The first premier Dota 2 tournament of 2017 started Friday at the Genting Highlands resort in Malaysia as eight teams competed for a chunk of the $250,000 prize pool. Featuring seven teams who attended the Boston Major plus the revamped Fnatic roster, the tournament kicked off with a series of matches to decide who would advance from Group A and B. The first day of competition was a barrage of one-sided matches, rounded out by a great Digital Chaos vs. Wings Gaming series.
In the new Fnatic roster's first showcase game, Virtus.pro made the SEA squad look silly, taking the series in commanding fashion. An early lead was exacerbated thanks to a quick mid lane barracks kill supported by a high level Juggernaut Healing Ward which ultimately awarded Virtus.pro the victory in just 26 minutes. The Team NP vs. Newbee match was also very one-sided, but lasted much longer. Despite being behind by over 20,000 net worth by 20 minutes, Team NP managed to fight for another 26 minutes before surrendering.
The trend of one-sided matches continued onto the next series: Digital Chaos vs. Execration. Digital Chaos picked Meepo for Aliwi "w33" Omar, and he absolutely crushed Execration. Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok was also having an exceptional game on Luna, adding even more fuel to the fire. The duo finished their game with a combined 16/0/27 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) en route to a relatively easy victory.
The final best-of-one broke the mold of one-sided results. WarriorsGaming.Unity took an early lead over TI6 champions Wings Gaming, but couldn't press their advantage in time to seal a win. Wings was able to hang on for the entire time, never giving up more than a tier three tower. They eventually won back-to-back fights around 40 minutes, forcing WG Unity to concede the game.
With the best-of-ones behind them, teams changed gears to focus on playing their respective three-game series to secure a spot in the playoffs. The first best-of-three was Virtus.pro vs Newbee. Although the series went to three games, each of them was one-sided. In Game 1, Newbee held a gold lead for all but five minutes of the 35 minute game. Newbee won the early game, and snowballed their way to victory. The second game of the series was Virtus.pro's chance to strike back, and they did so in a commanding fashion. They took Game 2 in a very quick 23 minutes, reminiscent of their first game of the day against Fnatic. Newbee managed to close out the series though, winning the final game and securing a playoff spot while only giving up two deaths. Song "Sccc" Chun played an exceptional Queen of Pain in that game, finishing with a 10/0/12 KDA and dealing 18,000 damage to Virtus.pro's heroes.
The final series of the day was another encounter between Wings Gaming and Digital Chaos, who had gone head-to-head in the TI6 grand finals. Digital Chaos went back to well, opting to rely on w33's Meepo once again, but Wings were more than prepared to deal with it. This game was a great example of how dominant Wings can be when it comes to their ability to teamfight, as their Winter Wyvern and Gyrocopter were able to shut down w33.
Game 2 was much closer. Resolut1on did a nice job on Naga Siren, and his team played excellently around Song of the Siren. Although Digital Chaos took an early barracks advantage, Wings were able to repel them when fighting from the high ground. It took 57 minutes, the longest game of the day, but Digital Chaos managed to grind out a win. Their momentum carried over into Game 3 as the group jumped out to an early lead. Digital Chaos was able to stay the course and avoid feeding away their lead, securing their first ever series win against Wings and a spot in the playoffs.