After a long hiatus of top notch competitive Dota 2 matches following TI6 in August, MDL 2016 Group stage kicked off the first LAN of the new season with pizzazz and excitement. Newbee and Evil Geniuses are already secured a place in the upper brackets for the playoffs. The action resumes tomorrow with the Group A Loser’s Match between Team Secret and LGD Forever Young at 04:00 CEST.
The first international LAN tournament has started, filling up the void left behind post TI6. MDL 2016 Group stage kicked off in China with some of the most anticipated lineup’s for the new season.
Newbee has shown remarkable strength in team-play, hero pool and drafting as they secured an upper bracket spot in the playoffs. Dropping their opening match against Team Secret, they then plowed through the rest of their games with confidence and success – clearing Team Secret and sweeping through MVP.Phoenix for the upper bracket seed.
Evil Geniuses were quick to quell any anxiety for the North American fans about losing both legendary player Clinton “Fear” Loomis and famed captain Peter “PPD” Dager. The team showed up in prime form and took control of their lanes and fights. They bested ViCi Gaming and then conquered OG for their place in the upper brackets of the playoffs.
Invictus Gaming.Vitality – the only team that did not undergo a roster change during the last month was the only team unable to secure a single win in the first day. The Chinese team qualified with a strong showing several days ago, but had difficulty keeping pace with the new OG roster.
No teams will be eliminated in the group phase. Tomorrow’s matches will determine the two lower bracket starters for each group and the remaining team to have an advantage in the upper brackets for the playoffs. With the lower brackets being a best-of-three, the final results can still belong to anyone!
MDL 2016 group stage: Group A
Team Secret claimed the first victory of the series between them and Newbee. In the final moments of the match, they were able to seize control and the lead in order to secure their win. Newbee, however, remained undaunted by the loss and struck back hard in both the following games – closing the second match out in 28 minutes. After having control most of Game 3, Newbee sealed their win as Team Secret held on for almost one hour. Newbee’s display left little room to miss the absence of their three veterans and captain from last season.
In a staggeringly one-sided first match, MVP.Phoenix destroyed LGD Forever Young in 31 minutes with a 21:4. LGD Forever Young were not going to roll over easy for the Korean team and showed them in the next match that they were formidable opponents. LGD had complete control over the map from the start and clinched the victory in under 30 minutes forcing a third game to decide the path for the rest of the group stage. The last game took 51 minutes to determine a winner. MVP started out in the laning phase looking strong, but lost their grip early game. The Chinese team seemed to be in control and had the advantage until about 43 minutes into the match when the lost it and their 10k gold advantage to the Koreans. MVP charged forward to the end and furthered themselves into the upper brackets.
Both Newbee and MVP.Phoenix looked to be in top form as they head into the winner brackets of the group stage. Newbee’s drafting and coordination continued to be on point as the Chinese team was able to overpower and outplay the Koreans in both games. MVP had put up a good fight against their enemy’s but in the end have dropped to the decider match in the lower bracket.
MDL 2016 group stage: Group B
OG came out of the gate swinging for their debut performance. They knocked down IG.Vitality in a dominant sweep with Anathan “ana” Pham being one of the focal point highlights of the new lineup. With three new players added to the mix, OG looked just as strong as ever.
ViCi Gaming took the first game against the new Evil Geniuses squad with a well farmed Timbersaw and Terrorblade. In classic EG style, the North American team came back fighting in the second match as they completely dominated with a perfect game by Artour “Arteezy” Babaev on slark. Their victory forced the deciding game that looked to be in favor of ViCi Gaming for the most part until the very end when EG was able to snatch the lead away and take the series.
The winner bracket series brought along much hype as OG and EG were pitted against each other for the top seed in the playoffs. Not to be disappointed, fans were taken to a three game series. OG took the first game with another outstanding performance by Ana and an always fun treat of Earth Spirit for Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka. Evil Geniuses rebounded back in the second match grabbing a Huskar, Io and Ursa. Showing their versatility and unpredictability, EG went with another Io pick but played by Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg instead of Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen like the previous game. A flawless game on Axe by Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora sealed their victory and the series.
MDL 2016 Group stage schedule
Thursday, September 29th
- 04:00 CEST– Group A Loser’s Match: Team Secret vs LGD Forever Young – Loser drops to the Lower Bracket
- 07:30 CEST– Group B Loser’s Match: ViCi Gaming vs IG.Vitality – Loser drops to the Lower Bracket
- 11:00 CEST – Group A Decider Match: MVP.Phoenix vs winner of Loser Match- winner advances to the Upper Bracket and loser drops to Lower Bracket
- 14:30 CEST – Group B Decider Match: OG vs winner of Loser Match – winner advances to the Upper Bracket and loser drops to Lower Bracket
MDL 2016 group stage teams
- Team Secret
- LGD Forever Young
- Vici Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- Invictus Gaming Vitality
MDL 2016 Format
- 2 Groups of four teams
- GSL group stage best-of-three series format
- Top two teams seed into upper brackets for playoffs
- Bottom two teams seed into lower brackets for playoffs
- No teams are eliminated