Steven R. November 16, 2019
The MDL Chengdu Major is now underway and the group stage is halfway done.
Four teams are now set to start their main event journey in the upper bracket. Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming, TNC Predator, and Vici Gaming earned a 2-0 record in their groups to lock up stronger positioning in the playoffs. Their opponents are yet to be determined.
Invictus Gaming and Vici Gaming found their way to the upper bracket thanks to both their own formidable skills, as well as favorable matchups. Invictus Gaming bested Beastcoast and J.Storm, while Vici Gaming defeated Team Spirit and Alliance. By comparison, the starts of TNC Predator and Team Liquid were more interesting
TNC Predator continue strong start to DPC season in MDL Chengdu Major
TNC Predator entered the MDL Chengdu Major as one of the hottest teams in Dota 2. The enduring Filipino team looked excellent in both ESL One Hamburg 2019 and the regional qualifiers for WESG 2019. They haven’t slowed down in the Dota Pro Circuit.
In its opening series, TNC dispatched Team Unknown in one of the quickest best-of-threes in professional Dota 2 history. While the opening game clocked in at 22 minutes, TNC outdid themselves in game two by knotting up the 2-0 victory in just 17 minutes. This gave TNC the series victory in just 40 minutes and 30 seconds of total game time.
The second series against EHOME was considerably longer, but the score was ultimately the same. TNC took its time in choking out the Chinese squad in the first series, winning a 62-minute game highlighted by a 13-0, 895 GPM Gyrocopter game by Armel Paul "Armel" Tabios. Things didn’t go nearly as smoothly for TNC in game two, but the team still scored the sweep with a second game comeback spearheaded by Kim "Gabbi" Villafuerte, who went 18-2 on Morphling.
TNC isn’t a lock for a deep run in the tournament, but the team looks strong to this point and a trip to the finals is not out of the question.
Team Liquid top EG for hot start in MDL Chengdu Major
The post-Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi era of Team Liquid got off to a rocky start as the ex-Alliance roster stumbled at both ESL One Hamburg and DreamLeague Season 12. It’s unclear what changed with the team since, but they look much better in the MDL Chengdu Major.
The team went 2-0 in its group and did that despite facing an uphill battle.
Liquid’s run in the MDL Chengdu Major started with a stiff matchup against Team Aster. Despite the Chinese squad being rich in star power, Aster ate a 2-0 series loss as they dropped a pair of back-and-forth games to Liquid.
Things only got tougher from there as Liquid faced Evil Geniuses for a spot in the upper bracket. EG started the series strong with a dominant game one, but Liquid managed to even the series with a solid win of its own. Evil Geniuses seemed ready to close things out early in game three, but let a strong lead slip away to give Liquid the 2-1 win.
All of the other teams still have a crack at taking a spot in the upper bracket. The second half of the MDL Chengdu Major group stage will begin on Saturday night.