i-League, Star Ladder, Dota 2

SL i-League Invitational: The Competition

After a two month lull in competitive DotA 2, the first ranked tournament of the season is now only a week away.  While qualifier games have been plentiful lately, victories there do not translate into TI8 Qualifying Points.  The Star Ladder i-League Invitational will put the first of these points on the board for the competitive season, and set the tone moving forward.  What teams are going to be lucky enough to participate in this tournament you ask?  Well lets take a look.

Invited Teams

Team Liquid

Dota 2 Power Rankings Team Liquid

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 – Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen

Position 2 – Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barqawi

Position 3 – Ivan “MinD-ContRoL” Ivanov

Position 4 – Maroun “GH” Merhej

Position 5 – Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi

It comes as no surprise that the previous winners of The International received a direct invite.  Even before they claimed the Aegis this year, Liquid was taking first place at tournaments like EPICENTER and DreamLeague.  Their roster has also maintained impressive stability over the last year, with GH being the latest edition in January of this year.  This stability means these players are well practiced when it comes to playing with each other.

Unfortunately, Liquid’s upcoming direct invites mean that the rest of us have not seen them play since August.  What they have been doing since then is anyone’s guess.  Hopefully they’ve been practicing, because the rest of the competition is bound to be fierce.

Newbee

Dota 2 Power rankings Newbee, i-league

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 – Xu “Moogy” Han

Position 2 – Song “Sccc” Chun

Position 3 – Damien “kpii” Chok

Position 4 – Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi

Position 5 – Zheng “Faith” Hongda

Newbee had a similar run to Liquid leading up to The International this year.  In the span of just a couple of weeks they took first place at ZOTAC Cup Masters and Galaxy Battles.  But there is only room for one at the top, and Liquid forced Newbee to take second place at TI7 after defeating them in a 3-0 sweep.

Since then Newbee has been just as quiet as Liquid themselves.  We’ll have to wait until the opening games to see if this storied team has stayed fresh after a competitive hiatus.

Qualified Teams

Team Secret

secret, dota 2, international, i-League

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 – Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard

Position 2 – Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng

Position 3 – Adrian “Fata” Trinks

Position 4 – Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat

Position 5 – Clement “Puppey” Ivanov

Team Secret is on a tear that hasn’t been seen since their glory days in 2015.  So far they have taken first place at all three qualifiers they have participated in, guaranteeing themselves a chance at each tournament’s pool of Qualifying Points.  If they can maintain this level of performance through the actual tournament brackets, the points they earn could kick start their competitive season in a big way.

It is possible the performance increase is due to recent roster changes within Secret.  After TI7, Team Secret promptly parted ways with Pyo “MP” No-a and Maurice “KheZu” Gutmann.  Replacing them were Ace and FaTa, and it seems they were the final pieces in a winning combination.

Na’Vi

Na'Vi, i-League

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 – Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek

Position 2 – Danil “Dendi” Ishutin

Position 3 – Victor “GeneRaL” Nigrini

Position 4 – Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosyan

Position 5 – Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev

Na’Vi is in the middle of a resurgence of it’s own this season.  The past few competitive seasons for the first ever TI champions have been rough.  After being eliminated in the first round of both TI5 and TI6, Na’Vi failed to even qualify for the main event at TI7.  A string of disappointing performances and a few roster shuffles later, we have the lineup you see before you.  A lineup that has qualified not only for Star Ladder i-League, but also the PGL Open Bucharest Minor tournament as well.

The Na’Vi brand is legendary in professional DotA 2, and it’s high time their luck turned around for the better.

compLexity

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 – Rasmus “Chessie” Blomdin

Position 2 – Linus “Limmp” Blomdin

Position 3 – David “Moo” Hull

Position 4 – Zakari “Zfreek” Freedman

Position 5 – Kyle “melonzz” Freedman

2017 was a turbulent year for compLexity.  Numerous roster changes plagued the organization throughout the year, including the departure of Chessie back in January.  Now, for the first time since August of 2016, the brothers Blomdin are playing together again.  The team states in an announcement on their website that these two players helped them achieve some of their best results in 2016.  However, while compLexity placed well at the Frankfurt and Shanghai Majors that year, the rest of their tournaments that season were middling at best.

