The Group Stage of The International 2018 has begun and Day 1 saw a ton of exciting matches with some surprising results.
The first group of matches, from Group A, mostly ended up with each team grabbing a win with the exception of EG who were able sweep VGJ Thunder during their match. Most surprising though, after dropping the first game to Team Liquid, Fnatic were able to bounce back in the second game in a big way by ending the match with a score of 39-1 against the TI7 champions, which as undoubtedly the most dominating win of the day.
The first series from Group B was a different story though, with three of the teams sweeping their respective opponents. Namely Newbee, VGJ Storm, and Virtus.pro all sweeped TNC, Vici Gaming, and OpTic Gaming. The only match that ended with a draw was Team Secret against Team Serenity, with each team grabbing a win during their first match-up.
During the second set of Group A, Team Liquid was able to bounce back from their devastating loss to Fnatic with a 2-0 sweep against OG. Mineski was also able to improve their standing with a sweep against Winstrike. The rest of the teams, including LGD, VGJ Thunder, iG and EG, ended up with draws in their respective matches.
VGJ Storm continued their strong TI8 start with another sweep, this time against Team Secret, in the second set of Group B. TNC was also able to bounce back from their 0-2 against Newbee in the previous set with a sweep against Vici Gaming. Virtus.pro and Newbee both ended up with draws against Serenity and paiN Gaming, respectively.
The final series of the day saw VGJ Thunder continue to struggle as they were sweeped a second time, this time by Fnatic. On the other hand, Winstrike surprisingly was able to win both their games against iG while EG continued their dominance and sweeped Mineski, balancing out the SEA squad’s record for the day. Lastly, Liquid and LGD ended the day with a draw.
At the end of Day 1, EG ended up at the top of Group A with a record of 5-1 while VGJ Storm currently leads Group B with their 4-0 standing. Interestingly enough, at the other end of the board, VGJ Thunder, the other team under the VGJ organization, is dead last with a 1-5 record in Group A while Vici Gaming, the organization VGJ was rooted from, is in the same position with its 0-4 standing.
Notably, SEA teams Fnatic, Mineksi, and TNC Predator all did fairly well, showing that the region is looking to make a real mark this year. Fnatic finished the day at 3-1, sitting at third place in group A, Mineski with 3-3 and standing right in the middle of the same group, and TNC Predator currently placed at 4th in Group B with a 2-2 record.
Day 2 of the group stage will feature more matches for group B so we’ll be able to get a better look of how all the teams from both groups stand against each other. If things keep going the way they are, then things are looking good for the both EG, VGJ.Storm, and all three SEA teams. But there’s still a long way until the end of the group stage so a lot of things may change as the teams spend more time battling each other.