Cloud 9 and VG made sure that day 3 would be forever remembered in the DOTA 2 community.
According to various team-members, Cloud 9 really needed the break between their first and second game in order to regroup and gather their thoughts after getting beaten by VG. The odds were stacked against Cloud 9 to make a comeback. First, they used a very similar strategy, always a bad sign, to the one they used against Na’Vi only with one difference: Meepo. This is a hero who is notoriously difficult to play because he makes permanent copies of himself. This means he is incredibly hard to control since you have to manage up to 5 copies of the same hero simultaneously. On top of this, Meepo has very little health, damage and when you kill a copy (who is weaker than the original hero) all the Meepos die. So why pick him? Well, quite simply, in the hands of a skilled player and with enough gold and levels, he can turn into an absolute beast of a hero who is capable of annihilating entire teams. Which is exactly what happened. VG couldn’t kill Meepo enough to stop him from going critical. Everyone, from the majority of the viewers, the commentators and even the pundits exploded with excitement when Meepo destroyed everything. That performance wasn’t the only highlight either, there were 4 team-wipes (2 on both sides) in 25 minutes and it came down to a base race whereby Clockwerk, a hero I mentioned yesterday, distracted VG enough for Cloud 9 to lay waste to their base. It was a match that is going to be talked about for a long, long time.
Cloud 9 couldn’t replicate the success they had against Na’vi though. They had a moment of hubris or desperation at the beginning of game 3. They decided to draft a team of heroes who could take Roshan when they are at level 1. Roshan is a big demon-thing in the centre of the map who, if you can take it down, gives a hero to come back to life and the entire team a large amount of gold. By taking him down at the beginning of the game, the entire team gets a large gold advantage over the enemy. It didn’t go according to plan because VG discovered them and killed three of their heroes. Putting Cloud 9 at an immediate disadvantage. Cloud 9 just didn’t recover. After 35 torturous minutes, they ended the game early. The team was out of the tournament and VG continued on.
Afterwards, DK and LGD continued their best of three. Immediately, LGD made a schoolboy error by letting DK have Outworld Destroyer, a hero that they are well-known for using extremely well. He is a hero who can burst down heroes with ease and lived up to expectations in the capable hands of DK. Ancient Apparition, a hero who has been rather quiet since the first day or so, made a return and wrecked LGD in team-fights thanks to his ultimate ability. LGD, as is often the case, couldn’t handle the damage from DK and ended the game early at 26 minutes. DK continued this domination into the 3rd and final game. They built a team based around removing armour and doing lots of damage once the hero’s armour is removed and it did gangbusters. As the game progressed, LGD just kept melting before they could retaliate properly. Leaving DK to win the game and face VG.
What resulted from those two teams duking it out was 2 very solid games that had lots of tense moments…yet VG never looked like a team on the ropes. Their main heroes died very little in comparison with DK’s and their team jelled together really well unlike the other team’s hero composition. That is not to say DK didn’t put up a fight. They had some awesome team-fights and really gave it their all but VG seemed to just be playing out of their minds and DK couldn’t respond in kind. One particular highlight was VG’s Morphling in game 2, a hero who if the game goes on too long will kill everybody on the opposing team without breaking a sweat, died once and killed 14 DK heroes. He ended up being unstoppable as DK just disintegrated under such damage.
And so began the last set of matches: EG versus VG, both teams who begun in the Winner’s Bracket and had to fight their way through the losers bracket for another chance to get into the final. It would be an understatement in saying that there was a lot riding on this match, especially for EG who are the only American team left in the International.
Things didn’t look good. The first game went to the way of VG in 16 minutes. EG just lost the early game really heavily and so couldn’t handle the pressure VG put on their buildings. The second game was far more conventional and EG took it thanks to a dazzling display with Weaver, a giant cricket thing who can turn invisible at will, revert back to its condition 10 seconds ago (placement and all) and who can attack twice at the same time. VG just couldn’t catch it enough times for EG to stall and they paid the price.
However, just as it looked like EG could have a chance in the final…Game 3 happened. It was a repeat of the first game, only this time it was over and done with in 15 minutes and 1 second. It was ridiculous. I had never seen a best of three done in 90 minutes before, especially for something so important as a place in the final and a chance to win $5 million.
So day 3 ended with VG going to the final to face Newbee; an old rival and a team that had already lost to in the Winners bracket on day 1.
To be continued in our 4th and final instalment!
As always, you can check out the games for yourself here