That being said, the team looked strong in the North American qualifier.  The team looked so strong in fact they beat out teams like Evil Geniuses and OpTic Gaming.  Doing well at this i-League Invitational could give compLexity some much needed momentum this season.  On the other hand, a poor showing could very well do the opposite for the team’s morale.

SG e-sports

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 – Guilherme “FuckinEh” Costábile

Position 2 – Adriano “4dr” Machado

Position 3 – Rodrigo “Liposa” Santos

Position 4 – Thiago “Thiolicor” Cordeiro

Position 5 – Lucas “Bardo” Bardosa

SG e-sports hails from Brazil in South America, which is arguably one of the most underrepresented regions in DotA 2.  Even so, this fledgling team’s recent results speak for themselves.  In the past few weeks, SG e-sports has qualified for three Minors and ESL One Hamburg, the first Dota 2 Major of the year.

One could of course argue that the players are simply big fish in their small pond of a region.  Can their apparent dominance over their fellow South American teams translate into winning tournament performances?  Right now it is difficult to say with any certainty, as this roster is barely even a month old.  Regardless, this new squad is hungry to prove themselves, and they could be the underdogs to root for at i-League.

Vici Gaming

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 – Zhang “Paparazi灬” Chengjun

Position 2 – Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang

Position 3 – Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei

Position 4 – Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng

Position 5 – Lu “Fenrir” Chao

Vici Gaming’s roster is completely different from the team we grew accustomed to last year.  However, that doesn’t mean you haven’t seen these players before.  eLeVeN, LaNm, and Fenrir are seasoned vets that once played together on EHOME’s roster in 2016.  At the time they went from the Wild Card team to placing 5-6th at TI6.

During the Chinese Qualifier they got off to a shaky start by losing to LGD Gaming 0-2.  Despite being immediately pushed to the losers bracket, they fought on, eventually winning their runback against LGD 2-0.  The talent on this team can’t be disputed, but will it be enough to overcome the rest of the competition?

Mineski

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 – Kam “NaNa” Boon Seng

Position 2 – Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung

Position 3 – Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang

Position 4 – Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong

Position 5 – Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross Jr.

Personally, I was excited back in March of this year when Mineski announced they would be building a brand new team with Mushi as the centerpiece.  As a player Mushi has played in five of the seven Internationals, and has placed in the top four in three of them.  Before making his move to Mineski, Mushi captained Fnatic for nearly two years, and had some success.  The announcement that iceiceice would be joining the team in the offlane was just icing on the cake.

Mineski proved that they are a force to be reckoned with by going undefeated in their qualifier for SL i-League.  We’ll see if they accidentally used up all their luck before the true battles begin.

Star Ladder i-League Invitational Season 3 will be held in Kiev, Ukraine from October 12th – October 15th.


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Dota 2 Power Rankings

Dota 2 Power Rankings May 2017

Back in March, we released our Top 10 Dota 2 teams in the world. This was before both the Kiev Major and the Dota 2 Asia Championships (DAC). Obviously, a lot has happened since then so let’s take a look at our current power rankings.

[DISCLAIMER – I am getting this in early. You may not agree with these rankings, actually I’m 100% sure you won’t. These are my personal opinion, so take them with a pinch of salt. Let me know your top 10 in the comments.]

Right, now that we have the pleasantries out of the way let’s get into the list. As we mentioned last time, the criteria for the list are as follows:

  • Must have an active five player roster.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 10 – Team NP

Dota 2 Power Rankings Team NP

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Eternal Envy

Position 2 (Mid) – Fata

Position 3 (Offlane) – MSS

Position 4 (Support) – Aui_2000

Position 5 (Support) – PieLieDie

Previous Placing – New Entry

Last rankings we copped a lot of flack from the NP and EE fanboys. However, since then they have had some disappointing placings. They finished third in the Kiev qualifiers and joint last place at DAC. This was not good enough for the high standards set by Jacky ‘EternalEnvy’ Mao. As a result, the fan favorites have a new roster.

Bringing in Adrian “Fata” Trinks and Johan “PieLieDie” Astrom has improved the squad enough to push them into the top 10 of our Dota 2 power rankings. The solidity offered from Fata and Pie may be enough to make up for the craziness of Envy. In fact, you could say the new additions will be the Ying to Envy’s Yang.

