Team Aster secure top 6 at TI11; Are they the Dark horse this year? cover image

Team Aster secure top 6 at TI11; Are they the Dark horse this year?

Team Liquid fall down and will face Entity in an elimination match.

Day 2 of TI playoffs started with two upper bracket matches, the first between Tundra-OG and the second between Team Liquid and Aster. With PSG.LGD already down in the lower bracket, the weight of Chinese Dota 2 fans’ expectations lay heavily on Team Aster. Meanwhile, Team Liquid’s MATUMBAMAN will retire after this TI, and what would be a better farewell than a TI win?

Ho Ho Ha Ha!! 

The TI11 Aegis on display at the Suntec City - Singapore. Image Credit: Dota2 TI
The TI11 Aegis on display at the Suntec City - Singapore. Image Credit: Dota2 TI

Surprisingly, or maybe not Crystal Maiden has been one of the most contested heroes this TI. The support hero, often overlooked in previous TIs, has been heavily involved in the first-phase pick and ban phase. Team Aster also picked CM, but they also added  Sniper to their lineup. The Monet Sniper received free farm and he ultimately reached a place where there was little Team Liquid players could do.

With heroes like Sven and Pango to absorb most of their damage, Team Liquid had to go through several tanky heroes before they could reach the Sniper. And that task proved too much for the Team Liquid roster.

Aster’s positioning and objective-focus was also crucial for them getting a huge lead multiple times through the game. As Team Liquid would pressure the bot tier 2 tower, Aster used that distance to focus on Roshan. As we can see in the clip above, the Aegis helped Team Aster immensely.

This was at a crucial moment in the game, when the game could possibly go in either direction. But shortly after this teamfight, Aster’s lead widened and they got crucial items and BKBs. 

As the game progressed, Team Aster’s players scaled better into the late game. Not only was Sniper more farmed and could stand toe to toe with the Team Liquid players, but there were multiple sources of damage. Sven, Leshrac were also dealing different forms of damage while Pango was tanking for the team and disabling the enemy backlines.

Ultimately, it ended up being a very dominant Aster victory and they took a one-game lead in the series.

Monet’s unstoppable Terrorblade aided by TI11’s Gem 

The second game saw Aster pick Terrorblade for Monet. Following a similar playstle, Aster picked Lich and Snapfire as the support heroes. Both heroes provide excellent support to TB and also contribute to teamfights with stuns and damage.

With items such as Glimmer Cape and Force staffs, the game plan was clear. Protect Terrorblade at all costs and Monet would deal damage. 

Team Liquid went for a Magic heavy build with SF building into an Arcane Blink. They wanted to burst Monet or XXs before they could get their BKB/Ultimates off. The Brewmaster Ultimate was a crucial component of the Aster teamfight and Team Liquid correctly recognized this as their way to winning teamfights. 

However, there were multiple occasions when the Magic damage felt quite inadequate. Most of Team Aster’s players also bought casual Cloaks in the mid-game which provided them the magic resistance. There were instances when Team Aster’s players survived the fight with just 50 HP remaining, their casual cloaks playing their part in their survival.

The hidden gem of this TI so far has been Lich. The hero’s Sinister Gaze has been crucial in breaking up opponent initiations as well as providing the additional armor to the core heroes.

Team Aster ultimately won Game 2, ensuring a Top six placement at TI11. Meanwhile, Team Liquid go down to the lower bracket where they will face Entity esports in an elimination match.

Dota 2 fans can stay updated with the The International 2022 live score here. The TI11 playoffs started with 16 teams but teams are now dwindling down as several face elimination in the lower bracket.