SEA is out, NA is out and now Dota went back to its roots with EU, CIS and China battling it out on the big stage. Only 8 teams remain, with China once again showing dominant performance. However not all hope is lost for the West.
Day three of TI7 started with a much anticipated OG vs TNC rematch of last year, but now with TNC coming from the upper bracket after a loss. First game started with a very convincing laning stage for TNC, however a couple of overextensions by KUKU^ allowed OG to come back into the game. After that point TNC became timid, despite never having a deficit of over 1k gold until 25 minutes into the game, which ultimately cost them the game.
Game 2 started with a very questionable draft from TNC, with a support Shadow Demon and an offlane Clockwerk. They finalized it with a Luna for a potential contactless warfare, but too much was on the back of KuKu’s Outworld Devourer to get them to the point where it would actually be an option. That never happened, however and the whole team seemed disorganised for the whole game, giving OG an easy victory. EU squad got their revenge and went on. The last SEA team left the stage with a top12 finish.
Another rematch of two organisations, but this time represented by completely different players. No rivalry, no revenge story — just two excellent teams fighting for their lives in this tournament.
Game 1 had a last pick Meepo for DC. However, despite gaining a good momentum in the early game, he didn’t manage to carry the game. A questionable offlane Queen of Pain similarly had little impact on the game and the team, severely lacking disables and teamfight, crumbled from the pressure of LGD.
Second game started really bad for the NA squad, but a couple of good rotations to kill Maybe's Death Prophet allowed them to stabilize in the game and even gain a small lead, while LGD.Ame's Anti-Mage was farming. This Anti-Mage can be considered the ultimate downfall of DC: with the support of eLeVeN Magnus he stalled the game long enough with constant split-push to become the ultimate hero on the map. A truly amazing showing of team play and macro strategy from LGD.
Probably the least hyped match for the Western crowd turned out to be a true old school Chinese derby. Teams went 1:1 during the group stage, so it was anyone's game to take. Game 1 started with a third pick Monkey King for BoBoKa, while Newbee went for a more EU/CIS-style draft with Night Stalker, CM and Ursa. They finished their draft with a fifth pick Sniper.
The first night was a great success for Newbee, with kaka going on a rampage on his Night Stalker. It didn't translate into any economic advantage, as Newbee frequently came in numbers, sacrificing some farm, but it allowed them to gain a lot of momentum. Once the day came, however, the rotations from Xxs on his Legion Commander allowed iG to get back into the game. After that the game slowed down substantially, with both teams safely farming and trying to find some pick-offs. 30 minutes into the game in culminated in a beautiful Rosh fight, where Newbee had a vision advantage and managed to teamwipe iG. After that we had another 20 minutes of extremely technical Dota, but a dieback from Burning sealed the deal for Newbee.
Game 2 started with iG drafting an in-your-face lineup against a Visage+Drow strategy of Newbee. First ten minutes were incredibly even, with brilliant ganks by BoBoKa and equally brilliant counter-ganks from Newbee. The latter didn't shy away from bringing the whole team if needed, managing to overturn a couple of almost successful ganks. Past that point they were no longer that lucky. iG started applying a lot of pressure with their teamfight-oriented draft. It rarely translated into objectives, however it allowed them to gain a lot of momentum and start acquiring economic advantage. It ended in 35 minutes mid barracks being taken by iG and after that Newbee had little chance of coming back into the game. Slowly but surely iG dismantled their compatriots.
In Game 3 Newbee allowed iG to draft the all-powerful Lycan+Night Stalker combo and answered with an interesting Tidehunter pick. iG ended up with a fifth pick Tinker, allowing for full map presence, immediately answered by Storm Spirit from Newbee, making for a very exciting game beginning. Sccc managed to pull ahead in the mid game and built up a massive 30+ charge-Bloodstone, but Newbee were extremely patient, even with a 30k gold lead. They only ended the series 50 minutes into the game, even though it looked over from minute 30. The whole three games were extremely technical, very patient and disciplined. But to be completely honest, they weren't exactly exciting.
A story of revenge for the CIS team after a very shameful 0:2 vs. LFY in the group stage. During their playoff run they've already shown some good, fast-paced Dota, but was it enough to take down the group stage Beast?
Solo went for his signature Warlock, immediately receiving a Rubick in response. Draft clearly showed that teams know each other well and both teams ended up with a multi-purpose lineup, with VP leaning towards early teamfights, while LFY went a little greedier with a Morphling pick. Despite that, through beautiful rotations LFY managed to stabilize really fast after a rather bad start from their Tidehunter and never allowed VP to truly shine with their massive teamfight combinations.
One game from being thrown down to the lower bracket, VP decided to go for less flashy and more reliable Disruptor as their support an even less flashy and even more reliable core Viper. LFY answered with a Nature's Prophet, Pugna and Faceless Void tri-core. Even without flashy lineups, both teams played incredibly bold with constant tower dives, counter-ganks and generally great Dota. Past the laning stage the game devolved into complete chaos VP are known to thrive in. After some beautiful back and forth, VP managed to edge themselves a small lead and they utilized it to the fullest. Their fullest wasn't enough, however. Watch this game!