Dota 2 Asia Championships Main Event: Another one bites the dust

The crowd at the Mercedez Benz Arena reacts. Tim Franco for ESPN

The Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 started the third day of its main event on Sunday with two lower bracket matches and the upper bracket finals. With seven of the 12 teams already eliminated, Day 3 thinned the heard even further to only three teams.

Lower Bracket: EG vs Newbee

In the first game of the day, Evil Geniuses took on Newbee in the third round of the lower bracket. With Evil Geniuses coming off of back-to-back wins against Wings Gaming and Team Faceless, it looked to continue its run against Newbee, which was still reeling from a 2-0 trouncing at the hands of OG in the upper bracket. Evil Geniuses looked to be in firm control of the series with a commanding Game 1 victory. Unwilling to be kicked when down, Newbee found its feet and dug in for Game 2. Fighting off an Evil Geniuses' Naga Siren pickup, Newbee was able to force a decisive Game 3. Evil Geniuses, staring elimination in the face, blinked. Newbee managed to keep SumaiL sidelined with constant pressure and ganks, to which there was almost no response. Evil Geniuses supports' sloppy play made its cores easy pickings as Newbee eliminated one of the last western teams.

Upper Bracket Finals: OG vs. Invictus Gaming

For the upper bracket finals, it was showdown between the first place finishers of both groups in OG and Invictus Gaming. With Invictus being the defacto home team, OG found itself a challenge for the first time this tournament, being stretched thin during a series that went the full three games. Drawing first blood, OG took Game 1 with a razor thin margin of victory. Excellent strategy and enforced discipline by captain Tal "Fly" Azik seemed to be the difference maker. A mental lapse, perhaps from fatigue after a long Game 1, during the Game 2 draft put OG in a precarious position. With a lineup largely predicated on ganking and dependent on laning success, OG was swiftly dispatched by Invictus Gaming, who forced out the surrender in under 25 minutes. Snapping back to attention, OG returned to its bread and butter with a Naga Siren pickup for Game 3. After trading blows with Invictus Gaming, OG turned on the afterburners and left its opponents in the dust. OG advance to the grand finals, leaving no question that it's the team to beat.

Lower Bracket Round 4: Invictus Gaming Vitality vs. Newbee

Fresh off its win over Evil Geniuses, Newbee was red hot and ready for the well rested Invictus Gaming Vitality in the final series of the day. Despite its impressive run through the lower bracket and extra time to rest, Invictus Gaming Vitality looked lost against Newbee. After securing a few early kills, iGV got a little overzealous and began forcing unnecessary fights for which it was ill prepared. Newbee snatched away its early lead and ran away with the game in just 39 minutes. Scrambling to collect themselves, iGV drafted what appeared to be the better lineup in Game 2. Newbee were disparaged by the analysts for drafting an unconventional Sven, but Newbee owned the pick and used it to tremendous effect. Newbee's momentum was just too much for Invictus Gaming Vitality, which only mustered six kills during the length of Game 2. Newbee led the game from beginning to end and earned itself a showdown with the primary Invictus Gaming squad and the opportunity for a second crack at OG.

The Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 will resume on Monday for its final day of competition, starting with Newbee taking on Invictus Gaming at 10:00 PM EST in the lower bracket finals.