The Mars Dota League, a major tournament held in Wuhan, China, has recently completed. Throughout the tournament, the Chinese teams repeatedly brought their A game, eager to represent their country with the utmost pride.
With five Chinese teams battling it out for supremacy, the notably foreign teams, Evil Geniuses, OG, and Clutch Gamers, might have felt a bit out of place. However, EG and OG, two teams that have already been invited to The International, probably were not too worried.
In fact, by the looks of it, it seems that these two teams were using this tournament as an opportunity to try out some new drafts. Featuring mid lane Pugna by Evil Geniuses and multiple Visage pickups (who is a rare sight nowadays) by OG, perhaps these teams were trying some last minute strategies ahead of TI.
However, these plays did not pan out, as Clutch Gamers bottomed out in the group and main stage. OG, who topped the group stage, fell in the first round of the upper bracket, and defeated EG in the lower bracket second round. OG then proceeded to get 0-2'd by Newbee, another TI7 invite.
In the winners finals, both divisions of LGD Gaming were eager to prove they were the better team. LGD Gaming quickly dominated the first game, but LGD.Forever Young bounced back and took the next two games.
Down in the lower bracket, it became clear that LGD would not let this pass. Coming out of the gate with a Level 1 stun Chaos Knight, LGD took the first game off of Newbee. After falling in the next game, they stomped Newbee with a 20 minute victory to go earn a rematch with LGD.FY.
What a battle it was. Viciously taking two consecutive victories from the B team, LGD had LGD.FY on the ropes. But FY had something to prove, as they proceeded to take the next two games in extended fashion.
In the final battle, it quickly became apparent who would be the victor, as LGD's Anti-Mage rolled over LFY. With LGD Gaming taking games off of both EG and OG in the group stage, and later 2-0'ing OG on the main stage, LGD is definitely looking like a beastly team ahead of The International.