The first day of the TI group stages is Monday the 27th, but with three games running simultaneously in five blocks across the day it's getting awfully difficult to choose what to watch. Don't worry: jD will be your groupstage sherpa to guide you through the tortuous peaks and demanding valleys of these group stages. What games should you watch day one? Which ones have the best backstories? Let's find out.
Cloud9 vs LGD Gaming
The first clash between the two since LGD's roster changes adding xiao8 and Maybe. Casted by Tobiwan and Waga at 9:00 PDT.
A clash between these closely ranked teams is the perfect example of what The International is all about. Because they are separated by region most of the year, LGD and Cloud 9 rarely meet each other in tournament play with no games against each other since the Dota 2 Asia Championship. This will be the first time these teams face each other since the addition of Lu “Maybe” Yao and Chinese legend Zhang “xiao8” Ning (LGD’s new captain) to LGD back in March, meaning this will be a true test for LGD. Cloud 9 LGD’s biggest opponent for second seed in Group A (iG is the other major contender, but on 6.84 iG has an unimpressive 2:5 record against LGD). If either team takes this series undefeated it will be an amazingly strong step toward an upper-bracket seed with a course charted to land in top six in the overall tournament.
Invictus Gaming vs Team Secret
Casted by Tobiwan and Waga at approximately 11:00 PDT.
No pairing from either group has played more tournament games on this patch than iG against Secret. Historically, Secret has faired very well with a 9:2 record… however, if Invictus Gaming do manage to overcome their disadvantage it will put them on a chart for second seed, otherwise they are looking as a likely third or fourth seed. Secret will likely end up in first either way… unless they start this tournament much less prepared than has been expected.Since iG’s play history against LGD is not much better than their history against Secret and LGD also has a greater advantage against almost every lower-ranked opponent, it looks like iG may have to topple the giant early if they want to climb into that top two seeding.