The real meat of The International starts today. We’ve experienced a taste with the group stages, setting the scene for the entire tournament to come. Sixteen teams split between a winners bracket and a losers bracket: there’s no more room for poor performance now. Games in the winners bracket will be best of three’s, while games in the losers brackets are a lone best of one. I know which bracket I’d rather be in. Hang out with us here at PCGamesN, where our Dota 2 expert Nick Wilson will be covering the tournament all night long.
05:55AM BST / 09:55PM PDT – Fnatic wins the match
Era is the best Lifestealer player in the world for Fnatic. Coupled with a successful Bounty Hunter getting you all the bonus gold you could ever want, you have one scary carry. The Dragon Knight ultimate helped significantly during team fights, burning off the Refraction charges from Templar Assassin of LGD.int.
It was discovered after the match that N0tail who was controlling the Bane from Fnatic was actually also controlling the Visage Familiars. Being a micro centric player, he can’t seem to get away from making the game harder for himself.
What does this mean: It means that’s it for tonight. Fnatic are through, LGD.int are out. We’ve had to say goodbye to four teams tonight, which is sad but necessary. There is one last match: an all star game between ten pre picked players from the compendiums. It should be a load of fun to watch to finish off the night, so tune in here to watch it. For me, It’s time for bed. This all starts again tomorrow at 8PM BST / 12PM PDT. -Nick
05:15AM BST / 09:15PM PDT – Orange wins the match
Orange have knocked out Dignitas out of the tournament. Definitely not one of the crowd favourites, but by far the best team between the two. Again we saw another Timbersaw pick, but this time it was countered as soon as Nature’s Prophet got his Scythe of Vyse. You can’t do much when you’re a pig.
Dignitas certainly put up a fight, successfully defending their base multiple times against Orange’s assaults. In time Orange realised they needed a few more core items before they could breach, and withdrew after a few wasteful loses. The main hope for Dignitas was their Lone Druid, who was very farmed indeed. However Orange’s huge burst damage dealt with him swiftly and effectively.
What does this mean: Well for one, Dignitas is out. One of the two American teams, the crowd were certainly sad to see them go. Any fans now rest their hopes on Team Liquid, who play tomorrow from the losers bracket. Orange continue on, with many more matches to face before they can reach the final.
Our next match is LGD.int and Fnatic, which is also the final match of the night. -Nick
04:45AM BST / 08:45PM PDT – First blood
Bottom lane. Rubick from Dignitas refused to let go of his tower, which was being assailed by four heroes from Orange. One of which was Chaos Knight, who promptly Reality Rifted to secure the kill. Poor Rubick.-Nick
04:00AM BST / 08:00PM PDT – First blood / LGD.int wins the match
Unfortunately my ISP decided to conduct maintenance at 3AM BST. A sensible time, when usually most of the UK is in the wonderful land of nod. However myself and many others were watching only the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world. Hmph.
An hour later the green light on my router flashes back into life, but I’m too late. Still, I’ll try to save face.
It would appear that LGD.int got first blood, with a surprsingly successful gank on Puck. A hard task indeed due to Puck’s natural evasion thanks to Jaunt and Phase Shift, so props to LGD.int on that one.
Looking at Clockwerk I can tell that he did a lot of work this game. Participating in 22 out of 25 kills only means he landed his hooks and trapped Mouz in his debilitating cogs of death.
Gyrocopter is nearly six slotted in terms of items, which at 37 minutes points to some nifty ancient stacking thanks to a Helm of the Dominator. His Flak Cannon will also do wonders against Phantom Lancer’s illusions, killing them almost as fast as they spawn.
At least syndereN didn’t die the most, something he usually does on a consistent basis when playing support. He’s a lovely guy, so it’s a shame Mouz is out of the tournament, but I think the best team won.
Next up is Dignitas vs Orange, hopefully without internet issues. -Nick
03:00AM BST / 07:00PM PDT – Team Dignitas wins the match
03:00AM BST / 07:00PM PDT – Team Dignitas wins the match
USA! USA! USA!
The crowd roar in favour of Dignitas as they smash down the base of Rattlesnake. An initiation by Naga Siren mid crumbled to dust as they miss timed all their big damage spells. Homing Missile, Illuminate and the first half of the Call Down all hit while the song was active, not scratching Dignitas and their sleeped team. As soon as they came out of it, they got a Timbersaw to the face: Whirling Death, Timber Chain and a Chakram was enough to bring down three heroes in quick fashion.
