2012. On the other hand, Team Liquid was the biggest favorite for the win this year.
Team Liquid vs Invictus Gaming
Considering that Team Liquid was the best-ranked team from the group stage they had the opportunity to pick their opponent in the first round of the playoffs. Surprisingly, they picked Invictus Gaming and that decision backfired. From the very beginning of the match, Invictus Gaming was dominating the map and Team Liquid was losing a fight after a fight.
The first game went to Chinese side pretty easily as IG destroyed Team Liquid with their team play and Team Liquid could not find any answers to the game displayed by IG. After the twenty-minute mark, it became clear that there is no way out for Team Liquid and it would not be long before IG secured the first win.
In the second game, IG lacked the team play they displayed in the first game and Team Liquid used that to take the match into the third game. In the third round, Team Liquid was once again trailing behind in almost all aspects of the game which provided IG with the opportunity to close out the series with a win in the third game which they did. After the first round, IG has secured top 6 placements while Team Liquid will have to fight through the lower bracket for their place in the grand final.
Newbee vs Evil Geniuses
The second match of the upper bracket saw another Chinese team, Newbee fighting against Evil Geniuses for their place in the next round. They were the underdogs in that matchup but they came strongly to the game and they did not allow EG any opportunity to take the control of the match.
In the first game, Newbee took the control in the very early stages of the game and they did not let go of it until the end. Fight after fight, Evil Geniuses were losing fights which enabled Newbee to increase their resources which proved to be crucial for their victory in the first game.
The second game of the match was similar to the first one as Evil Geniuses attempted to come back with aggressive play but Newbee was ready for all of their moves. With that kind of game, Newbee was on the good path to securing the wing in the second round which they eventually did. Just like Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses will have to look for their opportunity in the lower bracket while Newbee will be playing against Invictus Gaming in the second round of the playoffs which will be the match to watch.