The International 2017; Group A, Day 1 Recap Courtesy Dota 2 facebook page.

The International 2017 day one is over. Group A has proven to be an extremely competitive group, despite the presence of Fnatic. Let’s see how the standings have changed;

Team Series Score Game Score Points
LGD Gaming 3 – 0 – 0 6 – 0 6
Team Liquid 2 – 1 – 0 5 – 1 5
TNC Pro Team 1 – 1 – 0 3 – 1 3
Evil Geniuses 0 – 3 – 0 3 – 3 3
Infamous 0 – 2 – 0 2 – 2 2
Team Empire 0 – 2 – 1 2 – 4 2
Team Secret 0 – 2 – 1 2 – 4 2
iG Vitality 0 – 1 – 1 1 – 3 1
Fnatic 0 – 3 – 0 0 – 6 0

In lieu of going over each series I want to talk about each team individually and where they go from here. Let’s start at the bottom;

#9 Fnatic, AKA the Caboose

Fnatic had a miserable day. Losing to LGD-Gaming and Team Liquid were a given, they stood no real chance of taking a game off either team. The real disappointment today was that Fnatic couldn’t manage to split their series against TNC Pro Team. Tomorrow will be significantly easier for them and they need to at least split against Infamous to stay alive in this group.

#8 iG. Vitality, At Least We’re Not Last

Losing to Team Liquid is understandable and splitting their series against Evil Geniuses is worth commending. iG. V. should probably lower their expectations against LGD-Gaming, that team is on fire right now but more on them later. iG. V’s second series against Team Secret could have serious ramifications for both teams, each side needs the points and both sides should try for a 2-0 sweep.

#7 Team Secret, We’re Better Than This. Probably

I’ve reached the point in my relationship with Team Secret that I stop having expectations for them. It is entirely unfair to expect Team Secret to beat LGD-Gaming. Team Secret also have an unfortunate history with teams from South America. Against Team Empire Team Secret put forth a fine performance in game one, then they fell flat in game two. Team Secret’s draft wasn’t bad but they had no real way to stop the Anti-Mage Infamous drafted with their last pick. Team Secret were able to win team fights and get picks off of Infamous; but at no point in the later stage of the game was Team Secret able to turn the game around into their favor.

#6 Team Empire, Firmly Middle of the Pack

Team Empire are very much alive in this group, they split series against the kind of teams that they’ll probably face in the lower bracket. Tomorrow Empire will face Team Secret and Evil Geniuses. If Empire have any ambitions of making a real run at TI7 they’ll have to try harder than they did today.

#5 Infamous, Just Happy to be Here

SG e-sports set the stage for the South American region after they upset Team Secret in the first round of the Kiev Major. While Infamous did split their series against Team Secret it’s not the same accomplishment it once was. No reasonable fan or commentator should have great expectations for Infamous. Most importantly Fnatic already have a virtual lock on last place. Infamous should be happy about today, they played well. Tomorrow Infamous face Team Liquid and Fnatic and they should expect a 2-2 split for the day.

#4 Evil Geniuses, the Enigma

Team Liquid looked just as good if not better than LGD-Gaming before their only loss of the day. Evil Geniuses clearly have the skills to be here, when they’re on their game EG can beat nearly any team in the world. The problem is that EG are rarely on their game, whether its from another mediocre draft or poor execution in-game. Having said that, watching Evil Geniuses is still one of the great pleasures of professional Dota 2. Today was a difficult day for EG and they should be happy but unsatisfied with their own performance. EG should manage to sweep iG.V and split with TNC tomorrow. This would put them into a prime position to stay in the top four and earn their spot in the upper bracket.

#3 TNC Pro Team, Don’t Fly Too Close to the Sun

Sweeping Fnatic should be expected for any team that expects to be in the upper bracket. I believe that their series against Evil Geniuses is what we should all expect from TNC Pro Team. Tomorrow TNC will face Team Secret & Team Empire, tomorrow we’ll all learn a whole lot more about each of those teams. I do not expect TNC to stay this high in the standings after tomorrow.

#2 Team Liquid, We Deserve to be Here

Team Liquid did exactly what they needed to do against the lesser teams in this group, sweep them. Game one against Evil Geniuses was solid execution which lead to a relatively quick in. Game two was very poor drafting on Liquid’s part, but they fought until the bitter end despite that handicap. Liquid will most likely sweep Infamous. Their series against LGD-Gaming will be a defining series for this group. Liquid need as many wins as possible tomorrow to secure a high seed in the upper bracket.

#1 LGD-Gaming, Choo-Choo the Hype Train Intensifies

LGD-Gaming lived up to the hype today, 3 clean sweeps. Half of LGD’s victories today were extremely quick, as they should have been against competition that’s beneath them. LGD only played one game that reached close to the 36 minute mark; so LGD have no late game experience at this event. LGD-Gaming versus Team Liquid will be the marquee match of this group but LGD don’t need to fret if they split the series. They’ll be up one point on Liquid until they split one additional series.

Group A action continues tomorrow with Team Secret vs TNC Pro Team, LGD-Gaming vs iG. Vitality, Evil Geniuses vs Team Empire and Team Liquid vs Infamous. All of the action kicks off at 3:00 pm eastern time tomorrow.

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