What did Rattlesnake do wrong?
Well I think they just underestimated the Timbersaw. Picking a trilane was really greedy, and is only effective if you push early. Rubick also got a ton of good spells from many of Rattlesnake’s heroes: Song of the Siren, Call Down are just a couple. They also tried far too hard to control Roshan, going as far as to sacrifice their precious towers and exposing the bare base to Nature’s Prophets wrath.
Dignitas will venture further into the losers bracket, while we say goodbye to Rattlesnake. Next up we have Mouz vs LGD.int, so stick around. -Nick
02:50AM BST / 06:50PM PDT – Stealing the show
After a failed gank by Rattlesnake, only picking up Wisp in a five man smoke, they turned their attention to Roshan. They were doing a lot of damage to him, which luckily was spotted by the Timbersaw. Heroes were on the way for Dignitas, but it wasn’t fast enough. Rattlesnake take the Roshan, as Timbersaw exacts revenge by killing Keeper of the Light who was keeping watch on the high ground. Naga Siren immediately used Song of the Siren to lock down the Timbersaw and the relocating Wisp/Morphling. As soon as it breaks, Rubick steals Naga’s ultimate and pops it, rendering Rattlesnake useless. It was enough to allow all of Dignitas to escape, and leave a powerful spell in their possession. -Nick
02:45AM BST / 06:45PM PDT – Timba is imba
The crowd went wild as the fight ensued mid. Rattlesnake tried to take out Timbersaw, who was helpless in the hands of an Ensnare and Mana Leak. He had a choice: either Timber Chain and loose all his mana, or stick it out and take the punishment. The latter was what was decided, and boy was it close.
See Timbersaw has a passive skill called Reactive Armour. Every time he is hit with damage, his health regeneration and armour is increased by one, to a max stack of sixteen. This means that the more you attack him, the harder and harder he is to kill. After escaping the lock down he was down to less than 3% of his health, but it didn’t matter. Thanks to the extra armour, the final right clicks from Rattlesnake didn’t even cause a dent.
Keep an eye on this one. -Nick
02:30AM BST / 06:30PM PDT – First blood
A rotation by Naga Siren from Rattlesnake proved too much for Dignitas and their Timbersaw mid. Rubick had been successfully denying Rattlesnake’s tri lane creeps thanks to a nifty creep pull technique. This prompted some sort of action from Rattlesnake, so they sent Naga Siren in search of reasons. She didn’t spot the Rubick, but in the meantime Weave had been harassing down the Timbersaw mid. A quick detour and an Ensnare was all that was needed to kill him, especially since he lacked any levels in Timber Chain. -Nick
02:00AM BST / 06:00PM PDT – TongFu win game two
Our first long game of the day: 51:26 according to the game stats. It looked promising for Fnatic, who were ahead on kills from the word go. TongFu had their Gyrocopter though, who was methodical in his farming. By forty minutes his farm was double of Fnatic’s Lifestealer. The problem with a farmed Gyrocopter is that he can drop an entire enemy team in seconds thanks to Flak Cannon, which splits his shots off to hit multiple targets. Couple that with a Satanic, an item which gives you huge lifesteal for a few seconds essentially gives him another life. If you really want to be sadistic, give him the aegis too.
It proved too much for Fnatic who tried valiantly to try and shut him down. I can’t fault their team fight plays, as they were near enough to perfect. Puck even got a five man Dream Coil near the Roshan pit, and a silence into sheep onto Gyrocopter a couple of times. However quick reactions from TongFu got him out of the fight, only to return to wreak havoc.
What does this mean: TongFu advance into the winners bracket, scheduled to fight Na’Vi. Both teams now are guaranteed prize money, over $100,000 and rising thanks to the Compendiums. Fnatic will fight it to the death in the losers bracket against either Mouz or Dignitas, which happens to be our next match. Remember though, it’s only a best of one in the losers bracket, so it’ll be a quick one! -Nick
12:55AM BST / 04:55PM PDT – First blood
A ballsy Visage from TongFu blocked off the jungle camps to prevent Fnatic’s Chen from farming. Immediately spotted, Era playing the Lifestealer body blocks him to allow his team to catch up. It’s not enough, and he escapes at half health.
However TongFu quickly resume chase, and Bane managed to sleep the Venomancer. A Grave Chill from Visage was all that was needed, as Gyrocopter Barrages Venomancer for an easy first blood. -Nick
12:45AM BST / 04:45PM PDT – TongFu wins game one
It wasn’t even twenty minutes in and the middle barracks was already destroyed for Fnatic. This was even more unbelievable because Fnatic had a Treant in their ranks, who can cast Living Armour to regenerate their towers.
