After a couple of weeks of waiting since Tour 3 ended, it’s time to focus on one of the most important tournaments of the year. The PGL Arlington Major 2022 will feature seventeen of the best teams in the world, a huge prize pool and loads of DPCs. The latter is necessary for some teams as only a few have secured the TI slot.
Like the ESL One Stockholm 2022 Major, the teams here are divided into two groups. Both are competitive and fun to watch, but Group A has an extra team because Extreme Gaming has decided not to participate in the Major.
We will have a chance to watch a lot of matches during the group stage. That being said, the first day is over, so let’s check out the most interesting Group A matches during the first day.
Fnatic vs OG
The first series that most people were eager to see was between the Western Europe powerhouse and Fnatic. The latter had a lot of problems with their roster, which is why the team plays with three substitutes. OG, on the other hand, looks more motivated than ever to win the Major for the second time in a row.
Since each match in the group stage takes place in Bo2 format, both teams used some of their best heroes in each game. For example, Bozhidar “bzm” Bogdanov got the chance to play his favorite Storm Spirit, a hero who is not as popular in the meta. Even more interestingly, the Bulgarian prodigy had no problem dealing with the puck in the lane stage.
Speaking of the devil, both teams tried to hold the lead for the mid-game as their drafts focused on it. OG looked better at the start, but after a three-man gank on Razor, Fnatic’s rotation killed them all, and the team bounced back. In fact, this fight allowed Fnatic to gain a considerable advantage and slowed OG’s progress.
Slowly but steadily, Fnatic’s puck and razor combo took a solid lead and began to put even more pressure on his enemies. Artem “Yuragi” Golubiev’s faceless void was good enough, but not too powerful to stop Fnatic’s snowball draft.
After failing to win the first map between OG’s two powerhouses, the team stepped up its game in the second match. Interestingly, the EU team stole the puck from their opponents, so they decided to get the Alchemist.
Even though this hero is known for his incredible farming speed, he wasn’t powerful enough to help his team win. While it is true that he had lots of farms, bzm and Yuragi were on another level. Puck and Morphling were too strong for Fnatic’s draft because only Alch had items to deal with.
The SEA squad tried to retreat as much as possible, but their efforts were in vain. In the end, OG won the second map and secured their first draw in Group A.
Outsiders vs Royal Never Give Up
Another game that many Dota 2 fans were eager to see was the showdown between Royal Never Give Up and CIS powerhouse Outsiders (Virtus.Pro). Eastern Europeans were finally back on the big stage, so everyone wanted to see what would happen.
Even though the outsiders chose most of their casual heroes, the Chinese squad was on another level compared to their opponents. Royal Never Give Up played very well and disciplined, which allowed their Medusa to become the strongest hero in the game.
RNGU were clearly the better team in the first game of the match, which is why it had no problems in the laning phase. Thanks to his advantage, Medusa was able to clear a heap of tons and become even more powerful. With assets worth over 14k just 22 minutes after the start of the game, VP had no chance of winning.
After RNGU’s dominant win in the first series, most of us expected China to have no problems in Game 2. However, the CIS team rose from the ashes and played its best game in a long time.
The laning phase was good for Virtus.Pro, but a five-man wipeout 13 minutes after the start was enough to give them the win. Killing five heroes so quickly gives you a huge advantage, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that outsiders use it.
His Lycan and Nature’s Prophet started pushing and winning a team fight after a team fight. Royal Never Give Up decided to use GG 22 minutes after the start of the game and allowed their enemies to achieve a draw.
Talon vs Thunder Awaken
For the last time we wanted to include the difference between Talon Esports and Thunder Awaken in this overview. Many underestimated this series as there were other interesting matches. However, we knew it was going to be special as it featured some of the best in the world.
Both teams had interesting drafts that were good mid-game and excellent after. Although Dazzle and CK have proven themselves several times so far, Talon has an advantage as Dusa is one of the best against STR Carey.
Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon’s game was great, but Thunder Awaken was great in the first game of the series. The South American powerhouse fared better than expected and won every battle. Talon tried to catch his enemies off guard with five-man smoke 20 minutes after the start. However, even this was not enough to make a comeback.
After TA’s impressive performance in the first game of the series, Talon Esports returned and won the second map. To be honest, we expected to lose to him as the team went for the sniper. Although this hero is great in some situations, he had to go up against the Night Stalkers, Zeus and Tiny.
It wasn’t easy, but the SEA powerhouse eventually took the lead and won this crucial match