TI 5 Group Stage Day 2 brings some more exciting potential match-ups. Will there be redemption for some of the big name teams who didn’t have a good day 1? Cloud 9 struggled, Invictus Gaming struggled, and NaVi had a rather mediocre opening day as well. With each of them having a pair of games on day 2, can they turn their fortunes around or will teams like Complexity and CDEC continue their hot runs? Here are the match ups for the 2nd day of the group stage:
|Group Stage Day 2 Schedule|
|Series 6 : 07/28 – 9:00 PDT|
|Series 7: 07/28 – 11:00 PDT|
|Series 8: 07/28 – 13:00 PDT|
|Series 9: 07/28 – 15:00 PDT|
|Series 10: 07/28 – 17:00 PDT|
Fnatic already embodied this perfectly on day 1, taking a game off tournament favorites, Team Secret but then just barely keeping themselves from being swept in a nearly 100 minute game 2 against Invictus Gaming. Their talent can overwhelm even the tier 1 teams, at times, but can they limit their mistakes and over-aggression enough to go deep into TI5?
One of the matchups that everyone should be tuning into is the opening game of the day, Cloud 9 vs Fnatic. These teams mirror each other quite well, with the talent to beat anyone in the worth but also the inconsistency to the point where you are not really surprised if they lose to anyone as well. Volatile teams with a really entertaining, aggressive playstyle. You can expect a lot of kills and non-stop action in this matchup. Patience and caution are definitely optional.
On the flip side, Cloud 9 is basically the Fnatic of the Western Scene. They can hang with anyone, and usually do, even often times having the lead in nearly every game at some point. But then, somehow, for whatever reason, they manage to throw the game. The term has almost become synonymous with the team. One or two crucial, seemingly mindboggling or stupid mistakes and they lose games that they should win, and can’t close out games that they are even in. It’s going to be all about finding their form as their tournament goes on. If they can do it, then there could definitely be some surprises coming from Cloud 9 this year.
The second game that should peak your curiosity is the matchup between Team Secret and NaVi. Meeting for the first time at The International since long-time NaVi captain and player, Puppey, left the team with recent support duo partner, Kuroky, this game pits the current kings of DotA against the old guard, the former face of DotA 2. If there is one game, one team who, somehow, someway, rises to the occasion on the International stage, it has historically been Natus Vincere. This game will tell us a lot about what to expect from the former European World Champions.
Team Secret is coming off a relatively strong, yet somewhat disappointing day 1, where they finished an overall 3-1, dropping 1 game against Fnatic. Really, anything short of a 4-0 would have been seen as a slight disappointment; it’s just the standard you are held to when you are the best in the world. They redeemed themselves in style against a decently strong Invictus Gaming team, winning the series 2-0 relatively quickly.
NaVi had a mediocre day 1. They didn’t necessarily have the strongest opponents, yet only managed to secure 2 points, splitting both their series against Cloud 9 and MVP Phoenix. They looked up and down, showing enough flashes of brilliance to convince you that they could potentially hang with the tier 1 teams on a good day, but then also showing enough sloppy play and mistakes that make you want to dismiss their chances in the tournament. Only time will tell. A match against Puppey, Kuroky, and co. might be just what the doctor ordered.
The best matchup of the day, from a pure skill and technical ability perspective should be the Evil Geniuses vs Vici Gaming matchup. Two teams who are driven by their support duo play and guidance, these are two of the favorites to take the entire tournament. For avid players of the game, it’ll be a treat to watch the contrast in style of the two captains, one being the most selfless support player in the professional scene (PPD) and the other being a complete playmaker and, arguably, the single best player in the game at the moment (Fy).
EG had a bit of a shock on day 1, as per their usual. They seem to always start slow in major tournaments and TI5 was no exception. After nearly dropping 0-2 against Newbee in their first series, they managed to turn it around in game 2, pulling off the split. They did seem to get better as the day went on, taking game 1 off of a hot Virtus Pro team, but then couldn’t manage to handle a semi-all-in split push strategy from the Russians in game 2. They seem to have found something with Sumail’s mid Lina though, and are generally slow starters anyways, so EG fans should hold off on panicking until we see what happens on day 2.
VG, on the other hand, looked stellar but not spectacular. They can play better but they still played solid enough that you wouldn’t be surprised if they were there at the end fighting for the Championship. After a 2-0 result against an underrated Team Empire, they played a back to back against MVP.Hot6, who proved to be a little bit more of a difficult test than many would have predicted. Game one was looking to be in favor of the underdogs until on big teamwipe pulled the Chinese giants back into the game. VG went on to stabilize until a clutch Aegis steal from the Korean’s Storm Spirit resulted in a team wipe and subsequent gg out from the Chinese juggernauts. Game 2 went smoother, and VG looked more like the title contenders that we expect. Alongside an impressive LGD team, VG looks to be the class of China at this year’s tournament.
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Results from the Group Stage