TongFu took a page from Na’Vi and drafted a Puck / Lifestealer combo against Fnatic’s Weaver pick. In past competitions a Weaver / Treant combo has been devastating, easily being able to dive heroes with Shukuchi and Living Armour. However today they found out the best counter to that strategy is to kill Weaver before Living Armour can even touch him.
I expect game two to be very different in terms of drafting. I’ve even been hearing rumours of a Meepo pick. We can only hope. -Nick
12:20AM BST / 04:20PM PDT – First Blood
Fnatic and TongFu have never faced each other in a competitive match until today, so everyone was having a hard time predicting what would happen.
Top rune was the battlefield. TongFu caught out Treant and Crystal Maiden with Rubick and Chen, who also had some creeps in tow. Rubick tried to lift the Treant to the high ground to take him out the fight, but failed. However he had already dropped below half health from right clicks. For some unknown reason, Fnatic’s N0tail decided to run straight into the two enemy heroes, resulting in his quick death and first blood to TongFu. What’s more is that Crystal Maiden also fell to TongFu’s reinforcements as she tried to flee.
Advantage TongFu. -Nick
11:45PM BST / 03:45PM PDT – Na’Vi win game three
The the last ten minutes of that third game, Na’Vi were just crashing against the walls of Orange’s base. Again and again and again they whittled down the tower while picking off any Orange members who dared to contend it. A blink and a Ravage from Tidehunter ended Orange’s time in the winners bracket, and secured the win for Na’Vi.
How Orange let Na’Vi pick Lifestealer and Puck I do not know, as I thought last game was a good example on how good Na’Vi play with them. The Infest into Orb combo from them is deadly, instantly killing the enemy Weaver, a hero who naturally posses a lot of evasion. Without Weaver being a threat, Orange fell apart. The only other threat was Lone Druid, but some early ganks and bear kills brought the beast under control.
What does this mean: Na’Vi continue their tradition of losing the first game, and then winning the next two in best of threes. Orange aren’t out, as they could still progress through the losers bracket. But being one game away from elimination will certainly affect their play, and it’s up to them to keep it together for a second chance.
Next up is Fnatic and Tongfu, so stay tuned! -Nick
11:10PM BST / 03:10PM PDT – First blood
Killing a Lone Druid is no mean feat, and Dendi on Puck certainly couldn’t do it without friends. Chen and Rubick were those friends, hooking round to mid and hiding in the trees. They couldn’t just dive Lone Druid under the tower, as Lone Druid was just hugging it for safety and using his bear to last hit.
Fortunately some harassment by Dendi saw Lone Druid run into the trees to receive the bottle from his courier to heal up. Unfortunately for him, he ran straight into Rubick and Chen. A quick Levitate from Rubick and some right clicks proved enough to take the first blood for Na’Vi.
The ball is rolling for Na’Vi, and I don’t know if Orange will be able to stop it. -Nick
10:45PM BST / 02:45PM PDT – Na’Vi wins game two
This time, Na’Vi were in front. With Na’Vi having double the score in kills, their coffers were full of gold thanks to Bounty Hunter and his Track.
Dendi treated us to a really great show with Puck. As soon as he got his Blink Dagger, he was all over Orange when it came to initiation. Lifestealer merely needed to infest Puck to concoct an ugly bomb of damage as Puck orbs into the unsuspecting Orange team over and over. At the end Dendi had taken part in nearly every kill that Na’Vi produced.
Orange didn’t have a bad lineup either. Lifestealer was countered by the Razor and his Static Link, soaking up all of his damage regardless of magic immunity. Sand King and Beastmaster provided all the initiation and stuns they could ever need, which is key if you want to catch that slippery Puck.
Na’Vi just outplayed them on this one, knocking this down to a third and final game. It all comes down to this last game, as the winner will advance into the winners bracket, while the loser is relegated to the deadly losers bracket. Who will it be? -Nick
10:20PM BST / 02:20PM PDT – First blood
It was quiet for the first five minutes, both teams just playing out their respective lanes. Then after a failed gank top by Orange and another failed courier snipe by Na’vi, it all kicked off mid. Na’Vi’s Bounty Hunter ran down the Shadow Demon mid, while Dendi and his puck threw out the Dream Coil to secure the kill. It didn’t end there though, as Puck tried to escape into the Roshan put, he was instantly stunned. Close to death, Dendi decided to suicide to Roshan himself, because Orange were right outside chasing down the rest of Na’Vi for payback. And payback they received, as they responded with three pick offs against Na’vi.-Nick
9:55PM BST / 01:55PM PDT – Orange wins game one
And just as a publish that last update, Na’Vi give out the “gg” after a second successful team fight for Orange.