Since forming the new squad, they have only lost one game and look strong. They look on track to qualify for the Summit 7 and narrowly missed out on a place at Epicenter. The dark days of Kiev and DAC seem to have cleared. This new squad could fulfill the anime prophecy by taking NP to their first LAN title.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 9 – Team Faceless

Dota 2 Power Rankings Faceless

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Black^

Position 2 (Mid) – Jabz

Position 3 (Offlane) –iceiceice

Position 4 (Support) – xy-

Position 5 (Support) – NutZ

Previous Placing – Number 8 (-1)

Faceless are an interesting team. They consistently perform domestically, winning the majority of SEA based tournaments. However, as soon as they compete in an international event they disappoint. Let’s take a look at Kiev and DAC.

In the group stages at DAC, Faceless went 0-2-3 meaning that they did not win a single best of two. Then they come out to the main event and beat Liquid to secure top eight. Faceless showed sparks of brilliance in the best of one against Liquid, but they would fall in the next series against EG. Kiev was pretty much a carbon copy of DAC. They ended group stages with a 1-3 record. The only series win was against underdogs SG esports. Luckily for Faceless, they got a great draw in the first round of bracket play, as they were paired off against SEA rivals TNC. As Faceless have done time and time again they would defeat TNC to secure top eight. They then would lose again to eventual winners OG.

Faceless are a very confusing team. They attend the majority of international tournaments and always look in form heading into the event. The event roles around and they somehow stumble into the top eight. In fact, since forming in September 2016 they have only finished outside of the top 8 at one event. Faceless would be higher on this list if they could push on in major tournaments.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 8 – TNC Pro Team

Dota 2 Power Rankings TNC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Raven

Position 2 (Mid) – Kuku

Position 3 (Offlane) – Sam_H

Position 4 (Support) – Tims

Position 5 (Support) – ryOyr

Previous Placing – New Entry

Last time we made this list, a lot of fans were unhappy that we left TNC out. Well, you can all be very happy as they have done enough in the past 2 months to rise to number eight in our rankings.

After winning WESG some fans were unsure how valuable the win was, myself included, as there was no tier one competition at the event. Well, TNC proved the doubters wrong at both StarLadder and Kiev. In DAC, TNC showed a certain resilience after being placed in a difficult group. Facing off against OG, Secret and hometown favourites IG.V the squad had its work cut out. In an interesting turn of events, TNC would end up finishing second in the group, losing only to OG. This was an interesting turn of events for TNC as they had then guaranteed themselves top four. They would eventually fall to winners Liquid but they proved a point.

Moving into Kiev, the team had just failed to qualify for the Summit 7, so spirits may have been down. They did not show any sign of this in the group stages at Kiev. TNC came out in the first series and swept EG 2-0 in dominant fashion. They would carry this on and finish groups with a 3-1 record, only losing to VP. Then came the dreaded match with Faceless, who seem to be TNC’s kryptonite. I truly believe that if TNC would have finish groups with a 2-2 record they probably would have made a deeper run in the tournament.

TNC are higher on the list than Faceless based off of potential to win international events.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 7 – Team Liquid

Dota 2 Power Rankings Team Liquid

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – MATUMBAMAN

Position 2 (Mid) – Miracle-

Position 3 (Offlane) – MinD_ContRoL

Position 4 (Support) – GH

Position 5 (Support) – KuroKy

Previous Placing – Number 3 (-4)

Liquid is also a very confusing team. After picking up Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej, things looked good for Liquid. In their first event as a team, they would capture the crown at Dream League Season 6. This was the start of a strong couple months for Liquid that ended at StarLadder.

February was a month to remember for Liquid as they would finish first in two qualification events and also at StarLadder. At StarLadder Liquid looked to be at the top of the pile. They would finish the event dropping only two maps throughout the event. They managed to also snag a direct invite to The Kiev Major off the back of these strong performances.

If February was a month to remember, then April was a month to forget. Liquid was considering one of the favorites for DAC but they never lived up to the hype. In fact, they looked out of place at the event. After a disappointing group stage that would see them finish third. They would eventually fall in the losers bracket round one and finish joint last. Kiev was no better as Liquid would finish a disappointing 5th – 8th.

