Southeast Asia and Western Europe are the last two qualifiers to be played, and all eyes are on former OG players and back-to-back TI champions Anathan "ana" Pham and Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen, both playing for T1.
Ana and Topson debated where they should play in order to make it through the regional qualifiers, and after settling on Southeast Asia, the duo joined T1 and had an absolutely stunning debut in their first series against Execration.
Ana did not pull his punches as Marci in game one
When the 7.32 update came out, Marci received a lot of changes.
The hero's toolkit became more suitable for the core role, and it seems ana agreed with that sentiment by playing a carry Marci in his first official game with T1.
Ana is one of the most active and aggressive carries in Dota 2, and Marci's high-tempo playstyle was the perfect fit for him.
The rest of T1 were on the same page as their carry in game one, executing their aggressive playstyle flawlessly.
After winning both sidelanes, the team decided to go for the mid tower and unleashed ana on Execration, resulting in a Double Kill for the Australian carry.
For anyone interested in playing carry Marci, ana's item build focused on early game damage with Phase Boots and Falcon Blade. A casual Bracer and Magic Wand provided all the sustain he needed as his first major item was a Black King Bar.
For his skill build, ana had one point in all of Marci's basic abilities, then focused on maxing Rebound followed by Sidekick.
This tempo-focused approach to Marci allowed ana to keep fighting with his team without the need to go back to base or farm safely on his side of the map. Ana was always up for a brawl and secured a Triple Kill for his team 20 minutes into the game.
Execration had no answer for the Marci pick and it showed in the game score. Ana had 16 kills in his first official game with his new team and only one death.
Execration try to even things out in game two
While game one was the ana show, game two was a more even affair as Execration came out swinging.
T1 switched gears in game two, putting ana on Morphling and allowing him to focus on farming for the late game, while Topson's Pugna made space around the map.
T1's investment in the two former OG players paid off in game two, as ana secured a solo kill in the top lane against Justine "Tino" Grimaldo while Topson landed a Double Kill in the mid lane.
Pugna is a great hero for making space around the map and applying tower damage, but the hero falls off in the late game, leaving it up to ana to carry T1 to victory.
The long break from competitive Dota didn't slow down ana one bit as he was able to use Manta Style to dodge Echo Slam, a spell with no casting delay.
Once T1 had secured themselves a massive 20,000 gold advantage, they decided to take down Execration's bottom barracks.
Ana's networth advantage meant he didn't need to avoid Echo Slams the second time around, as he withstood all the damage from Execration and only lost an Aegis of the Immortal.
It was a hard-fought victory for T1 as they secured the 2-0 sweep over Execration and continued their upper bracket run in the Southeast Asian regional qualifier.
Their next opponent will be RSG and the winner of that matchup secures themselves a spot in Singapore.
TI11's regional qualifiers will be held from 3 to 17 September across the DPC's six regions: Western Europe, China, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, North America, and South America. The qualifiers will be played in three batches, with two regions playing in each batch.
Three teams will fly to Singapore out of each qualifier. The winner of the qualifier will earn a spot in TI11's Group Stage while the second and third-placed teams will have to earn their spot in the LCQ.
For more details on the TI11 regional qualifiers, check here.
For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.
Anathan "ana" Pham
Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen (stand-in)
Carlo "Kuku" Palad
Kenny "Xepher" Deo
Matthew "Whitemon" Filemon
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.
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