TI5 – Main Event Results Day 1
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TI5 – Main Event Day 1 Predictions
The group stages are over and we now know who is going to play who in the Main Event at this year’s TI5. While there were certainly some surprises, we knew, for the most part, who would be sitting here atop the standings coming into Key Arena. Finishing neck and neck atop Group A are, probably, the two favorites of the tournament at this point; LGD Gaming had a marvelous group stages, including a split against Team Secret and, basically, domination of everyone else. Team Secret finished right behind them, and looked every bit as unbeatable as they had leading into the tournament.
In the other group, EG sits at the top of Group B, as many would have predicted but were joined by a relative surprise in CDEC Gaming. CDEC rode momentum from the Chinese qualifiers into the Wildcard matches, and continued to roll during the group stages. A tiebreak playoff on day 4 secured Team Empire the last spot into the winner’s bracket, and now the stage is set for the Main Event.
In the Winner’s Bracket we have LGD Gaming taking on Team Empire, CDEC Gaming taking on Cloud 9, Evil Geniuses facing off against Complexity Gaming, and Team Secret matched up against EHOME.
In the Loser’s Bracket we have MVP.Phoenix meeting last year’s champions, Newbee, as well as Vici Gaming getting a favorable draw against Natus Vincere. Virtus Pro has a first round date with Fnatic, and Invictus Gaming will battle it out against MVP.Hot6 for a chance to advance.
TI5 – Main Event Day 1 Match Predictions
Day 1 – Match #1: LGD Gaming vs. Team Empire
You can’t really doubt LGD’s form at the moment. After adding the captain of last year’s winners, Newbee, they have been rolling and were seen as a top 3-4 tam coming into TI5. They’ve managed to surpass those expectations, emerging as, perhaps, the team to beat now in the Main Event. The only games that they dropped during Group Stages was a 1-1 split to a powerful Team Secret and a 1-1 split against Invictus Gaming.
Team Empire had a wave of momentum coming into this year’s International as well. They had a solid 2015 campaign, and were looking to be in great form heading in. Empire got off to a bit of a rocky start, being swept by VG and then splitting 1-1 against EHOME on day 1, but the Europeans persevered and grew better as the Group Stages went on. A sweep of Virtus Pro was followed by a 0-2 at the hands of CDEC, and then a pair of splits on day 3 against Newbee and EG placed Team Empire middle of the pack heading into the final day. Sweeping MVP.Hot6 on day 4 bought Empire the chance to play in a tiebreaker against Virtus Pro, whom they had swept earlier, for a chance to advance to Winner’s Bracket. After dropping game 1, Empire regrouped and managed to win the final 2 games of the series, securing their position in the top 4. Their reward was a date with the monsters from China, LGD Gaming.
Prediction: Empire had great success against non-Chinese teams this tournament, but their record against China sat at 2-6. Perhaps they are just used to playing against the aggression and constant clash-style of Western DotA, and the patience and calculation of Chinese DotA is not a good match-up. Perhaps they just didn’t study their Chinese opponents. Nonetheless, it would take some sort of huge turnaround for Team Empire to pull off the series against LGD Gaming in round 1. The Chinese side has to be the pick here.
>> Result Prediction: 2-0 LGD Gaming
Day 1 – Match #2: CDEC vs. Cloud 9
CDEC Gaming came into TI5 with an invitation to the Wildcard Regional Qualifiers. After defeating Vega Squadron and MVP.Phoenix, they won their invitation to the Group Stages. At the Groups, they showed nothing but great Dota, parlaying their qualification into a 2nd place finish in Group B. With notable sweeps against Vici Gaming, Newbee, and Team Empire, they quickly became a team that you had to keep an eye on. They ended day 4 with a 0-2 loss to Evil Geniuses, and then a 1-1 split against EHOME. You have to wonder if the magic is beginning to fade at just the wrong time for the Chinese Qualifiers.
Cloud 9’s group stages were a personification of the team itself. With the talent and individual skill level to pull out moments of brilliance against any level of competition, but also with the miscalculation and impatience to give away huge leads and not capitalize on crucial opportunities. Between the two teams, Cloud 9 is likely the more talented. EternalEnvy needs to play a more team-oriented game and Cloud 9 will be a tougher team to put away.
Prediction: CDEC’s momentum is fading at the worst time for them. Meanwhile, Cloud 9 has been ok enough in this tournament to feel comfortable picking them here. Their skill in the laning phase should give them enough of an advantage to get them through the midgame and, barring any throws, that should be enough to squeak out a series win.
>>Result Prediction: 2-1 Cloud 9
Bets and odds for The International 2015
Day 1 – Match #5: MVP Phoenix vs. Newbee
MVP Phoenix qualified for the Group Stages as the SEA representative in the Wildcards. They were never considered a serious threat to title or even go far into the tournament. Their 5th place finish in Group A has to be considered a success from their perspective. In the Groups, they managed to pull out some points against the mid-range and lower-range teams, but couldn’t really get any traction against the better teams in the group, minus the split against an unmotivated Team Secret.
