This recap covers the second day of The International Main Event.
The second day of The International concluded on Saturday, the 18th. Saturday's play included the first two elimination matches of the Loser's Bracket, the start of the next two series in the Loser's Bracket in which only one game was played for each, and the All-Star Game.
Match One - Na'Vi vs Cloud 9:
Game One: Na'Vi's draft included an unconventional Lina pick who was played by Kuro "Kuroky" Takhasomi. Na'Vi's line-up was entirely dependent on Alexander "XBOCT" Dashkevich getting huge Chronospheres as Faceless Void. Even though Xboct was able to get farm, Cloud 9 completely dominated the laning stage which led to Cloud 9 to farm effectively, and tank through both the Chronospheres and the team fight of Na'Vi leading to a Cloud 9 victory.
Game Two: This game Na'Vi came out with a vengeance drafting a huge "wombo combo" with Venomancer, Enigma, Faceless Void, and Witch Doctor. Cloud 9's draft was an attempt to counter this combo by picking up Tidehunter and Shadow Shaman. Cloud 9 again pulled out to an early laning phase lead, until Na'Vi picked fights that evened the match up. At eleven minutes Na'Vi won a huge team fight that broke the game wide open. Na'Vi eventually pushed down middle lane and and took their first set of barracks; on the back of that, they wiped Cloud 9 repeatedly for a GG call at the 21 minute mark.
Game Three: Na'Vi picked a heavy pushing line-up, while Cloud 9 countered with Doom and Clockwerk picks. Na'Vi had throttle throughout the game dealing with the pick off potential that Pittner "bOne7" Armand posed with Clockwerk. Danil "Dendi" Ishutin was shut down in the middle lane, with multiple banks by Cloud 9. The trouble started early for Na'Vi and didn't end until GG was called by Na'Vi ending their run at The International
Match Two - LGD Gaming vs Invictus Gaming
Game One: LGD's draft was a bit unconventional with Alchemist and Centaur War runner picks. LGD's stuns with these heroes allowed for Yao "Yao" Zhengzheng to Sunstrike on top of enemy heroes with Invoker. The game was composed mostly of single hero pickoffs by LGD, which negated the pushing power of Invictus' line-up allowing for LGD to game one victory in 32 minutes.
Game Two: Invictus learned from game one and decided to take Invoker, Alchemist, Skywrath Mage, and Faceless Void, attempting to recreate the powerful combination that LGD had the game before. Invictus' line up allowed for Yinqi "Luo" Luo to split push as Invoker and contribute Sunstrikes to team fights, while his team fought 4v5. The space created by this composition allowed for Invictus to end the game in 33 minutes and force a decisive game three.
Game Three: Invictus Gaming went for the same stun-centric line-up as the previous game. LGD found themselves in a position where the pickoff composition had to be dealt with. They decided on a Vengeful Spirit pick. The hero, played by Xie "DD" Bin, created opportunities to swap heroes who were stunned out of the fight and prolong fights to the point that LGD could salvage the situation. As the game progressed LGD's heroes built tanky and were able to tank through the stuns and damage of Invictus, and LGD eventually ended the game at the 45 minute mark, effectively ending Invictus Gaming's run at The International.
Match Three, Game One - Cloud 9 vs Vici Gaming (Other Two Games to be Played Sunday)
Game One: Drafts for both teams yielded good results as most of this game was a back and forth affair. In the early game, Pittner "bOne7" Armand was creating great space with his stellar play on Batrider. The back and forth affair was broken up by great play by Xie "Super" Junhao on Bristleback and clutch Epicenters by Linsen "fy" Xu on Sand King. The game was eventually ended after a prolonged team fight which forced Cloud 9 to call GG at 40 minutes.
Match Four, Game One - Team DK vs LGD Gaming (Other Two Games to be Played Sunday)
Game One: The draft seemed to go the way of LGD when they grabbed both the Lycan and the Centaur War runner; this marked the first time Lycan made it through the first banning phase, yet Team DK came out swinging and soon mounted an early lead. When the game reached the mid-game portion (around the 30 minute mark) the teams were rather evenly matched, even though the scoreboard didn't reflect that.
After a dead period of about ten to fifteen minutes, Team DK began to mount a substantial lead, yet Xu "Lin" Ziyang playing Lycan helped LGD hang around by the skin of their teeth. After a significant fight and push Team DK throttled LGD's base, taking two lanes of barracks. LGD was not ready to go down quietly and made a push down the middle lane nearly taking DK's middle lane barracks.
The late game deficit seemed insurmountable as Team DK stalled into the ultra-late game. Through siege after siege and fight after fight LGD persevered and eventually took a huge fight while pushing down middle lane, out-pushing Daryl "iceiceice" Koh Pei Xiang playing Nature's Prophet in a climatic base race to end the game. This put LGD up one game going into Sunday's event and was the largest comeback of the tournament so far.
All-Star Match - Team XBOCT vs. Team rOtk:
Yes, yes, this is the typical bad mannered All-Star Game, but the big announcement came with Techies being played by Arteezy. The hero is slated to be added after the conclusion of The International! Oh, and Team rOtk took the win in this match.
The International continues on Sunday, the 20th with the conclusion of the Loser’s Bracket. Play on the 20th will determines who meets NewBee in the Grand Finals which are slated to begin at 9am PDT on Monday, the 21st. Check back tomorrow for more information as The International unfolds!
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With Contributions By: Andres Greer