Day 3 of the Dota 2 Boston Major Main Event opened with Virtus.Pro vs Evil Geniuses. From there WG.U fought OG, DC and NP duked it out and Ad Finem faced off with LGD.Forever Young. Let's take a look at how the matches went down.
Virtus.pro vs Evil Geniuses Game one was a stomping. A full blown, out-and-out stomping. Virtus.pro were Radiant and EG took Dire. It began with both teams playing conservatively, harassing a little but not committing, until four minutes in when Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg's Io was caught and crunched trying to steal the Bottom Rune. EG responded almost instantly as Zai leapt in to help Sumail "Suma1L" Hassan punish Ilya "Lil" Ilyuk's Weaver the moment the Io was back in the game. EG was able to rotate and pick off VP whenever they showed up, trading positively into the Radiant side constantly. Around the 15 minute mark EG were looking unstoppable, and a huge teamfight win at 18 minutes put them in full control of the game. VP called GG before the 19 minute mark to reset and try again in round two.
Game two saw EG go Radiant and VP take Dire, and EG were instantly on the attack, ganking Lil 40 seconds before the first creep wave came out. With Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko on Sniper and Alexei "Solo" Berezin on Ogre Magi, VP were able to cause a lot of problems for EG early on in the game — the Radiant team's solution was to pick off Solo whenever they could, but VP were still causing headaches. Both sides traded towers and ganks as they raced to outfarm one another, with Suma1L's Alchemist threatening to become a heavy duty late game threat. Neither side was able to grab much of an advantage — even a huge brawl at 23 minutes didn't really swing the tides one way or another. By the 30 minute mark VP were able to come out on top in a few teamfights — of which there were many — and EG were forced to play a frantic game of map pressure as the Dire team snagged multiple barely contested Aegis' in a row. EG were fighting in their own base for minutes at a time as they used every coin they had to buyback in, and they were able to carve out an opportunity when some careless purchases left VP without the coin to buyback themselves. EG pushed VP back into the Dire base and started to go to work through the bottom lane, but VP continued to play aggressively. Left in a do or die situation, with Shadow Demon and Alchemist becoming too powerful for them to stop, VP went all in. No[o]ne bought a Divine Rapier to significantly increase his damage output and then almost instantly nuked himself thanks to Suma1L's purchase of Blade Mail, which reflects damage when activated. VP, their long shot gone, surrendered. Watch the second spectacular game embedded below.
EG wins 2 - 0
WG.Unity vs OG WG.Unity burst into Boston with victory over Wings, and they were hoping for another upset against OG. WGU was Dire and OG took Radiant for game one of their match up. Both teams played warily to kick off this game, probing a little but otherwise leaving one another alone to farm. First blood came six minutes in when Gustav "s4" Magnusson's Sand King was snagged by Tue "Ah Fu" Soon Chuan and Kam "NaNa" Boon Seng on Earth Spirit and Outworld Devourer respectively. OG responded a minute later, ganking Lai "Ah Jit" Jay Son on the Juggernaut, and it seemed like it could be anyone's game. WGU quickly dispelled those thoughts through fantastic laning and map control. The domination of the map allowed them to repeatedly pick up the Aegis from the Roshan pit, and that allowed them to further bully OG around the map. They seemed firmly in control as they pushed OG into the Radiant base. In the end, Chua Soon "KaNGaroo" Khong's Legion Commander proved too dominant for the team in green, and WG.U secured the victory just before the hour mark.
Game two, and again WG.U was Dire and OG were Radiant. Determined to deny WG.U the opportunity, OG gave s4 the Legion Commander this time around, and it worked beautifully early on. They ganked Ah Fu 40 seconds before the first creep wave and picked off KaNGaroo a minute later, and the tables had turned on the Malaysian upset. Anathan "ana" Pham — the only Aussie left in the tournament — came online at the 12 minute mark and OG started to clomp their way through Dire's mid and top towers. WG.U were under heavy pressure, and they did really well to hold OG out — using Shadow Demon's illusions beautifully, but a costly teamfight at the 31 minute mark meant they just couldn't hold the European team out any longer.
Game three, the decider, gave WG.U Radiant and OG the Dire side. OG picked up Lina during the draft, and equipped Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka with her. Which was pretty cool, as I'd wanted to see her show up for the Major. OG secured early control of game three thanks to First Blood on Luna, but WG.U were doing well to keep things close. Kam "NaNa" Boon Seng on Pugna was shutting Ana's Alchemist down hard, even securing a cheeky kill five minutes in, slowing down Ana's farm and ideally stopping a rerun of the Alchemist dominance from the first game. Unfortunately for WG.U NaNa was the only one with any form this game, as Ah Fu was picked off all over the place and OG began to power creep significantly. Ana came online at the 13 minute mark, and Tal "Fly" Aizik's Shadow Demon started doing what he does best — comboing with JerAx and Ana to dissolve WG.U's heroes in moments. With OG in full control of the map they put WG.U under relentless pressure and grind out a victory. If there was anything to take from this, it's that Warriors Gaming Unity held out against a brutal OG for a lot longer than expected — they even managed to give them a bit of a scare. Watch game two embedded below to see Ana dominate.
