This was a fast and heated day for Dota 2 fans, as the wheat had been separated from the chaff and it was time for the biggest teams in the game to fight for the right to move to day 5 of The International 5. While I didn’t get to see the silliness that was the end of the day, I did get to see some of the most intense matches of the event. MVP Phoenix (0) v. Vici gaming (2) An anticipated matchup, viewers were not let down by the first match of day 4. Almost right off the bat we were met with the two aggressive teams clashing in the arena for an action-packed game 1 between two games that really understood what it means to work consistently. At the 24 minute mark it seemed that MVP had finally gained an advantage, thanks to March’s excellent use of Spirit Breaker (Seriously, that 17%!) and kpii heavily assisting with aggro on Queen of Pain. MVPP seemed to get a little too overzealous because of this, as they began instigating battles they shouldn’t which resulted in surviving team members scattering and being chased down. 35 minutes in we saw the tides turn in their favor; they began hunting down MVPP members as a pack and soon began their assault on the enemy stronghold. MVP Phoenix hardly was able to put up a defense against their opponents, quickly wiped out. VG took the win in 40 minutes. When game 2 came around it was clear that MVP Phoenix hadn’t learned their lesson, as they chose to immediately jump into combat. Though, every time they began picking a fight, they would realize they would lose and chose to run away. Vici Gaming had an 8 kill lead 22 minutes in and it was pretty simple to determine what the outcome of the game would be; MVPP had lost all synergy and almost appeared to be too scared to show aggression once they realized what they were doing wrong and VG took complete advantage of the situation by farming and taking out MVP Phoenix’s defenses one by one. Vici Gaming made a final push at 32 minutes, bludgeoned their way through objectives and destroyed the Artifact. Team Secret (1) v. Virtus.pro (2) Game 1 we saw Virtus.pro make an odd choice to almost exclusively farm around their base, which may have seemed like a safe bet at first but only allowed Secret to easily farm the rest of the map. To compliment this they also made a conscious effort to play defensively. Around 19 minutes in they crossed into their enemy’s territory, only to have Secret wipe them out with only one survivor. Team Secret pushed into VP’s base at 25 minutes with a 10 kill lead and met little resistance at first as they destroyed objectives. VP was able to come back and push them out for a while but no one was really surprised to see Secret back at 29 minutes to wreck the Artifact. VP definitely upped their game for game 2, choosing to play entirely on the offensive; this helped them maintain a slight kill lead for almost the entire game. It was a long back and forth where neither team seemed to be able to pull an advantage until Secret fell apart at the 36 minute mark in a complete team wipe as VP made an aggressive attack onto their stronghold. Secret was barely able to reclaim their territory long enough only for Virtus.pro to make a full recovery and blast their way through to their Ancient. When game 3 came around Virtus.pro made it clear that they weren’t going to give Secret another chance. Team Secret definitely put up a fight against the opponents that bludgeoned their way into kill leads and successful farming, drawing on the game for an hour. But even as Secret desperately pushed off Virtus.pro back off of their stronghold time and time again thanks to a classic Team Secret lineup putting the entire team on heroes in their comfort zone, it was only delaying VP’s inevitable win. Once Arteezy was down for 2 minutes, Virtus.pro took the opportunity to push in for the final time, taking the win and securing their advancement. EHOME (0) v. Vici Gaming (2) This was a matchup many viewers were excited for; we were expecting a close, action-packed match between two skilled teams where the winner was only to be determined by the very end. That is exactly what was delivered; there was no memorable mistake made, or poor play, that led to EHOME’s defeat. Game 1 kicked off with both teams smacking into each other and trading kills with intermittent jungling. It wasn’t until VG’s 3 kill lead at 12 minutes in that we realized that they were just a little more synergized and a little bit stronger than EHOME was, and EHOME just couldn’t keep up as the clock ticked on. Both teams sought each other out as teams and performed splendidly in battle multiple times throughout this game, but there was something about VG that pulled them ahead each time, and we think that it could be ICEICEICE’s use of Zeus. Vici invaded EHOME’s stronghold at the 39 minute mark, but EHOME reminded us that they are in no way bad at this game and are aware that they need this fight. With VG pushed back, both teams used the time to up their net worth and recuperate. Nearly 15 minutes later they were back with a vengeance, breaking down EHOME’s defense in an aggressive attack and ended the game at 54:38. Game 2 was an amazing thing to watch. Seeing Cty back on Storm Spirit was surely a sight, as it’s honestly my favorite hero to see him use. Both teams chose to start things off a little slower than before, a smart and careful decision on both of their parts. Things started to pick up after Vici Gaming drew first blood around the 7 minute mark, and they had gained another 3 point lead 11 minutes into the game. This was by no means game over for EHOME, who took that lead for their own at the 19 minute mark by taking down Hao. This was a kill lead they would lose just 4 minutes later, and they two teams continued to trade kills and leads until EHOME seeming to gain an advantage at 29 minutes. Despite having a kill lead, they could never get near Vici Gaming’s stronghold. Instead, VG jumped in and out of EHOME’s base to take out objectives one at a time; each time they couldn’t quite get through EHOME’s sturdy defenses. Vici made their third and final assault 46 minutes in, tearing through towers and barracks before EHOME could come back after a total wipe. Vici Gaming destroyed the enemy Ancient at the 48 minute mark, sending EHOME packing.