Upper Bracket Recap: LGD.Forever Young vs Virtus.Pro

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Image courtesy of Dota 2 official blog

Pre-Match Predictions

Both teams performed really well in their first upper bracket series. LGD.Forever Young swept TNC Pro Team and Virtus.Pro swept LGD-Gaming. Both teams were in Group B and LFY swept Virtus.Pro in their Group Stage series. Given that history coming into today it was up to Virtus.Pro to prove they had improved from the Group Stage.

Game One; An Aegis, An Aegis, My Kingdom for an Aegis

This was unexpectedly quick. I wasn’t really enamored with Virtus.Pro’s draft but I figured they could make it work. I did like LGD.Forever Young’s picks though; I really like Rubick and Earth Spirit has been a menace this whole tournament. When Ursa got killed while trying to secure Roshan I think everyone knew Virtus.Pro were not winning this game. VP definitely had an inferior draft compared to LFY, Earth Spirit & Rubick are individually better than either Sand King or Warlock but put together it’s clear VP’s support picks would only be a hinderance the longer the game went on. I want more teams to consider Rubick against a team that picks a Hero that relies heavily on their ultimate ability (and especially against Faceless Void).LFY secured a quick victory here, onto game 2.

Game Two; Live Fast, Die Young

I regret using that title for the first game. This game was a doozy, but let’s go back to the draft. Earth Spirit has easily been the most impactful support pick in the Upper Bracket (if not the whole tournament) and I honestly don’t understand how teams are so willing to let this through. – ah fu – was masterful in this game, even before he stole the Aegis from right under Virtus.Pro. For all those teams who are (hopefully) watching this, just ban Earth Spirit. Don’t give it a second thought, just ban Earth Sprit. Moving on, post-game a lot of people cast doubts about VP’s draft and it showed as the game went on. LFY drafted for comfort and when the game got hectic, each player on LFY used their Hero to the maximum of that hero’s capabilities. Each team was more than willing to up the tempo and keep running at each other. VP pushed LFY all the way back to the top tier three tower, but LFY held and scored a major teamfight win. Watching LFY teamfight was beautiful, – ah fu -‘s stuns were just as great as Monet’s Chronosphere. Seriously LFY looked like a team that wants to win TI7 and I’m starting to think they will.

LGD.Forever Young (2) vs Virtus.Pro (0); Now What?

Virtus.Pro need to calm themselves. Playing an uptempo style is just fine but they will not succeed if they draft anything like today coupled with that style. Game one got out of control a lot faster than it needed to and VP just decided to cast that game aside rather than play it out. Granted there’s no telling if they could have come back but I think if they made that decision they could gone through the motions for a little longer. Drafting comfort picks will be key in their next series against the winner of Team Empire vs OG. LGD.Forever Young looked fantastic today. They shouldn’t change anything, let your opponent adapt to you. That being said Earth Spirit will be a contested pick tomorrow (hopefully), as I expect both teams finally understand how versatile Earth Spirit really is. LFY are certainly the best team right now and they’ve just guaranteed a top four finish at TI7.

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