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The Main Event of The International 10 (TI10) kicked off on Tuesday (12 October) with some surprising results. In the upper bracket, top Chinese team Invictus Gaming (IG) were able to defeat Eastern Europe's Team Spirit, 2-1, while Western European juggernauts Team Secret knocked back-to-back defending TI champions OG down to the lower bracket in a resounding 2-0 sweep.
Meanwhile, the lower bracket saw four teams fall in its sudden death, best-of-one opening elimination round. Southeast Asia's Fnatic stunned Undying from North America, China's Team Aster fell victim to a comeback from North America's Quincy Crew, while South America bowed out from TI10 after Beastcoast was sent home by Alliance from Western Europe. North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses (EG) then ended the day by putting an early end to the championship hopes of Chinese superteam Elephant.
Read on for a breakdown of all the matches in day one of TI10's Main Event:
Invictus Gaming 2-1 Team Spirit
Team Spirit opened TI10's Main Event with arguably the best opening game of the tournament's main stage. IG looked to be on the verge of taking an easy win in game one until Spirit carry player Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk on Morphling somehow scored a Rampage that allowed his team to snatch an improbable victory from the jaws of defeat.
Even after they let an easy win in game one slip away, IG seemed undeterred as they convincingly took the next two games to secure the 2-1 victory and send Spirit down to the lower bracket. The third game of the series was notably a rout, with the Chinese team racking up 55 kills while only giving up 16 in a 40-minute victory that sent them to the semi-finals.
Team Secret 2-0 OG
The second and highly-anticipated upper bracket match of the day saw fierce rivals Team Secret and OG finally face each other in the Main Event of TI. While many expected this series to be an exciting one, it actually ended up being rather one-sided as Secret soundly defeated the two-time TI champions to send them to the lower bracket of TI for the first time since TI7.
Game one started out as a close affair as OG won early fights despite a questionable draft. However, Secret managed to pull away by the midgame after their Morphling-Earthshaker combo came online before forcing the GG call from their opponents after 40 minutes of action. Secret midlaner Mikal "Nisha" Jankowski on Ember Spirit notably finished the game with a series-high 20 kills against just three deaths.
Game two was, to put it bluntly, an utter stomp. OG had another questionable draft which was simply ran over during the laning stage by Secret, who then proceeded to rack up kill after kill en route to securing the series sweep in just under 28 minutes with the kill score at 42 to 5 in favour of Secret — the most lopsided result in TI's main stage in recent memory.
Secret carry player Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen on Ursa had a game-high 15 kills and 15 assists against two deaths, while Nisha on Tinker pitched in with a clean 13 kills and 18 assists, to lead his team to the next round of the upper bracket against IG.
Fnatic 1-0 Undying
Fnatic came out swinging to kick off the Main Event's first round of elimination matches, as they made short work of Undying in a 28-minute beatdown to keep their tournament hopes alive while sending their North American opponents home. Fnatic carry player Marc Polo "Raven" Fausto on Luna had a perfect game, recording a clean 13 kills and eight assists while setting the all-time record for tower damage in a single TI match with 22,204 total damage.
Fnatic will be facing Spirit in the next round of the lower bracket on day two of the Main Event.
Quincy Crew 1-0 Team Aster
In the most exciting match of the lower bracket thus far, Quincy Crew pulled off an incredible comeback against Team Aster to keep their tournament hopes alive. Aster was in full control for much of the game, but Quincy Crew were able to stay in the game thanks to offlaner Rodrigo "Leslão" Santos' relentless split-pushing on Nature's Prophet.
In the closing moments of the game, Quincy Crew managed to hold off Aster's attempt at a game-ending push all while Lelis was laying waste to the Chinese team's base. With Aster seemingly discombobulated from the sudden turn of events, Quincy Crew routed them in one last decisive clash to eliminate the first Chinese team from TI10.
Quincy Crew will be facing OG in the next round of the lower bracket on day two of the Main Event.
Alliance 1-0 Beastcoast
With Thunder Predator and SG Esports already eliminated at the conclusion of the Group Stage, Beastcoast was the only remaining South American team in TI10. Despite a valiant effort by Héctor "K1" Rodríguez and Jean Pierre "Chris Luck" Gonzalez, Beastcoast fell to Alliance in a 44-minute rout.
Linus "Limmp" Blomdin on Lina and Nikolay "Nikobaby" Nikolov on Spectre combined for 28 kills against five deaths as Alliance snuffed out South America's hopes for the Aegis of Champions.
Alliance will be facing the loser of the upper bracket match between PSG.LGD and T1 in the next round of the lower bracket on day three of the Main Event.
Evil Geniuses 1-0 Elephant
The final elimination match of the day saw EG bounce back from their disappointing showing in the Group Stage by making short work of Elephant and sending another Chinese team packing. EG was clicking on all cylinders as they kept their tournament hopes alive, with Artour "Arteezy" Babaev on Luna, Abed "Abed" Yusop on Void Spirit, and Daryl "iceiceice" Koh on Nightstalker combining for 34 of the team's 41 total kills in the 40-minute rout.
EG will be facing the loser of the upper bracket match between Vici Gaming and Virtus.pro in the next round of the lower bracket on day three of the Main Event.
The International 2021 Day 1 was filled with incredible plays, soaring highs, and tragic goodbyes as four teams bow out of their fight for the Aegis. The games continue tomorrow starting at 10am EEST. #TI10 pic.twitter.com/XLhE2pdQnC
— The International (@dota2ti) October 12, 2021
At the end of the first day of TI10's Main Event, Undying, Aster, Beastcoast, and Elephant all bow out in 13th-16th place and with US$600,300 in consolation.
Day two of the Main Event will begin with the second half of the first round of the upper bracket, where Chinese juggernauts PSG.LGD will face top Southeast Asian team T1 while another Chinese powerhouse in Vici Gaming will take on top Eastern European team Virtus.pro.
Following that will be the first half of the second round of the lower bracket, which notably move on to best-of-three matches, with Team Spirit going up against Fnatic while OG will be keeping their hopes for a three-peat alive in a battle against Quincy Crew.
Here's a look at the bracket ahead of day two of the Main Event:
TI10 is this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament. The event features 18 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world battling from 7 to 17 October in Bucharest, Romania for the right to claim the lion's share of a massive US$40 million prize pool as well as the coveted Aegis of Champions.
For everything you need to know about TI10, check here.