The qualifying for The International 10 on Dota 2 for the CIS began on the 23rd of June. The teams played one match but the first squads already left the qualifiers. The first day didn’t bring us any serious surprises: the teams that were considered favorites on paper won their matches without any problems. We said goodbye to the Solo’s stack and the screen’s roster, who managed to lose a map against four opponents. However, let’s turn our attention to the teams that delighted us on the first game day. Learn why we should praise RAMZES666 and No[o]ne and avoid hyping Natus Vincere, why Resolut1on pleased us, and find out whether Team Spirit is really that good in this Cybersport.ru article.
Team Spirit plays like in the major
We do not want to praise Team Spirit too much, but in terms of team interactions and game organization, it really looks stronger than all the participants of the qualifiers. The roster did not crush the opponent, but there was no doubt in its victory looking at both maps. Spirit plays steadily, moderately accurate, and confident, knowing exactly when to be aggressive, and when to stand back. And that’s probably the best signal to its fans — TS approached the qualifiers with the same seriousness and concentration that they had in the major. And the level that the team has had in Kyiv now is clearly higher than that of its competitors in the qualifiers. If Spirit continues to perform the same way and without making mistakes in the drafts, it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to stop it.
RAMZES666 and No[o]ne are in great shape
NAVI’s star-studded roster lives up to its status: the personal performance of the players is really at a high level. No[o]ne now looks much more convincing than in the Gambit’s roster. Minenko was the main hero of the EXTREMUM encounter: he played well both mid-matchups and was very active on the map, helping the team take an early lead. His most memorable moment was on the second map: No[o]ne used Sun Strike to take down the Lina’s Aeon Disk, who was the most dangerous character of the opposing team. Then NAVI immediately went to attack her. Thanks to that fight NAVI consolidated its advantage.
In addition to No[o]ne, RAMZES666 also pleased its fans. He was criticized a lot because of the second DPC season. Kushnarev was blamed for being too greedy for a third-position player. However, in the match against EXTREMUM, he showed himself as a team player who got the necessary starting artifacts and immediately began to actively cooperate with teammates. He had a few inaccurate initiations on the Axe. Nevertheless, RAMZES666’s playstyle was exactly as expected from a player in his position.
Slightly more mixed impressions were left by V-Tune. Nix and Daxak who were streaming the NAVI’s game criticized the cyber player for the item build on both maps. In addition, in the second game, he had a few not very good Chronosphere moments. A telling moment was on the second map, when V-Tune almost missed Lina, wondering whether he should use Ultimate or not.
NAVI is too early to be ranked as a favorite — the team played against the weakest player in the winner’s bracket of the qualifiers playoffs. EXTREMUM now looks extremely bad, and most importantly, it looks hopeless. The team literally looks doomed after the lining stage, and it can’t be said that the problem is in the drafts: NAVI has won largely due to a higher level of execution. Sure, EXTREMUM had some good moments, like the mellojul episode on the second map, when the player baited a Faceless Void on ultimate and survived due to Eul’s Scepter of Divinity. As for the rest, the team didn’t show much, and Blizzy’s actions raised so many questions that it should be noted separately. However, even against such weak EXTREMUM, NAVI had problems on the second map. So in matches against higher-ranked opponents, the squad may unexpectedly lose.
Resolut1on pleasantly surprised
Perhaps the most skepticism was raised by the off-liner position in the HellRaisers. Resolut1on is in his second year of playing at the “triple”, but it’s still hard to put him among the best at that position, even by CIS standards. One of HR’s problems is three greedy cor players, who find it difficult to split the farm between them, especially in games against more serious teams. In its encounter with Gambit, the lil me alone team offered two solutions to this problem. On the second map, the role of the non-greedy playmaker went to young G on the Viper, while Resolut1on got Broodmother. Unlike Blizzy, who farmed the forest AFK and occasionally died on that character, Fominok made the most of his character’s potential to destroy the line, chase away the enemy’s carry, and take control of the opponent’s territory. Resolut1on acted rather passively in some matches, even with farming, but that time he showed aggressive and pacey gameplay, and it worked out.
On the third map, HR gave Resolut1on the role of a typical “triple”, which is fully focused on team interaction. Fominok on Magnus did not take away the farm from the mid and carry. He collected only two artifacts he needed — Force Staff and Blink Dagger. The team gave space to Cooman, who on Medusa easily farmed forest and the “triangle”. This is something that HR often lacked in other games when its main cor was noticeably short on gold. As a result, the team had two powerful and unarmed characters, and Resolut1on gave “funeral” ultimates at the right time. Yes, HR still does not look like a monolithic team without mistakes, but it seems that the squad has finally managed to find a balance in the distribution of roles and farming on the map.
PuckChamp and Pangolier
The main interesting thing about PuckChamp’s game was its organization and calmness. The team began the first map with a 0-5 score and a 2,000-gold gap by the eighth minute. However, PuckChamp clearly understood the strength of its peak and went to victory without panic. By the way, a similar situation occurred on the second map, where Team Unique also made several successful pick-offs. We can’t say that PuckChamp was that bad at the lining stage: the squad kept the opponent ahead in gold, intelligently distributing farming between cors and waiting for good moments for mass battles.
PuckChamp was remembered for its unusual drafts during the second season of DPC. For the match against Team Unique, the squad prepared Pangolier, who was picked twice on the hard-line. By the way, the character was picked five times in the Major in Kyiv, and three times in the DPC in CIS. Pangolier lost more often, so it could be said that the hero is extremely far from the meta now, but PuckChamp definitely knew how to use it effectively. Surely the team has more than one more fascinating idea in its arsenal, so it will be interesting to watch its play next.