Reality Rift survived a thrilling back-and-forth battle against Neon Esports to win its first game of the ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League.

In the first match of the series against Neon Esports, Hiew “AlaCrity” Teck Yoong displayed a stellar Storm Spirit performance that helped Reality Rift bounce back from their devastating defeat to T1 in the previous day of the group stage.

Both teams decided to utilize very different playstyles based on their hero drafts in Game 1. Reality Rift elected to go for two clear hard carry heroes in Storm Spirit and Juggernaut, along with an offlane Beastmaster for Lee “kYxY” Kong Yang.

Meanwhile, Neon Esports went for an offensive heavy lineup by picking Bloodseeker and Venomancer as their primary damage dealers, together with a support Ember Spirit and a mid lane Earth Spirit.

After falling behind to Neon Esports in the laning phase, Reality Rift decided to aim for tower pressure, with most of their heroes ready to fight. In response, Neon Esports tried to take down Andrew “Drew” Halim’s Juggernaut, but was punished by Reality Rift’s counter-play focused lineup.

After losing multiple team fights in the bottom lane, Neon Esports managed to defend their Radiant outpost by using most of their area-of-effect spells to force Reality Rift to retreat.

Neon then eliminated more enemy heroes after Reality Rift tried to contest the bottom lane again. Neon’s mobile hero lineup which consists of Earth Spirit, Bloodseeker, and Ember Spirit, along with Juanuel “Juanuel” Arcilla’s Vengeful Spirit who had Swap, chased Reality Rift all the way down the Dire tier two tower.

Reality Rift would then gain control of the game after locking down Andrei “skem” Ong’s Bloodseeker, and took down the rest of Neon’s heroes after they won a battle of attrition outside the Dire base.

Reality Rift focused on having the high ground advantage, which would eventually pay off after they took down more Neon heroes as AlaCrity earned himself a Rampage.

Neon tried to siege the Dire base, hoping to take down a set of barracks to make the most of their map control advantage. But, Reality Rift would outplay them outside the Dire base by isolating skem’s Bloodseeker, and catching Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer’s Earth Spirit who was on the retreat.

AlaCrity’s Storm Spirit finished the game after making the most of a late game double-damage run, which helped him take down Neon Esports’ lineup outside the Rosh Pit. Reality Rift would then run straight into the Radiant base and win the first game of Day 4’s group stage.

Reality Rift would eventually lose the second game of the series as they tied with Neon Esports 1-1.

READ MORE: ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League Day 3: T1 bounce back