Heading to the venue in the morning.
Gigantic banner outside the stadium.
Orange and Alliance (not pictured: Liquid) relaxing before the first games.
Bulba x Yao. Best picture of the day.
Setting up the venue.
LGD arrives, looks bemused.
You see four flags, I see America.
Director8, sexy as always.
Introducing the teams. Liquid on stage.
The defending champions front and center.
Mushi: "what do we do with this thing now?"
Blurry Invictus Gaming.
Even blurrier (sadly) DK. Unfortunately best photo I got of them at this point.
Swedish broskis on stage. The Chinese love Loda.
Lao Gan Die. Xiao8 is distracted.
Team World fight! Picture by G1's Carson!
s4 is a zombie. Picture by G1's Carson!
Stage during All-Stars. Picture by G1's Carson!
Always farming, never not farming. Picture by G1's Carson!
One of me I guess. Orange shirts are G1 staff. Picture by G1's Carson!
Liquid preparing for their first game. Sorry for the light.
Post-game contemplation and discussion.
LGD and iG shake hands before the game.
LGD most bromantic team.
More (hopefully not-as-blurry) photos tomorrow!
Stream of consciousness blogging
Arriving at 9 in the morning, around 300 people already lined up. They recognize the Liquid players and talk excitedly. Milled around in a room with Orange and Alliance for a while (no AC ugh) before heading into the main area. Lots of orange shirts running about trying to get things set up. Teams start showing up one by one, LGD first and iG last.
Run out with Carson to buy food for TL since we didn't have time for breakfast. Probably about 500 people lined up outside. Not bad considering G1 is free to come to. WiFi doesn't want to cooperate so I steal public WiFi with my Chinese phone.
Team introductions seem... pretty awkward. By that I mean the players seem tired and don't like music, lights, and steam blasting in their faces. The national anthems were a nice touch, and it was kind of funny watching the Chinese players stand through the American and Swedish ones.
All-Stars game could have been so good! I know Team World wanted to pick Zeus, but well the world gave it its best shot. China doesn't joke around. Wish we could have gotten a remake but something was lost in translation.
DK vs Alliance
Ursa caused the crowd to go nuts. Commentators actually had their cameras on Alliance for a split second before panning over to discuss Orange's item choices. Did so because the booths aren't fully soundproof so they don't want to spoil anything. Spectators watching closely would have seen the instant TP pickup on whatever Alliance hero was selected right at the beginning.
On a small note, pretty humorous: when Mushi sold his circlet for a magic stick, one of the casters exclaimed "wow, selling items already!" before being reminded by the other of the 10-second full sale price. Casual relic game, anybody?
Throwda nearly lost Alliance that game, and I'm not sure they should have brought that strategy out so early. Nonetheless, it sent a pretty big message to the eastern teams that the world means business. Bulldog had absolutely gamebreaking roots that game and really carried Alliance.
Orange vs Liquid
TL could have won their first game against Orange. Unfortunately, small mistakes compound and whatnot. Not as bad as it could have been, and a warmup period should be expected (TL didn't have time to practice really beforehand and the hotel internet isn't good).
iG vs LGD
LGD completely crushed iG, though it's more iG playing really poorly (how about that chain suicide) more than LGD playing phenomenally. iG is really out of touch right now, it seems. Can't really say much more than that.
Alliance vs Liquid
Sitting behind TC to try to bait him doesn't work when the rest of Alliance is just splitpushing. We had a good advantage through the early game, but didn't stop Loda's tempo on AM. Casters were even talking about how after Korok got Orchid that AM's life would be "no fun", but Loda finished Manta not one minute after our Orchid was done. Can't go late game against that team, especially when the trades are bad.
LGD vs DK
Burning on CK should not be allowed. Especially if it's a solo carry 1 position CK. It's just... not his hero. He likes suiciding it seems. In Burning we trust, but not on CK. Also pretty much zero impact felt by Super's Omniknight. In theory, reality rift into heal bomb is really strong. But in actuality, not so much. Props to ROTK for pretty good Dark Seer play.
iG vs Orange
No damage team with a 5 position Warlock against a team with no damage but a super tanky Gyrocopter. Pretty exciting back-and-forth game but Orange's picks were better. Magnus being super farmed early on kept Orange alive in the midgame.
Overall, games weren't too good. Awesome strategy by Alliance, but I feel no team is really performing to its full LAN potential. Looking forward to day 2! Let's see some cool (and actually effective, I'm looking at you Yueru) strategies.
- Bulba loves Yao, and Yao loves Bulba (if that weren't already evident enough from Fluff's blogs)
- I'm not going to say who, but one of Liquid's members has a picture of ixmike shaving. I bet that would sell for a decent amount
- During the coinflips tonight, Alliance showed that they reallllllllllllllllllllly like Dire
- G1 staff are so incredibly chill, love Candy Crush Saga, and suck at Bejeweled
- Showmatch is a showmatch, life is chill
- LGD.int showed up, walked into press/player area, and got booted to upstairs. Later we snuck Brax back in.
- Showgirls are incredibly bored by and have no clue about Dota. I tried explaining the game to one but she was more interested in asking where I enjoyed traveling.
- Lots of delays caused by eastern teams being confused by English (after Alliance and TL games, in which computer layouts were swapped) and vice versa. At some point Bulba and Korok have to go help with key bindings or something.
- If you've looked ahead and are wondering why Liquid is always Dire / Orange is always Radiant, that's not going to be the case tomorrow. Coin flips were done tonight. TC should play Ogre, as he has really good coinflip calling skins.
Liquid's chances tomorrow
Despite going 0-2 today, Liquid is actually not in that bad of a bind. Given that two other teams--iG and DK also went 0-2, at the end of day 1 we're left with 3 teams at 2-0, 3 teams at 0-2. In order to move to the final day, you need to be in the top four. Ergo, Liquid is in place right now... but it's tied for that. Liquid plays LGD, DK, and iG tomorrow. I'm not sure how tiebreakers are working yet (H2H? More games?). I'll figure that out tomorrow.
I ran a lot of numbers (but manually so might be wrong), but basically it breaks down to this:
- win all three games tomorrow, they automatically qualify as DK and iG cannot achieve three wins necessary to move on if Liquid is 3-2. This is unlikely but would be super nice.
- go 1-2 tomorrow (ending with a final score of 1-4), they will no matter what be knocked out of the tournament. Hope this doesn't happen.
- win against iG and DK but lose to LGD they are at least guaranteed tiebreakers. They automatically qualify if the team that wins the match between iG and DK loses the other match. A two-way tiebreaker for fourth place happens if the winning team between iG and DK wins both its matches.
- triumphs over iG and LGD but lose to DK, there is no chance to automatically qualify. Most cases lead to either 2- or 3-way tiebreakers. There's an extremely slim chance that Liquid will be knocked out if all necessary conditions of DK > iG, DK > Orange, Orange > Alliance, Alliance > LGD, and LGD > Orange happen, but this is incredibly slim.
- bests LGD and DK but lose to iG, they automatically qualify if iG loses its remaining two games to Alliance and DK and DK loses to Orange. A tiebreaker is at least guaranteed.
Will hopefully try to jury rig my creaking laptop to get some interviews tomorrow. At least going to get one with Loda and G1's Carson, the man who helped Liquid survive in China before I showed up.
Sleep for now!