OG wins 2 - 1
Digital Chaos vs Team NP Team USA vs Team Canada was up third for the day as DC and NP looked to battle. Unfortunately only Team USA showed up. NP must have been held up at the border, because they certainly weren't present for either of their games. In Game one DC was Radiant and Team NP were Dire (and they were dire). DC picked up first blood on Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao just 15 seconds in, although EnVy did his best to suicide to Roshan instead. NP went on the attack, roaming for a few juicy ganks — but even as they were picking off Aliwi "w33" Omar DC was pushing in the top lane. NP were split across the map thanks to the great push, and Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok played ultra aggressively on Naga Siren to setup NP anytime the Canadian team split their forces. NP bought and then almost immediately dropped a Gem of True Sight around 25 minutes in which would result in the loss of their bottom lane Barracks — NP called GG and DC won the game.
DC was Dire, NP went Radiant in game two, and it if anything it went even worse for the Canadian squad. Despite EternaLEnVy doing his best to distract as Timbersaw, DC was able to dominate NP all over the map. NP weren't able to get a kill on the board until 12 minutes in — and even then it wasn't that impactful as they only killed Rasmus "MiSeRy" Filipsen on Earthshaker (and they wouldn't manage to kill anyone other than MiSeRy all game). It was all downhill for NP, as things just got worse. DC racked up nearly double the XP and Gold per minute as NP tried to desperately stay in the tournament, but by 22 minutes it had proven to be too much for the Canadians as DC crunched down the top lane barracks and stomped NP into submission. Watch the second game embedded below!
DC wins 2 - 0
Ad Finem vs LFY Game one saw Ad Finem on Radiant and LGD.Forever on Dire, and AF sought to set the tempo early. They caught Yao "Yao" Zhengzheng on Sand King half a minute before the first creep wave to secure First Blood, sending a message to LFY — this would not be a slow-paced match. LFY decided they were perfectly happy to brawl with the Greek underdogs, and they went about targeting Haris "SkyLark" Zafiriou on Batrider to slow down his farm and negate some of his initiation. At the nine minute mark Ad Finem got the team fight they were looking for and they crunched LFY, taking out four of the Chinese team while Yang "END" Pu scurried away on his Weaver. AF did a great job of pushing in the middle and top lanes, forcing LFY to take risky fights as they tried to leave their base. A huge kill on Omar "Madara" Dabachach's Morphling at the 16 minute mark swung momentum back towards LFY, but they weren't able to capitalise as AF continued to pressure the Dire side. A huge teamfight at 38 minutes saw Madara go huge, with an epic triple kill securing the victory as LFY were just unable to kill the surprisingly tanky Morphling. Ad Finem won game one.
In Game 2 AF was Radiant and LFY were Dire, and LFY wasted no time responding to their first game loss, scoring quick kills on Haris "SkyLark" Zafiriou and Verros "Maybe Next Time" Apostolos. The Chinese team was doing well at denying AF the gold for kills, suiciding to Neutral creeps when necessary, but the Greek squad managed to get on the board four and a half minutes in with a kill on Yao's Batrider. Unfortunately for the Radiant team, Dire were already fully in control, and AF wouldn't get another kill for more than 10 minutes — during which time LFY fully pressed their advantage. AF's best hope was to push out the top lane where they could, and in doing so they secured a great teamfight win around the 19 minute mark — the balance of power threatened to shift away from LFY as Dimitris "ThuG" Plivouris' Alchemist started to beef up. END, on Terrorblade, started to focus down ThuG and began to carry his team as they shoved their way out of their own base, grabbed an Aegis at the 30 minute mark and bullied their way into AF's base to earn the victory.
Game three put Ad Finem on Radiant and Forever Young on Dire again, with Zhang "xiao8" Ning taking the Batrider this time and Yao playing Sand King instead. AF didn't get off to a good start as Giorgos "SsaSpartan" Giannakopoulos' Rubick got picked off just 5 seconds into the match proper, and Madara's Lifestealer followed as both teams duked it out around the bottom rune. Madara got ganked a second time less than a minute later, and LFY were looking good. Ad Finem quickly closed the gap, killing the Batrider, Alchemist and Sand King of LFY, and momentum shifted heavily towards the team from Greece. For the next 10 minutes or so, Ad Finem were dropping LFY all over the map as they put pressure on all three lanes. A massive mistake from Ad Finem — where Skylark's Nyx Assassin got himself nuked while Madara's Lifestealer was on board — turned into a nightmare for LFY as Madara juked his way back to his teammates, who secured four kills. LFY were shoved back into their own base after that loss, and they showed their colours as AF invaded the bottom tier three tower — spectacular play by Yao saw the Chinese team kill four of AF's heroes, nailing Madara twice after the Aegis triggered. Unfortunately for LFY they were out of towers — and they'd barely made an impact on the Radiant side of the map. The map control from AF, along with the hyper-aggressive fighting style, meant that LFY were stuck inside their base without many options. Still, they made three great defensive stands as AF sieged them for the better part of 15 minutes — unfortunately they inevitably succumbed to the pressure. Watch game one of this series embedded below!
Ad Finem wins, 2 - 1
That's it for day three of the main event! The big surprise for me today was EG finding their form and taking out Virtus.pro. Tomorrow Evil Geniuses will take on OG and Digital Chaos will battle Ad Finem. Who do you think will win? Who will battle it out in the Grand Final — also tomorrow?