Liquid make this list because they have five of the best players in the world and are just trying to put it all together. So far in the weeks following Kiev, they are undefeated and look like they are on the road to recovery. The jury is still out on this Liquid squad and they will need to improve in the coming months.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 6 – Team Secret

Dota 2 Power Rankings Team Secret

Image courtesy of teamsecret.gg

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – MP

Position 2 (Mid) – MidOne

Position 3 (Offlane) – Khezu

Position 4 (Support) – Yapzor

Position 5 (Support) – Puppey

Previous Placing – Number 9 (+3)

Team Secret are the first team on this list to have moved up in the rankings. Since March, they have enjoyed a good run of form that unfortunately did end in disappointment at Kiev. In their last 24 series, Secret have only lost two matches, a loss to Alliance and a loss to SG esports.

Secret looked to be back to old ways in the build up to Kiev as they stomped the qualification tournament. They would only drop one map throughout the whole event. Which was a 1-0 loss to Alliance early in the group stages. Secret looked to be on another level to the rest of the competition and would win the tournament with relative ease. At The Kiev Major, Secret looked very strong. They finished groups with a 3-0 record and did not drop a single map. That was until they came up against SG.

The series against SG was interesting, to say the least. SG had not won a single game during the group stages and finished with a 0-3 record. Secret were blown away by the strength of SG and in a back and forth would eventually fall to SG. This is where the best of one format has an issue. Secret were slow starting out at the main event and would, therefore, finish joint last. If instead, they had been playing a double elimination bracket, Secret may well have finished in the top four.

Secret has a new roster and a new hope based on recent performances. Puppey has been searching for the perfect roster since TI3, he may now have found it.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 5 – Newbee

Dota 2 Power rankings Newbee

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Uuu9

Position 2 (Mid) – Sccc

Position 3 (Offlane) – Kpii

Position 4 (Support) – Faith

Position 5 (Support) – Kaka

Previous Placing – Number 4 (-1)

In the last power rankings, we said that Newbee is one of the best teams in China. This is still the case two months later. Newbee continue to be consistent without setting the world alight. In Song “Sccc” Chun, Newbee has one of the best mid-laners in China. The issue that the side seems to face is that they cannot handle the pressure in the big moments.

Until the last few weeks, Newbee has been one of the strongest teams in the Chinese scene for nearly a year. Internationally they have also been performing well. At the start of the year, Newbee would make the final of ESL One Genting where they would narrowly be defeated by DC. DAC was another stand out tournament for Newbee. They performed well in a strong group and would eventually finish second taking them to the upper bracket.

Newbee showed signs of brilliance throughout DAC including defeating EG 2-1 in the lower bracket to guarantee top three. They would, however, fall to eventual winners IG. As a team Newbee have five of the most consistent players in China. Aside from Sccc none of the players will set the world alight, however, they play with a ruthless efficiency. Newbee are consistent performers and will continue to perform in 2017.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 4 – Evil Geniuses

Dota 2 Power Rankings Evil Geniuses

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Arteezy

Position 2 (Mid) – SumaiL

Position 3 (Offlane) – UNiVeRsE

Position 4 (Support) – Zai

Position 5 (Support) – Cr1t-

Previous Placing – Number 2 (-2)

EG fall to fourth in our Dota 2 Power rankings. This is more to do with the performances of the teams around them than anything the team has done. At Dota Pit in January, EG made things look easy. Since then however, things increasingly more difficult.

EG are a team famed for slow starts. No matter who is on the team this seems to have become a consistency. This style nearly cost them at DAC as they finished second to last in the group and set themselves a tough best of one against Wings Gaming. The match against Wings Gaming would be a 61 minute slug fest that EG would eventually win. They continued to take games until they would eventually lose a close series to Newbee.

Moving forward into Kiev, EG again made the group stages look difficult as they would finish with a  2-2 record and set up a knockout game against NA rivals Thunderbirds. EG showed serious resilience to take the series over Thunderbirds 2-0. They then came up against Brazilian whirlwind SG. In a back and forth series with some insane moments, EG would eventually take the series 2-1. Going against OG would prove too much for EG and they would lose 2-0.

