Everyone who's ever been to a Dota 2 International tournament can tell you that day one is electric. It's an goosebumps-enducing experience that can only be replicated by major sports events. But day one of 2017's Dota 2 International provided a huge shocker in the very first game: Team Liquid lost 1-2 and dropped down to the lower bracket.
Team Liquid went 13-3 in the group stages, good enough for the best in their group. That gave them the opportunity to choose their opponent from a small selection of teams. They chose to face iG, as GosuGamers reports, because they didn't want to pick Virtus Pro, worrying that VP knew them too well.
Depending on how the rest of the Dota 2 International goes for Liquid, that decision will go down as the most questionable of their entire careers.
In the first game, Team Liquid didn't have an answer for i.G's Alchemist, and they picked a Weaver after two strong disables had already been picked on by i.G, leading to a complete stomp. Game 2 featured i.G going right back to Alchemist and Lycan, but better picks and inspired play by Liquid, even with a much-maligned Monkey King, led to a strong response from Liquid and a win, making the series 1-1.
But it was in game three that Team Liquid simply got outplayed, with i.G making incredible plays with precise reflexes and timings that left Liquid without answers. The Chinese crowd roared and overwhelmed even the commentators at times with chants of "i.G, i.G, i.G!"
Meanwhile i.G, who just barely squeaked into the upper bracket of their group, now look like one of the strongest teams at the tournament, reminding everyone why they were one of two Chinese teams to receive a direct invite.
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