The day began with the undefeated Alliance coming out strong from the start of game one against LGD. They were dominating in gold and experience, but as Loda himself predicted - sometimes all it takes is one team fight.
And while the commentators joked about all of Alliance’s gold, LGD kept battling and pounded out a a team fight that gave them a chance to make a beeline for Alliance’s Ancient - the game ending with both teams on a race to destroy the Ancients. With each alone in the other’s base, beating on the Ancients, it ended with Alliance finishing by only one possibly two seconds before LGD.
It was one of the most intense endings to a Dota 2 game, not just at The International but ever!
Somehow LGD came off that loss and started strong in the second game, taking control of the early game killing Loda 3 times in the first 7 minutes. But Alliance battled back and took the game and match to remain undefeated.
This meant Alliance moved on to the top 6 and LGD would need to face the winners of MUFC vs Liquid.
In that game, Liquid dominated MUFC from the opening horn until the final GGs. MUFC left The International without ever finding a winning strategy.
This resulted in the biggest upset of the day with hall favorite Liquid hanging on to an early lead long enough for an explosive push to topple LGD’s Ancient and be the first lower bracket team to move into the final 8.
The next upper bracket match was DK versus returning champs IG. The game started very carefully with first blood happening at the 15 minute mark by DK. IG continued avoiding battles while building up their heroes but DK was simply able to farm and build quicker.
By the 30 minute mark DK was firmly in control of the map and minutes later IG was typing GG.
The second game set a record - the longest Dota 2 match in International history - 98:58. The epically long battle had DK leading throughout the game but never pushing their advantage and eventually paying the price with IG coming back and winning late, late in the game.
After a quick break, they squared off in the third game. DK didn’t make the same mistake twice of being overly cautious and they took the third game. That kept DK in the upper bracket while sending IG down to the lower bracket.
This put IG into familiar territory, the same place they were at the end of their first main stage match at The International in 2012. This time they would be starting their fight back with a battle against Zenith.
Zenith had beaten Virtus Pro in a hard fought contest but there was simply no stopping iceiceice.
This put IG and Zenith squaring off in the final team game for the night. While Zenith gave the good fight, IG would not be denied and started on their comeback for the second year.
We ended with the Solo Grand Finals between iceiceice and Mushi. iceiceice came back from his team loss and took both games and won the Solo Grand Final Trophy.
As we say goodnight, fantasy players - make sure to make your moves tonight based on today’s outcomes. All remaining teams play on Friday so make sure to join us and catch all the action starting at 12 noon PST.
We are going to start day 2 with one giant spoiler - last night’s all-star game was awesome. If you missed it we have the video available here
Today’s matches have more serious drama attached to them. We are going to see Alliance start the day undefeated. Can they continue their run or will LGD play the spoiler? LGD was the team entering the main stage last year undefeated until Na’Vi knocked them down into third place.
We also see DK square off against returning champs IG in the other upper bracket game.
The losers of either of those games will drop down and play the winners of the Liquid/MUFC and Zenith/VP games.
At the end of today’s regularly scheduled games we will have the final of the one-v-one match between iceiceice and Mushi.
In the hall we continue a day filled with workshop discussion, player signings, voice actor signings, and more.
The action starts at noon and if you are not averse to spoilers, watch the games, join the fun on Twitter
@Dota2 or #ti3, and check out the images on Flickr