Another day of The International 2017, and another batch of broken-hearted players and frustrated fans. Naturally, most of that stemmed from the actual Dota 2 action. Two teams were knocked down from the winners bracket, while two other teams were given their tickets home.
Some of it, however, came from the announcement of the Arcana Showdown winner. That winner, by the way, is Pudge:
But of course, while new “hats” in the game are always fun, the real centerpiece of TI7 Day 3 was the actual competition. With that in mind, here are the highlights and lowlights of the day.
OG Exact Revenge on TnC Pro Team
The biggest upset of The International 2016 was TnC Pro Team defeating OG. The European team was the clean-cut favorites to win the tournament, with wins at the Frankfurt Major and Manila Major. TnC? They were just a speedbump on their path to that all-but-inevitable outcome.
Alas, things didn’t pan out that way. TnC gave OG an early ticket home that saw the organization nearly disband in its aftermath. The Green Team rebuilt itself, and reestablished itself as one of the world’s best with first-place finishes at the Boston Major and Kiev Major. The ghost of that flop at TI6 still lingered entering TI7, though, and their only real way of exorcising it was a lengthy run at the tournament which required another showdown with their old rivals.
At TI6, TnC sent OG home with a 2-0 sweep. Fittingly, OG returned the favor at TI7.
Both games were generally dominant performances by OG. The first saw Anathan "ana" Phan’s Invoker nailing spell combinations alongside exceptional Earth Spirit play by Jesse “JeRax” Vainikka. The second saw OG repeatedly punish TnC’s aggression with Johan "N0tail" Sundstein’s Naga Siren.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the sole SEA survivors, but a critical win for OG. If it keeps this pace, it could make its way through the lower bracket and all the way into the grand finals.
LGD Gaming End the North American Dream by Defeating Digital Chaos
The biggest moment of Sam “Bulba” Sosale’s Dota 2 career was when he helped Team Liquid pull off a feelgood upset over LGD Gaming at TI3. His TI7 series against LGD, however, didn’t provide any happy moments as Digital Chaos was thoroughly trampled by the Chinese superpower.
In both games, Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei posted exceptional performances as Magnus, shutting down Abed Azel Yusop’s signature Meepo in the first game and helping along an out-of-control Wang "Ame" Chunyu Antimage in the second. DC found very little success at any point and, ultimately, posted two sub-30 minute losses to end their run at the tournament.
It was a much-needed return to form for LGD Gaming, who flopped in their main event debut against Virtus Pro after a strong run in the group stages. For North American Dota fans, however, it was the coup de grace as the last two players from the region were sent home.
Newbee Look Terrifying with Win Over Invictus Gaming
The Chinese upper bracket dominance was inevitably going to lead to cannibalism and that began on Day 3 with the matchup of Invictus Gaming and Newbee. The two former championship organizations faced off in the upper-bracket semi-finals with a guaranteed top-three finish on the line.
The first game was one of the best of TI7 to this point. After IG amassed an early lead, Newbee roared back as Song "Sccc" Chun’s Sniper racked up an obscene amount of hero damage.
The second was the opposite. While IG gave away a considerable lead in the first game, the second saw the team slowly, methodically suck the life out of Newbee, spearheaded by Xu "BurNIng" Zhilei’s pub-style, Radiance-rushing Bloodseeker.
Unfortunately, while IG had its good moments in Game 1 and took Game 2, they were utterly stomped in Game 3. An early lead saw Sccc’s Storm Spirit get completely out of control, to the point where IG couldn’t even leave base out of fear of him zapping clean across the map to attack them. This continued for well over 10 minutes but the end, eventually, came with Newbee sending IG into the lower bracket.
The win secured Newbee a guaranteed third-place finish and $2.53 million payday. Their opponent for the upper bracket finals would be decided shortly after.
LGD.Forever Young Turn Upper Bracket into China’s Bracket, Defeating Virtus.Pro
The sole survivor of China’s upper bracket dominance wasn’t out of the woods on Day 3. After taking out LGD Gaming on Day 2, they came face to face with their sister team, LGD.Forever Young.
The first game was all LFY. An all-in-on-ultimates team comp by VP was exploited by the group stages standouts, with strong positioning and across-the-map skirmishing preventing the Russians from ever chaining together their big spells or gaining any serious offensive momentum.
While the first game was a relatively technical, the second one delighted fans for its sheer wildness. After 30 minutes of VP’s signature high-octane offense, the game went completely off the rails, essentially leading to 22 minutes of non-stop team-fighting. When the dust settled, however, LFY had stolen the night, courtesy of some absurd plays by Du "Monet" Peng’s Faceless Void.
With that, the grand finals are guaranteed to have at least one Chinese team, as Newbee will face LFY in the upper bracket finals on Day 5. As for Day 4...
Day 4 Matchups
For the first time since the start of the main event, Day 4 will exclusively feature lower bracket action. Here is the lineup of matches scheduled:
- Team Liquid vs. Team Empire
- OG vs. LGD Gaming
- Virtus Pro vs. Liquid-Empire Winner
Additionally, a “special announcement” is scheduled, alongside the TI7 All-Star Game. Here is the official lineup, as of a week ago:
Whether or not those lineups hold up with six of those players set to compete (and Liquid’s players potentially set up to compete twice), however, is unclear.