The TI5 Group stage is set to get underway and day 1 is always an exciting day of matches! Day 1 sees 5 series of matches, with every team in action at least once and a number of high profile matchups that should be highly interesting and competitive games.
Expect to see some good play out of some of the European teams, all of whom had to grind their way through a very competitive regional scene to make the big tournament and are in decent form. C9, Empire, and VP are teams that you can find some good value on tomorrow.
Right now you can get a little over 3 to 1 on your money on Cloud 9 in their first game against powerhouse Chinese team, LGD Gaming, or a little better than even money if you think they can split the series one to one.
Later in the day, you can also get Cloud 9 at a little better than even money on a weaker matchup against an up and down, inconsistent NaVi team, who has had a really tough 2015, since losing their support duo to Team Secret.
VP is a team that has been in terrific form lately, and the odds reflect the respect that they should be given in this tournament.
Their odds against a decent Chinese side in Team Newbee pay out at a little better than even money. The East vs West difference in styles of play should be out in full force for this one, as the ever aggressive VP take on the more calculated Team Newbee.
If you are looking for a value pick underdog, then perhaps you should consider Team Empire against Vici Gaming. Although VG remains one of the few top tier teams of the last year, Empire has been on a roll for the last few months and their hot run of form could prove enough to snipe a surprise game or two on day one off of the Chinese giants.
Two of the most interesting and anticipated matches of day one will, no doubt be the pair of Team Secret matches. Not only will everyone be eager to see just what exactly Secret shows on day one of the biggest tournament in the game, but the two opponents could potentially set up for some interesting games. Will Team Secret continue to roll? What kind of picks can we expect from them? They surely won’t be revealing any of their pre-planned strategies in the group stage will they? Will they even go as far as to clown around a little because they are just that good and confident? There are a number of questions that will likely to be answered about the current kings of Dota 2 betting on day 1.
They open up their day with a matchup against the pride of the Southeast Asian Dota 2 Scene, Fnatic. While not necessarily a favorite to be a serious contender to take the TI title, you can never count out the Malaysian side. Boasting the same core of players that took TI3 by storm, the old Orange eSports, have a unique style of play that won them a legion of fans during their storybook run. A team with the individual skill of a calibre of player as high as Mushi can never be counted out. He is flanked by the ever solid Ohaiyo and the boom or bust ability of Kyxy, returning all 3 core players from that Orange eSports team. Gone are Net and Xtinct, having being replaced by Kecik Imba and the talented former Arrow Gaming standout, Johnny. The odds are, understandably, in favor of Team Secret, but this is a game that, at the very least, should be extremely entertaining from a viewer standpoint.
Mushi vs Arteezy or Mushi vs S4 is one of the more interesting potential mid matchups that you can hope for as a fan, and the conflicting aggression of Fnatic vs the efficiency of Team Secret will be something to keep an eye on.
The second Team Secret game of the day sees them take on a revamped, rejuvenated version of the former TI2 winners, Invictus Gaming. The roster reads as nearly nothing but legends of the Chinese Dota scene: Burning, Ferrari_430, Chuan, Luo, and Faith. With some of the biggest names in the game, experience that very few, if any, other team can match, and a renewed dedication to a common goal, IG is poised to make some noise at this year’s International. Although the results haven’t yet followed, you only have to wonder if it is simply a matter of time and chemistry. The individual talent is undeniable; on paper they have one of the most talented rosters in the game today. If they can find that connection and come together as a team then they could very well be the darkhorse pick to take the entire thing. Their game one matchup against Team Secret could tell us a lot about how far along they’ve come as a team.
There are few more interesting support matchups than the Kuroky-Puppey duo against Chuan and Faith. Two of the top 5 support duos in the game; it’s going to be critical to the outcome of this game to see which of these veteran Supports can exert their influence over this game. In a game with such big names at the core positions, we are talking the Arteezy, Burning, 430, S4, it could very well be the Supports who determine the course of this matchup.
Again, the odds heavily favor Team Secret, but how could you be surprised if a team with Chuan, Burning, and 430 pulled out the upset?