Newbee are the defending champs, but they have goofed around in 2015 and lost their captain (and best player) in xiao8, as well as their second best player and their carry in Hao. Subsequently, they weren’t really given a consideration to repeat this year. After the Group Stages, it seems their low public opinion was deserved, as they finished 2nd last in Group B, and didn’t manage to pull off a single 2-0 series win. Though they replaced Hao with the talented Rabbit, it seems like they just couldn’t replace the leadership, direction, and ability of xiao8.
Prediction: While Newbee, man for man, is still the more skilled team, their mindset and dedication is not where it needs to be to go deep at this year’s tournament. MVP.Phoenix is riding high after a relatively successful Group Stages, and with a little luck, they will pull off the first real upset of the elimination round, sending the defending champs home.
Day 1 – Match #6: Vici Gaming vs. Natus Vincere
Vici Gaming came into TI5 heralded as one of the Big 3, or at least the Big 4. Probably the most consistent team from TI4 to TI5, they were a feared match-up for any team in any event. TI5, however, seemed to not be their strong suit. Much of it has to do with the tournament metagame forcing their best players into picking heroes that are not their signatures. Their two best players are, undoubtably, Fy and iceiceice. Fy has been pigeon-holed into taking Winter Wyvern and Lion picks that are a far cry from his signature Earthshaker or Sand King type of heroes. Even more so, it has been iceiceice being forced into strange picks like an offlane Bloodseeker, Tuskar, and Clockwerk that has seemingly put VG out of their comfort zone.
Natus Vincere had a rough 2015. Everyone knew that they would be different after the departure of Puppey and Kuroky, but I don’t know if people realized how significant the support duo was to Na’Vi. The core of Dendi and XBOCT remained, and Funnik rejoined, but they just weren’t the same team that seemed to dominate from TI1 to TI3. At this year’s event, things have gone from bad to worse; they legitimately look like one of the worst teams at the tournament.
Prediction: VG is still a good team, and expect them to show everyone that they shouldn’t be forgotten about just yet. If they can secure iceiceice one of his more comfortable space-making heroes, say a Timbersaw, Undying, or Broodmother, then expect for VG to return to their top 3 contender status. Drawing a match up with Na’Vi is a great chance for them to regain their confidence.
>>Result Prediction: 2-0 Vici Gaming
Day 1 – Match #7: Virtus Pro vs. Fnatic
Virtus Pro had a great 2015, by their standards. The Russians came into TI5 with some real hopes to at least make a deep run, if not to contend for the title. They had a pretty consistent Group Stages, beating who they were supposed to beat, and they managed splits against some of the better teams. The only real blip on the radar would be their inability to beat Team Empire. After being swept 2-0 in the Groups, they lost to them against in the playoff tiebreaker series.
Fnatic are an unpredictable team. They beat Team Secret for a game in their first series of the tournament, but then they only managed to scrape together 4 wins totals in the Group Stages. Their individual skill gives them a chance; if they can snowball during the laning stage then they might be able to accumulate enough of a lead to net them a win. Their midgame decision making and coordination seem to be their weak spot. If you can split the map and force them into tough decisions, then they often come apart at the seams.
Prediction: This one is a tough call. Virtus Pro are the more stable, consistent team. They will more likely beat the weaker teams and struggle against the better ones. Fnatic have the ability to catch lightning in a bottle and win the whole thing, but they are equally as likely to flounder and drop out without winning a game. With consistency being a major factor, Virtus Pro is the safer pick here. Expect a close series, but overall a decisive VP victory.
>> Result Prediction: 2-0 Virtus Pro
Day 1 – Match #8: Invictus Gaming vs. MVP.Hot6
Invictus Gaming are a bit of a wildcard. Their results leading up to TI5 were unspectacular, their results in the Group Stages were unspectacular, but the talent and experience on the roster leave you just waiting for them to explode onto the scene. They have former champions, legends of the game, and a wealth of past success to draw upon. They just need something, whatever it is, to put it all together and really put forth a contender-level performance.
MVP.Hot6 finished dead last in the standings but they played a relatively decent Group Stage. They just came up barely short in a number of matches. They played a number of top teams strongly, taking a game off of VG and taking them to 50 minutes in their other game. They took EG to 50+ minutes in both of their games, despite losing 2-0. The standings can be a little deceiving when looking at the Korean team.
Prediction: Despite being a little overlooked because of coming up just short over and over again, MVP might be staring at just that exact scenario again in round 1. While they will likely give IG some troubles, overall it should be a convincing win for the Chinese team. Unless MVP has some well thought out, pre-practiced pocket strategy, the experience will play a factor, and IG should walk away the victors.
>>Result Prediction: 2-0 Invictus Gaming