Day 1 of TI10 Group Stages: Best Matches to Watch
Dota 2’s TI10 just completed their first day of group stage matches. Despite some technical difficulties and issues with production, the matches at TI10 were phenomenally entertaining and every team attending put their skills on display. If you weren’t able to watch day 1 of TI10’s group stage, we’ve got you covered. We’ll discuss the biggest upsets and the most entertaining matches that were played today.
If you’d like to watch day 1 of the TI10 group stage, you can watch match replays either in the Dota 2 client via the “Watch” tab or on the official Dota 2 YouTube page. Don’t forget to link your Steam account to your Twitch account if you’re able to watch the matches live on Twitch as Twitch Drops are enabled for all TI10 streams, in all languages.
We’ll try to keep things as spoiler-free as possible, but we will want to discuss details that may inform readers as to which team won. We’ll try to keep whatever spoilers we discuss under wraps so it doesn’t affect your viewing experience should you want to go back and watch the matches for yourself. That being said, let’s look at how day 1 of the TI10’s group stage went.
TI10 Group Stages: Important Notes
While it’s easy to look at TI10 as a simple contest in which team is the best at Dota 2, there are some interesting storylines that are popping up due to the unique situation teams at TI10 find themselves in. We’ve previously reported that two Chinese teams, Team Aster and Invictus Gaming, are currently positive for Covid-19 and cleared for competition. European team OG are playing with their longtime strategist and offlaner Ceb, who recently underwent emergency eye surgery. Some teams are playing in uncomfortable conditions and in cramped rooms, which could and probably has affected performance.
Here’s some things to keep in mind while you watch day 1 of TI10.
Team Aster Substituting White Album: According to the official Team Aster weibo page, Aster’s mid-laner White Album currently cannot play due to health conditions related to Covid-19. The team’s coach 86 has stepped in as a replacement.
OG’s Possible Threepeat: Two-time TI champions OG are currently on a winning streak across three TI events, going all the way back to The International 2018. OG have been placed in perhaps the most competitive group at TI10 and are playing against Virtus.pro, Evil Geniuses, and T1, who are all considered to be the strongest teams of their respective regions. OG’s games against these teams and the rest of group A should be considered necessary watching, especially since they’re coming to TI10 with two new players and Ceb who’s currently playing while rehabbing an injury.
Group B’s Battle for 2nd-4th: With PSG.LGD as the favorites to win TI10, most fans are watching games between other teams as they’re likely to be more even. It’s likely that PSG.LGD will win all their games in this group, securing first place for themselves with ease.
The real competition is for the next three spots. Team Secret, Team Spirit, Quincy Crew, Elephant, and beastcoast all have the potential to go far at the main event of TI10 and will want to secure spots in the upper bracket to prevent an early exit from the event. We can expect matches between these teams to be somewhat even as these teams have won games against each other before or will be meeting for the first time.
The South American Situation: South America is a region that seldom gets the opportunity to display their talent and passion for Dota 2 on the grandest stage of them all. Three teams from South America qualified for TI10 this year and each of them is looking to either place in the top 8 or win TI10. Peruvian team Thunder Predator is competing in group A, quite possibly the most stacked group at TI10.
Beastcoast and SG esports are playing in group B, where games are slightly more even and they stand more of a chance. Games involving beastcoast are likely to be highly competitive, but there’s a possibility that Thunder Predator and SG esports will be able to at least win a series or tie most of their matches.
Let’s take a look at group A of the TI10 group stage.
TI10 Group Stages: Group A Day 1
Day 1 of Group A of the TI10 group stage saw regional favorites like Evil Geniuses, Virtus.pro, and OG play at their expected capacity. While many of the games were entertaining, the results weren’t immensely surprising unlike day 1 of group B.
Here are the results for day 1 of Group A. Feel free to skip if you don’t want to spoil yourself.
1. Invictus Gaming (2-1-0)
1. OG (2-1-0)
1. Virtus.pro (2-1-0)
4. Evil Geniuses (2-0-1)
5. Team Undying (1-1-1)
6. Alliance (1-0-2)
7. T1 (0-0-2)
7. Team Aster
7. Thunder Predator
What’s most surprising about day 1 of group A has to be Undying’s results. A 2-0 win against Team Aster and a 1-1 tie against Invictus Gaming has put them in an ideal position to secure either 3rd or 4th for group A. If they are able to at least tie against Evil Geniuses and beat T1, they should be able to win their series against Thunder Predator and Alliance, as both teams are underperforming lately. The only variable is whether they can hope to tie against OG.
Alliance started day 1 of the TI10 group stage playing their hardest matches in the group. However, it seems as though Alliance is feeling the pressure of playing against teams they’re unprepared to handle. Limmp wasn’t able to maintain composure against OG, despite winning both games’ laning phases against OG’s Topson. If Alliance want to avoid the lower bracket, the team will have to address Limmp’s decision making and map movement during the mid and late game.
Here are the best matches from day 1 of TI10’s group A matches.
Virtus.pro vs. OG
Virtus.pro’s results this year show that they’re the best team in CIS and are capable of competing against some of the best teams internationally. However, they struggle against Chinese teams and in LAN environments where their inexperience gets the best of them. Their reputation for choking on LAN doesn’t dissuade observers from holding them in high regard, as their in-game coordination, mechanics, and uncanny ability to initiate fights from both an advantage and disadvantage continue to impress.
