The first day of the playoffs at the Mars Dota 2 League are over and only six teams remain. Clutch Gamers only won one game in the tournament and Vici Gaming was eliminated by Invictus Gaming.
MDL is a dress rehearsal for The International 7 and teams are trying to gain a competitive advantage.
The West and the rest
Due to a canceled European qualifier, there are fewer Western teams at MDL this year. Evil Geniuses and OG are the only two Western teams present. Unfortunately, they will face off against each other in an elimination match tomorrow. OG lost 0-2 to LGD, causing them to be in the lower bracket. Evil Geniuses had a mediocre group stage performance.
OG seems to be taking MDL more seriously than Evil Geniuses. Evil Geniuses is experimenting with unusual compositions with mixed results. Now facing elimination, Evil Geniuses is playing more conventionally. However, this didn’t stop them from picking the newly-buffed Alchemist and defeating Clutch Gamers.
LGD is performing well at MDL. LGD “proper” defeated OG in the upper bracket, while LGD.Forever Young eliminated TI-invitees Newbee. Both teams have a strong mix of experienced players and talented rookies. LGD.Forever Young’s 17-year-old player, Du “Monet” Peng, is establishing himself as one of the best new Chinese Dota 2 players. LGD and LGD.Forever Young will be feared teams from China at The International 7.
MDL has its own internal metagame. Team fighting is the defining aspect of the metagame, with big ultimates and wombo-combos being popular strategies. Earthshaker has been picked the most, with a 75% win rate. Faceless Void, Phoenix, and Death Prophet are also frequently picked, bringing high-impact ultimates into the game. Whether this will shape the Dota 2 metagame going forward is uncertain. Enjoy the intense team fights at MDL.
(Unrelated Keyword: Dota 2, Mars Dota 2 League, esports, The International 7)