The opening day of The International (TI) 2023's Finals Weekend closed with Chinese teams LGD Gaming and Azure Ray clashing in a battle of the new and old generations of Chinese Dota. After a 2-0 sweep, LGD proved themselves superior and advanced to the upper bracket finals.
LGD came out swinging to start the series with a dominant 47-minute win in game one behind strong performances from core players Guo "shiro" Xuanang on Muerta, Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang on Magnus, and Li "niu" Kongbo on Night Stalker.
After Azure Ray came out to an early lead, LGD's core trio outplayed their counterparts in the midgame teamfights to give the team their first win of the series with a 35-13 kill lead.
Shiro led the way with 13 kills and 15 assists on three deaths, Niu added 11 kills and 18 assists on three deaths, while NothingToSay had a clean six kills and 18 assists.
Azure Ray put up a better fight in game two, but it still ended up having a similar outcome as game one. While LGD were on the backfoot early on, some excellent midgame teamfights allowed them to mount a comeback behind Shiro's Spectre to eventually secure the 2-0 series sweep after 44 minutes.
Shiro paced LGD's 33-24 kill lead with 14 kills and 13 assists on five deaths. Niu also pitched in with eight kills and 17 assists on three deaths.
With their victory, LGD have guaranteed themselves at least a Top 3 finish as well as US$250,000 in winnings. They will next face TI 2021 champions Team Spirit in the upper bracket finals for a spot in the Grand Finals.
Meanwhile, Azure Ray drop down to the lower bracket quarterfinals, where they will be facing Eastern Europe's BetBoom Team for the right to extend their stay in the tournament.
TI 2023's Finals Weekend will be hosted in the Climate Pledge Arena from 27 to 29 October in Seattle. There, the eight remaining teams will be battling to decide who will be crowned as this year's Dota 2 world champions.
For everything you need to know about TI 2023, check here.