We wrapped up Day 1 of the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 with a 1-1 split against Optic Gaming and LGD Gaming.

We join OG, Vici Gaming, Team Liquid, LGD and Keen Gaming on a tight race in the middle of Group A. Meanwhile, Optic enjoys a 2-0 lead while Chinese powerhouse Newbee suffered 2 defeats.

TNC vs. Optic: We didn’t ‘C’ that coming

Both teams opted for lineups with great ganking and pushing potential. Optic had the better start as their Luna farmed easily against Sam_H‘s Tidehunter, but Raven‘s Morphling made up for it by taking efficient kills against their off lane Puck played by CCnC, who previously ran their team’s midlane.

However, the biggest deal for us was 33’s Visage mid that countered Armel‘s Death Prophet. Armel struggled to match the farm of the Visage who came up with an early medallion that resulted to quick pickoffs for Optic.

Optic’s push strat emerged superior as they handily took 5 out of our 6 outer towers in just 16 minutes. They eventually took a set of racks on the 19’th minute mark. They utilized their heavy damage output in the late game to further advance their lead.

We tried to bounce back by taking down three heroes in mid, but PPD’s boys managed to turn the clash to their favor as soon as their Luna and Visage arrived. The two cores manhandled the rest of the team to eventually win the game in 26 minutes.

TNC vs. LGD Gaming: The emergence of ‘KuCore’

Team Captain Kuku started with an unorthodox lineup, comprised of Phantom Assassin, a Slardar and a Nature’s Prophet support duo. Armel moved to an off lane Puck while Sam_H occupied mid lane with his Batrider.

Kuku’s position 5 Nature’s Prophet became a nuisance for LGD as we were able to deliver quick and aggressive rotations along with Tim’s Slardar. LGD tried to answer with their own rotations but it only paved way for Raven’s PA to exploit top lane and farm quickly.

Raven’s 16 minute Desolator delivered the fire power that we needed to pull off away from LGD.

The Chinese squad tried to match our aggression with movements from their Witch Doctor and Tusk, but they couldn’t match the efficiency of our NP/Slardar duo along with the fast influx of items for all of our cores.

Kuku transitioned from a support NP into a hard hitting pseudo carry, farming up a Scythe of Vyse along with an Urn of Shadows, a Medallion, and Drums of Endurance in just under 30 minutes. He even added an Assault Cuirass and a Spirit Vessel in the late game, putting the nail on the coffin.

We will have another 2 sets of matches tomorrow this time against Keen Gaming and Newbee.