First day in the EPIC League group stage brought surprising results, experimental drafts and the first defeat of Just Error.
The group stage is set to run until December 5, bringing a plethora of exciting matches to watch and a lot of chances for those who started on the wrong foot to recover.
Virtus.pro youngsters slay OG
Day one delivered more than a few surprises. The competition started with the young Virtus.pro line-up styling on the double TI champions OG, who chose for two very different strategies and even tried something that’s not their playstyle at all.
Game one featured what perhaps nobody expected from OG, a heavy farm oriented draft that was supposed to shine past the mid game stage and crush the opposition in the late stage with a carry Alchemist and mid lane Morphling. The greediness cost OG everything as Virtus.pro refused to defend their towers early or engage in skirmishes. Instead, VP forced OG to fight on their terms, shut down the Alchemist farm and closed the game before the two beefy cores had the time to become a threat, giving OG just 4 kills.
Despite starting much better in game two, OG had a rather weird, experimental draft, featuring five support/utility heroes (Treant Protector, Dark Willow, Sand King, Tiny, Silencer) who were meant to create chaos in early stage, but who faded away past the 20-minute mark, giving VP’s new line-up an easy 2-0 victory in their debut series.
Na’Vi reverse sweep Team Liquid
Recently crowned ESL One Germany champions and Dota Summit 13 runners up, Team Liquid opened their EPIC League campaign with a clinical first game execution against Na’Vi, courtesy of spot on coordination coming from Tommy “Taiga” Le on Io. However, the Team Liquid discipline was disturbed in game two by a very aggressive Storm Spirit from Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko, who destabilized all lanes with a 10 minutes Orchid and forced a fast tempo game. He got to play the Storm in the third game as well, going for more or less the same item build. However, the first 20 minutes were much more balanced, with Liquid managing to punish his aggressive stance a couple of times and even finding a kill on NAVI’s Spectre. Still, they were able to take down Spectre just once in the entire game and the late game scenario didn’t favor their draft.
Just Error suffer the first defeat
The day closed out with the two qualifier winners, Just Error and mudgolems going against each other. It was only the second competitive match for the newly formed CIS team with Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan back to the mid lane and despite not having too much info on their playstyle, mudgolems were able to counter their team fight. They outmaneuvered and outplayed Just Error in game one with a core Snapfire and a Viper, whose break messed up with most of the opponent’s draft.
Nonetheless, Just Error evened the series by establishing map dominance with a carry Nature’s Prophet, SumaiL on Morphling and a support Shadow Shaman for Bakyt “Zayac” Emilzhanov. Headed into the last game of the night, mudgolems brought back the Viper and developed a strong draft around Sven, who managed to finish the game without a single death to his name to bring a first victory for mudgolems at EPIC League.
Day two will bring a chance at revenge for Team Liquid, who will be pitted against Vikin.gg, the ones who took them down in the Dota Summit 13 grand finals. It will also give another shot to OG to take a victory in the early group stage matches and will also mark the first series in the tournament for Team Secret.
EPIC League Division 1 Group Stage Day 2 schedule:
- 14:00 CET Team Liquid vs Vikin.gg
- 17:00 CET Team secret vs mudgolems
- 20:00 CET OG vs Alliance
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