The EG side are one of the most consistent sides in the world. Since winning TI5 they have had a few roster changes but have managed to stay at the top of the pile for most of the events. EG have a busy couple of months coming up with the Manilla Masters and Epicenter on the horizon. They will be hoping to secure a direct invite to TI7 as they seek to regain the Aegis of Champions.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 3 – Virtus Pro

Dota 2 Power Rankings Virtus Pro

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Ramzes666

Position 2 (Mid) – No[o]ne

Position 3 (Offlane) – 9Pashaebashu

Position 4 (Support) – Lil

Position 5 (Support) – Solo

Previous Placing – Number 10 (+7)

Virtus Pro are one of the biggest climbers on this list as they jump up an impressive seven spaces. Rewind back to the beginning of March and things weren’t look great for VP. They had just failed to qualify for DAC due to connection issues and things were looking tough. In the last rankings article, we touched on what could happen if VP failed to qualify for Kiev. Turns out their was nothing to worry about. VP would qualify for Kiev with ease.

At Kiev, VP were considered one of the favorites and for good reason. They stormed through group stages finishing with a 3-0 record and only dropped 1 map during groups. VP looked to be finally living up to expectations. During the main event they would travel via China to reach the final, as they would come up against three Chinese teams. VP then faced off against OG in the final, in what turned out to be one of the best grand finals since TI3. Unfortunately they would fall to OG 3-2.

VP have shot back to the top three in the rankings following Kiev. They finally lived up to the expectations they have had since TI6. The future is looking bright for VP as with the strong performance at Kiev, they will likely have secured an invite to TI7 and several other events in the coming months. If they can continue to string together performances like that at Kiev, they have the ability to win several events, including TI7. VP are a team to be feared in the coming months.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 2 – Invictus Gaming

Dota 2 Power Rankings Invictus Gaming

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – BurNing

Position 2 (Mid) – Op

Position 3 (Offlane) – Xxs

Position 4 (Support) – BoboKa

Position 5 (Support) – Q

Previous Placing – New Entry

IG are the highest new entry on the list as the jump straight up to second place. IG have had a crazy couple of months since March culminating with victory at DAC. At the moment, IG are probably the best team in China and are beginning to reach a consistent level internationally as well.

DAC was somewhat of a breakout tournament for IG as they would perform well in groups and the main event. However, they did not flex their muscles until the grand finals. They came into the series as underdogs. The series looked the exact opposite as IG rolled over OG with relative ease.

A lot of this thanks to the Riki of Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao. In games one and two of the series BoBoKa would frustrate the supports of OG rendering them useless in the early game. BoBoKa showed during DAC that he was one of the best four positions in the game. IG caught teams offguard at DAC as they displayed the typical Chinese efficiency.

IG would again perform well at Kiev, even with teams focussing on banning out BoBoKa’s best heroes. This would not stop IG as they would finish groups with a strong 3-1 record. This form continued into the main event as they would take series after series until they eventually fell to VP in the semi-finals.

IG have burst onto the scene in the last few months off the back of BoBoKa and Chinese legend Xu “BurNing” Zhilei. They are riding a wave that may well take them to victory at TI7.

Dota 2 Power Rankings – Number 1 – OG

Dota 2 Power Rankings OG

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Notail

Position 2 (Mid) – Ana

Position 3 (Offlane) – s4

Position 4 (Support) – JerAx

Position 5 (Support) – Fly

Previous Placing – Number 1

I’m sure you are all really surprised by this right? In the previous ranking, we said that choosing between OG and EG was difficult. This time around, the decision could not have been easier. OG are now four-time major champions, meaning they have won all but one major so far.

DAC was a blip on the radar for OG. They dominated the event, even beating IG in the run to the finals. The grand finals loss was a surprise to most and may have been as a result of OG taking IG lightly. They did not make this mistake twice. At Kiev OG displayed the same consistency fans will have become used to. A lot of credit should go to Tal “Fly” Aizik, who has managed to take two teams and make them world-class. It’s crazy to think that OG are often looked over heading into events, probably because the roster is not filled with stars. In fact, this plays to OG’s advantage. The four players around Fly seem to have faith in every decision that he makes.

