Neither the Alchemist-Chen combo nor the Night Stalker’s Dark Ascension could save J.Storm from elimination today at the first Major of the new season.
The North American team opened the day at MDL Chengdu with a battle for survival against the crowd favorites in China, Invictus Gaming, who also happen to be the DOTA Summit Minor champions. iG’s revamped roster has taken everyone by surprise over the last couple of weeks. Their run at the BTS Minor was fearless, but their aggressive stance sometimes puts their game in danger, and this is how they got dropped into the lower bracket at the Major. However, it seems that iG are excelling when they are with their backs against the wall, and as they move deeper into the event, they start to be more disciplined.
“Our goal for this Major was top 6,” said Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi during the winner interview on stage today after iG took down J.Storm 2-0 to achieve their goal. In game one they played a Drow Aura start to ensure a fast paced game that messed with J.Storm’s Alchemist-Chen strategy. The Alchemist was bullied out of the mid lane by a Templar Assassin and was constantly monitored in his own jungle, where he had to somewhat split the farm with his Chen, under the vision provided by deep wards placed by iG. J.Storm found themselves cornered pretty fast, and although the Alchemist managed to boost his HP and sustainability with a decently timed Heart of Tarrasque on top of Radiance, he was still melting down to TA’s right clicks and the perfectly chained control spells of iG. The second game was a bit more even, and it all started well for J.Storm, who were hunting down the Chinese team with a carry Night Stalker and an offlane Clockwerk in the early skirmishes. They also had matching team fight with Enigma and Jakiro, but a lost team fight 15 minutes into the game marked the comeback for iG. J.Storm’s powerful spells became underwhelming once the iG trio cores completed their BkBs, and J.Storm had to bow out of the tournament with 900 Dota Pro Circuit points awarded for a top 6 finish.
“Now that we made it top 4,“ said Kaka in the same winner interview, “we actually think at a possible top 2 run, but we will have to wait and see how the next games go.”
Invictus Gaming will return to the stage later today to play for a top three spot in Chengdu. Their adversaries will be Evil Geniuses and it will be interesting to see if the Minor Champions can slay two NA teams in one day.
Interviews from MDL Chengdu Major: