With MDL Changsha taking a different approach to the playoff stage, the first day would see 4 series in the Upper bracket – with no eliminations just yet. After the opening round of Upper bracket series both VGJ.Storm and Mineski claimed decisive victories, moving forward to fight again later in the day.
OG versus VGJ.Storm
The first series would be between OG and VGJ.Storm, neither of which could qualify for The International 2018 via DPC points due to roster changes. OG would be hoping to prove that they had made the right choice since removing Roman ‘Resolut1on’ Fominok from their roster – while VGJ.Storm, with resolut1on now on their squad, would be hoping to continue the magnificent run they had winning the recent GESC: Thailand Dota 2 Minor and their fantastic performances yesterday too. With the loser going down to the lower bracket, the best-of-three series would see some fine Dota 2 action.
The opening game saw OG draft a Drow Ranger lineup which seemed to be set for a good game – but the North Americans had a very different idea. It did not take long for the domination to begin as they found pick-offs across the map consistently, leaving OG in the dust. It took 25 minutes for the GG to come out from OG – but the game was over from around the 18-minute mark and now OG required a victory to remain in contention to move on in the upper bracket.
While OG found a much better start to the next game, they failed to recognize Resolut1on’s Medusa constantly farming. The NA squad took control of the game near the time which the previous one ended and snowballed from there.
VGJ.Storm racked up a massive lead and would even pick up a Rapier on Mediusa which secured a game-ending Rampage and a 15-0-8 for Resolut1on.
Mineski versus TNC
It was an all-SEA battle in the second Upper bracket series of the Day at MDL Changsha as Mineski would face off against TNC Predator – the winner moving forward into the next round of the Upper bracket and the loser dropping to the dreaded Lower bracket. After winning DAC 2018, Mineski would be hoping to better their poor placement at EPICENTER XL and claim some DPC points as a TI8 invite was within their grasp. Their opponents were much further away from any possible invite, sitting quite far down on the DPC point rankings – even though they had some brilliant showings lately.
Going into game one, TNC had a very odd draft and the weakness showed very quickly as Mineski took full advantage. With a Timbersaw holding down the fort in the mid-lane and a Gyrocopter to back him up, Mineski quickly raced ahead of their opponents who were unable to find more than 4 kills throughout the 25-minute game. Even though there was a last minute Aegis steal from TNC’s Carlo ‘Kuku’ Palad, the GG came out – giving game one to Mineski.
Game two was much more highly contested for the most part as both teams kept up on the scoreboard. However, Mineski were still able to keep control and by 40 minutes TNC were already 2 sets of barracks down. As the game continued TNC found themselves unable to quelle the pressure from their opponents who battered their base constantly – and while they managed to get a few decent fights going slightly in their favour, it was nowhere near enough. TNC would lose the series 2-0 and would drop to the lower bracket, while Mineski would keep going in the Upper bracket.
Next up would be Team Secret going up against VGJ.Storm followed by Mineski and Vici Gaming closing out the first day of the playoffs at MDL Changsha.