With three days left of The International 2017, Dota 2 fans are prepping for the most intense competition that the remaining teams have to offer. There is little room for mistakes, even with the Lower Bracket having the luxury of best-of-three matches, and it’s time for players to show off the tricks they have in their jersey sleeves.
Today, Digital Chaos is forced to prove themselves against LGD Gaming while OG takes their revenge against the team that knocked them out of The International 2016, TNC Gaming.
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TNC Pro Team (0) v. OG (2)
OG: Lich, Earth Spirit, Necrophos, Centaur Warrunner, Invoker
TNC Gaming: Sand King, Crystal Maiden, Dark Seer, Luna, Queen of Pain
Game one had a very anticlimactic start when OG paused the game almost instantaneously due to a sound issue. After approximately two minutes, the game was finally unpaused, and first blood was drawn by TNC’s 1437 at 60 seconds. After that, it was as if the series’ decided theme was There Will Be Blood. In the first 10 minutes, 12 kills had been distributed between the two teams with seven being claimed by TNC. Distantly, I wondered if the two were trying to farm each other, rather than their lanes, as most of their net worths were coming from player kills rather than creeps.
After 16 minutes of being on even ground, OG started to very slowly turn the game’s tides into their favor. OG had the stuns and the better combos, which was exactly the edge they needed to pull ahead of the competition. As they were pushed back at around 23 minutes, TNC was beginning to lose the coordination and synergy they had shown earlier, and OG was relentless in their punishments for every mistake made. TNC could no longer claim any objectives as they were pushed onto defense, and they were out of buybacks by 31 minutes when OG took out the first tier three tower and mid melee barracks. Five minutes later, the game was over and OG was that much closer to eliminating the team that had ended their run at TI6.
OG: Luna, Earthshaker, Templar Assassin, Naga Siren, Legion Commander
TNC Gaming: Luna, Outworld Devourer, Earth Spirit, Shadow Demon, Clockwerk
It takes a certain blend of desperation and viciousness for four kills to be placed before the 60 second mark, but that’s exactly how game two started. 12 minutes later, a total of 15 kills had been claimed; 10 of them belonged to OG, who also boasted the 4k gold lead. TNC was instigating too many fights they couldn’t win, trying to push too hard against a team whose middle name was “Aggressive.” A team fight at 17 minutes evened the playing field against OG for a while, but OG bounced back too quickly for TNC Pro Team to make anything of the window. Despite a rather solid draft, TNC was repeatedly bested on every front.
It could be argued that OG’s lineup was superior. But, a very large part of their loss can be contributed to a sloppy, almost mindless early game. Even then, it would undermine just how well OG played during this series, never playing too safe and progressing through game two with a synergy we’ve mostly seen from teams like Newbee and LGD.Forever Young during the group stages.
LGD Gaming (2) v. Digital Chaos (0)
Digital Chaos: Spirit Breaker, Queen of Pain, Lycan, Dazzle, Meepo
LGD Gaming: Nightstalker, Mirana, Chaos Knight, Magnus, Shadow Shaman
Game one started with two kills in the first minute and, similarly to TNC v OG, the rest of the game was just as action-packed as those first few moments. LGD and Digital Chaos rushed through the laning phase neck in neck, never quite getting much of an edge over the other, while lunging at every pick-off they felt they could get. In the first 10 minutes, 13 kills had been claimed between the two lineups.
It was LGD who ended up gaining that advantage, though. While DC was ahead on kills, LGD had destroyed more towers, only two of Digital Chaos’s tier twos remaining by 14 minutes while LGD still had four of their towers still standing in the top and middle lanes. LGD also claimed the Aegis for Abed from Roshan, and bought their Blink Dagger, first, which was putting Digital Chaos in a very dangerous position. This was made even more apparent when Digital Chaos was corralled into their base at 19 minutes, where they could do little more than watch helplessly when LGD demolished their middle barracks before retreating. The retreat didn’t last long, as Digital Chaos wiped at 21 minutes and LGD Gaming stormed to their base to take out their top barracks. Digital Chaos knew they had lost, and called GG just moments later.
Digital Chaos: Sand King, Sven, Ancient Apparition, Lina, Nature’s Prophet
LGD Gaming: Magnus, Kunkka, Death Prophet, Oracle, Anti-Mage
This time around, things progressed at a typically slow pace during the early laning phase. The first kill of the game wasn’t secured by LGD until four minutes in, followed up by a kill from Digital Chaos a minute later. Digital Chaos played in a more cautious manner, likely still feeling the burn of their devastating loss, while LGD seemed more than content with playing at a near-leisurely pace now that they had some padding.
While, again, it was LGD to eventually take the lead, first, it was not at the same pace as before. Even at 21 minutes they only managed a marginal 1k gold lead, but fared no better than Digital Chaos in tower defense. Digital Chaos made the smart move to jump into Roshan’s Pit at 22 minutes while LGD was too far away to stop them. It granted them the confidence to start their march down to take out the top tier two tower and get one step closer to a potential win.
LGD wasn’t about to let themselves lose to the team they so easily defeated in game one, however, and they immediately took the charge down the top lane to destroy the final tier two towers and start dealing structural damage in the base. Just when it looked like they were going to be pushed into game three, LGD was up 18k gold and three kils. Not even another Aegis at 32 minutes could save DC as they were immediately chased back to their base, four of their five players down for the count, and DC was forced to call GG.