Virtus.pro’s match against OG is the Russian team’s first real challenge of TI10, as they face former champions who are known for their ability to read their opponents both during the draft and in-game. OG’s ability to snatch victory from the claws of defeat continues to defy expectations, and they seldom throw in the towel when the chips are down.
This match between OG and Virtus.pro feels equivalent to watching Raoh and Kenshiro fight for the first-time in Fist of the North Star. Both teams feel really powerful and just when you think one team is out of the game, they do something to completely turn things around in a way you wouldn’t expect. Virtus.pro’s use of Dawnbreaker during their games against OG really show how strong the hero is at the top level of Dota 2, and Sumail’s play during this series shows how fearsome he is as a carry and how much he’s grown since his first year playing for Evil Geniuses at TI5.
Undying vs. Invictus Gaming
If you want to see what a complete turnaround looks like in Dota 2, look no further than this series between Undying and Invictus Gaming. By all accounts, Undying shouldn’t be playing as well as they are against Chinese teams, but everyone on the Undying squad shows that they’re players that should be taken seriously despite how patchwork their style of Dota is. Timado and Bryle really show what they’re capable of doing if they’re given the space to make it to the late-game, and their gameplay in game 2 looks to put Evil Geniuses and Quincy Crew on notice.
Invictus Gaming aren’t any slouches themselves, but their games against Undying show how flexible the North American team can be, even in losing efforts. IG’s drafts show a little more thought and consideration, even if they seem stuck in patches of Dota’s past, but they’re level of execution should be admired.
Overall, this game’s incredibly entertaining.
TI10 Group Stages: Group B Day 1
Day 1 of TI10’s group B had the most surprising results of the day. As the group containing most of the Chinese teams playing at TI10, including PSG.LGD, many of the expected results were simply unknown as many teams would be facing each other for the first time.
Here are the results for day 1 of Group B.
1. PSG.LGD (2-0-0)
2. Elephant (1-1-0)
2. Vici Gaming (1-1-0)
4. Beastcoast (1-0-1)
4. Fnatic (0-2-0)
4. Team Secret (1-0-1)
7. Quincy Crew (0-0-1)
7. SG esports (0-0-1)
9. Team Spirit (0-0-2)
Beastcoast definitely stands out in comparison to other teams playing in group B. As far as beastcoast are concerned, their day 1 couldn’t have gone any better. A surprise 2-0 win against Team Secret sets them up well for the rest of the week, but shouldn’t be seen as an indicator of how they’ll do against PSG.LGD, Elephant, or Quincy Crew for that matter. Team Secret typically struggles against Peruvian teams, especially against beastcoast as they simultaneously underestimate them and draft poorly against them during the group stage.
Elephant was speculated to not do well at TI10 simply because their roster had floundered during the year in China and had failed to qualify for either Major during 2021. Granted, Elephant didn’t face the strongest teams in their group, but if they can continue their current streak, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Chinese dream team take second after PSG.LGD.
Here are the best matches for day 1 of group B.
Team Secret vs. beastcoast
It’s seldom that you see Team Secret underperform against weaker teams on LAN, but beastcoast showed that the European favorites can still be outplayed and have their hero drafts dismantled. Team Secret performed well during the early stages of both games, but beastcoast were able to hold onto the late game where their drafts were able to shine. Wisper really played out of his mind in both games, which allowed his team to safely farm and exert their map presence even when they were playing from behind. If teams were to learn anything from this series, it’s that you need to draft against Wisper as much as you need to draft against Chris Luck.
Speaking of Chris Luck, the Peruvian midlaner was able to hold his own against Team Secret’s Nisha, tilting him early in the game despite a fairly even lane. Chris Luck’s ability to fight early and duel against Nisha and Zai away from his team opened up space for K1 to come back hard in game 1 despite a somewhat reactionary item build and flimsy laning stage.
Definitely watch this game if you’re in the mood for an underdog story. Think Red Sox versus Yankees in 2004 at the ALCS where they came back hard in the fourth game.
Both of Fnatic’s games
The phenoms from the Philippines are really showing how badly they want to bring the Aegis of Champions home to Southeast Asia. We originally pegged Fnatic as one of the weaker teams at TI10, but their series against Vici Gaming and Elephant show that they’re capable of handling the Chinese teams who everyone else seems to be struggling against.
While Fnatic’s mechanics may be a little lacking behind other teams, they make up for it with hyper-active drafts that can fight early and often. What Fnatic needs right now is the ability to recover from having their towers destroyed early and seeing their map presence squeezed as a result.
Heroes with strong roaming or global presence seem to suit Fnatic really well, especially for Jabz and ChYuan. If Fnatic can learn to be a touch more flexible and play stronger push line-ups, they may give western teams in their group a run for their money.
What’s Next for TI10 Group Stages?
After a fairly standard day 1 of the group stage, day 2 of TI10 should see teams pulling out pocket picks and diversifying their drafts as they face opponents they feel they’re weak against. PSG.LGD vs. Team Secret will begin day 2 for group B and certainly see Team Secret do their best to dethrone the favorites to win TI10.
Virtus.pro will be facing their first Chinese opponent, Invictus Gaming. If Virtus.pro can overcome their historic losing streak against Chinese teams, the rest of the week should be a breeze for them, especially since iG seems to be the Chinese team to beat in group A right now.
Overall, TI10 is off to an exciting start so far. Be sure to come back tomorrow to read our coverage of day 2.