So what went wrong for Na’vi?
Well the first blood didn’t help, even though they evened the score quite quickly. Na’Vi’s lineup relied on early ganks to get ahead on the item race, but Orange never gave them the chance. Any ganks from Na’Vi were either repelled or reversed into Na’Vi taking losses. Also they did some ganking of their own, using Tidehunter and Visage to burst down heroes in seconds.
Gaining such an early lead propelled Orange’s heroes into killing machines. It also gave their supports the gold needed to gain complete control of the map, allowing them to dictate the Roshan pit. Nature’s Prophet also prevented any pushes from Na’Vi, and did some pushing of his own to take towers and further their lead.
Na’Vi did display some really nice plays: Mirana arrows, denials and the gem steal (pictured above). But it wasn’t enough to win.
What does this mean: Na’Vi will be certainly shaken right now. They would’ve gone into this thinking they had it in the bag, and now they’re probably having a reality check. The next game will be crucial, as no one wants to go into the losers bracket where one game can see you out of the tournament. Orange will be going into game two with adrenaline pumping coming off that one sided win. Let’s see what Na’Vi can do to pull this back, because they will throwing everything they’ve got. -Nick
9:45PM BST / 01:45PM PDT – Holding down the fort
It’s the mid game now and Na’Vi are hiding inside their base. Orange have been playing phenomenally, almost unrecognisable from the team that played in the group stages. They’re currently rocking twice the kills of Na’Vi, and have abused that with a wealth of items and experience.
Na’Vi right now are locked down to their base. With little to no vision, they can’t dare venture out in fear of being picked off by Orange. As a result Orange have complete control of Roshan, successfully taking him twice now.
It’s certainly not over yet, but Na’Vi have got an uphill climb to take this game back. They need to capitalise off a good team fight to reinstate their map control and farm up their carries in safety. Then again: all Orange need to do is break the base, which by the looks of it will be any minute now.
Could we be seeing game one going to Orange? -Nick
9:30PM BST / 01:30PM PDT – First blood
What a start. An immediate engagement at top rune results in Orange coming out with first blood against Na’Vi’s Bane. But there’s instant retribution as they take out Orange’s Nyx with Naga Siren. It doesn’t stop there as the fight continues: both Orange and Na’Vi take another kill each. Although the score was even at two apiece, the first blood gave Orange the advantage as we begin the first best of three.-Nick
8:45PM BST / 12:30PM PDT – The calm before the storm
As the opening ceremony is in full swing, let’s take some time to talk about the upcoming match. Na’Vi will be a scary opponent: they won the first International and took second at last years, which is no small feat. They had a rocky start on the first day of the group stages, but quickly recovered into a 11-3 final result. Dendi showed off his prowess with a mean Shadow Fiend and Pudge, which I fully expect to be banned out in the following games.
Orange are no pushovers, but they are definitely the underdogs in this match up. They went a respectable 8-6 in the group stages. If they’ve done their homework on Na’Vi, which every team should have due to their prominence, they won’t allow Na’Vi to get their most successful heroes. Maybe they can take a page out of Alliance’s book and show us some crazy strategy to take Na’Vi by surprise and give them the advantage.
What does this mean: Personally I expect Na’Vi to win, either 2-0 or 2-1. Everyone knows that they’re more skilled, but they also have experience. This is the biggest Dota 2 tournament on the planet and Na’Vi have been successful in each one. Compared to Orange, it will take something truly special to beat Na’Vi. I would keep your eyes on the mid lane, as the battle between Dendi and Mushi could set the tone for the entire match. -Nick
Some of us have already witnessed a lot of Dota 2 already, where a mighty 112 games were played in the group stages alone. All sixteen teams fought it out to dictate their starting seed for the main event. Here is the result of those group stages:
- Invictus Gaming
- Team Dignitas
- Team Liquid
- Team Zenith
- Virtus Pro
The opening ceremony is kicking off right now, tune in here to watch it. The first match will be between Na’Vi and Orange, so go get yourself ladened with snacks and drinks and settle in for a night of Dota 2. -Nick