Played on a format built to result in an upset or two, Day 1 of the ESL Hamburg Major saw nothing of the sort. Newbee, Team Secret, Team Liquid, and Virtus.Pro each took of their respective businesses, moving on from the questionable best-of-one portion of the tournament relatively unscathed.
Fnatic Disappoint as EExpected
Anyone who was looking forward to Fnatic deviating from the formula that has led to an abysmal start to their season at the ESL Hamburg Major will come out disappointed; the always unpredictable Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao drafted his team an Anti-Mage second pick and that was pretty much all she wrote.
With Fnatic seemingly having no care about what Newbee wanted to draft, the best Dota 2 team in China went on to draft Bloodseeker and Earthspirit for themselves, as well as a comfort pick, Death Prophet, for Song ‘Sccc’ Chun.
Barely 10 minutes into the game, Newbee had already boasted a 5-0 lead and things just went from bad to worse from there for Fnatic; the draft disadvantage was just too much to overcome as Newbee went on to handily win one teamfight after another.
Sccc’s “Beyond Godlike” streak at the ~32-minute mark was the final nail in the proverbial coffin, forcing Fnatic to call GG with just 4 kills to Newbee’s 21.
Team Secret Tilt Evil Geniuses to Victory
Evil Geniuses were firmly in the lead for much of the game, taking kills and objectives without much of a problem. However, a botched team fight at the ~28-minute mark turned the tables in favour of Team Secret and the European mix never looked back.
From then up until the game ended less than 10 minutes later, Team Secret gave up just one kill to Evil Geniuses’ whopping 16 as the boys in blue looked titled and completely out of sorts.
Team Liquid Make Spectre Work
One of the unpicked Dota 2 heroes at the record-breaking The International 7, Spectre was considered obsolete and out of the meta; the hero required too much farm and space to come online in a meta that favoured constant rotations and team fights.
Don’t tell that to Team Liquid, though, because somehow, they were able to make the hero work in their favour.
Skipping the common Radiance build, Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barqawi went Phase Boots into Urn of Shadows before picking up a Manta Style and Diffusal, as well as a Black King Bar. He also played much more aggressively on the farming hero, making his presence felt throughout the game, ganking and making space for Lasse Aukusti ‘MATUMBAMAN’ Urpalainen to do his own thing with his Broodmother.
Despite their best efforts, SG e-sports were just simply outclassed by the reigning champions. Team Liquid then ended the game at the ~33-minute mark with Miracle haunting the Brazilians to the tune of 12 kills, 11 assists and just 2 deaths.
Inexperience Bites Keen Gaming Hard
"The match was not as easy as we wanted, but I think it will be easy further on." – Lil after Virtus.pro's opening victory over Keen Gaming.
Posted by ESL Dota 2 on Thursday, October 26, 2017
A team with little individual LAN experience, Keen Gaming did well throughout the first half of their game against Virtus.Pro. They handled the aggression of Virtus.Pro very well and were even able to take the lead. However, their inexperience started to show just as the laning stage of the game ended.
Keen Gaming fell behind hard after Virtus.Pro wiped their entire team at the 15-minute mark and they were never able to recover.
Staring at a huge gold deficit and with two lanes of their barracks down, Keen Gaming had no choice but to call GG just right before the game hit the half-hour mark.
What’s Next for the ESL Hamburg Major?
With the best-of-one series done and dusted, we can finally move on to the proper matches on Day 2 of the ESL Hamburg Major.
Newbee and Team Secret, as well as Virtus.Pro and Team Liquid will duke it out in proper best-of-three style tomorrow to see who will top their respective groups and move on to the playoffs.
Day 2 of the ESL Hamburg Major will close things out with the first elimination match of the tournament between Fnatic and Evil Geniuses.
12:00 CEST — Newbee vs Team Secret
15:45 CEST — Virtus.Pro vs Team Liquid
19:30 CEST — Evil Geniuses vs Fnatic
Which team do you think will be the first to say goodbye to the tournament? Will tomorrow finally be the day that Team Liquid drops a series? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.