This was arguably the most anticipated game of Day 1 with the TI5 champions debuting their new roster with the addition of Arteezy. Although the spotlight is on Team Evil Geniuses, Vega Squadron is no pushover, as they defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas and Natus Vincere during the qualifiers and now EG at the main event.
In game one, PPD once again proved himself to be one of the best drafters in the world. EG drafted an extremely well-rounded lineup in all stages of the game. A stable and powerful laning stage, potent mid-game team fight, and a Luna as the icing on the cake for their late game. Whereas Vega pushed themselves into the corner first picking Ember Spirit and Broodmother, which gave EG time to respond to this easily countered hero.
The laning phase went smoother than expected for Vega with a smart decision to alter their lanes. Although EG was able to grab a few kills, when the laning phase concluded Vega was able to pull back their deficit with a successful fight in the mid-lane. However, the world champion displayed strong resilience and was able to counter wipe Vega in the mid lane at the 16 minute mark. But the aggression did not stop from Vega, and they took another lead in the mid-lane with an impressive spell steal of Eclipse by Rubick. From here on Vega began to cruise ahead in terms of gold lead and map advantages. However, EG proved to be the better team fight executor, taking down Vega in a crucial team fight at the 44 minute mark, and Queen of Pain gets an Ultra Kill. Most viewers including me expected a snowball from EG from that point but Vega stayed strong, held to their item advantages and destroyed EG with flawless cooperation. Vega Squadron was able take game one from the American titans surprising all the audiences.
The series proceeded to game two with EG's back against the wall. EG seemed to be loving their naga, first picking her in both games. Vega on the other hand favored their Broodmother, again snatching her in the first phase as well. However, this draft escalated quickly as we saw Axe being picked for Sumail and Batrider being drafted as well. EG also opted for the mid Naga Siren for Arteezy reminiscing his old days at EG. Vega’s draft seemed to be much more traditional with a burst oriented lineup of QOP, Gyrocopter, and Lina.
The laning phase was disastrous for EG, EG’s heroes were getting killed from all three lanes and Vega already has a clear advantage ten minutes into the game. From then on, Vega Squadron began to take total control of the game winning every skirmish around the map with an early Aghanims Scepter from QOP. By 23 minutes, Vega leads with a score of 16:7. With two team wipes within a five-minute span, Vega demolished the second lane of barracks and destroys EG in a short game, winning the series with the score of 2:0.
The TI5 champions EG seemed to be suffering from the post-TI curse, getting outplayed and outdrafted by Vega Squadron. With a stellar performance, Vega moves onto the next round and EG is eliminated from the tournament.