There is really not much else that needs to be said about OG and why they are the best team in the world. All of the other rankings on the list are open for debate apart from this one. The consistency that OG have shown at the top level is astounding. All that is left is to take the ultimate crown, something which seems inevitable.

Agree or Disagree with my rankings? Let us know in the comments below.

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Kiev Major Group Stage

The Kiev Major Group Stage Preview

The first Major of the 2017 season is upon us and it looks as though it will be amazing. The Kiev Major will take place from April 24th – April 30th. The event will be split into Group Stages followed by a single-elimination main event bracket. Let’s take a look at the Kiev Major Group Stage.

The Kiev Major Prize Pool

The prize pool of the tournament is $3,000,000 USD.

Place $ USD Percent Team
1st $1,000,000  33.33% TBD
2nd $500,000  16.67% TBD
3rd-4th $250,000  8.33% TBD
TBD
place 5 to 16
5th-8th $125,000  4.17% TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
9th-16th $62,500  2.08% TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD

Courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2/Kiev_Major/2017

Kiev Major Group Stage Format

For the first time at a Dota 2 event, Kiev will use the Swiss-system format. A format commonly seen at CS:GO events, it will be interesting to see if it creates better seeding heading into the main event.

  • 16 teams are placed in a single group where they play in a Swiss-system format.
    • Four rounds of matches.
    • All matches are played in a Bo3.
    • Opponents will always have the same Win/Loss record.
    • Teams will never play an opponent twice.
  • Round 1
    • Initial eight matches are seeded.
  • Round 2
    • Divided into two groups:
      • Winners of Round 1 (“high”)
      • Losers of Round 1 (“low”)
    • Teams will be drawn an opponent from their group.
  • Round 3
    • Divided into three groups:
      • Teams with a record of 2-0 (“high”)
      • Teams with a record of 1-1 (“mid”)
      • Lastly, teams with a record of 0-2 (“low”)
    • All teams will be drawn an opponent they have not played yet from their group.
    • Winners of the high group are the highest seed for the playoffs.
    • Losers of the low group are the lowest seed for the playoffs.
  • Round 4
    • Divided into two groups:
      • Teams with a record of 2-1 (“high”)
      • Teams with a record of 1-2 (“low”)
    • All teams will be drawn an opponent they have not yet played from their group.
    • Winners of the high group are the 2nd highest seed for the playoffs.
    • Losers of the low group are the 2nd lowest seed for the playoffs.

Courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2/Kiev_Major/2017/Group_Stage

The Kiev Major Group Stage – Round 1 Thoughts and Predictions

The Kiev Major Group Stage Round 1 Matches

Image courtesy of https://twitter.com/wykrhm

Team Secret v VG.J

In the first game of the first round, Team Secret will face off against VG.J. Both of these teams will likely finish in the middle of the pack somewhere. VG.J on paper are the stronger squad. However, outside of the second place at StarLadder, they have yet to live up to the hype.

Both Team Secret and VG.J have a point to prove at Kiev, this will be one of the closest series of the group stages. When the dust settles, I think Team Secret will take the series 2-1. Mainly because VG.J have been inconsistent in recent times. This is also Team Secret’s return to the Major’s after missing out on a place in Boston. Team Secret will be the sharper team heading into round one and should take a close series.

Team Secret Kiev Major Group Stage

Image courtesy of teamsecret.gg

Invictus Gaming (IG) v Mousesports

No series on the road to a Major trophy is easy. However, Mousesports will be feeling unlucky with their round one match-up. Going up against one of the favorites and DAC winner, IG will be a huge challenge for the Greeks. This series will be the first that the former Ad Finem roster has played since the second place finish at the Boston Major. Since then they have changed orgs, failed to attend a single LAN and we have had a series of game changing patches. On the other hand, IG comes into this event in the form of a lifetime. A strong showing at DAC, which would eventually see them take home the crown, has catapulted them into a spot as favorites. IG and Mousesports are at opposite ends of the spectrum and IG should sweep the Greeks 2-0.

IG Kiev Major Group Stages

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Team Random v IG.Vitality

In the only all domestic match-up, Team Random will take on IG.V. This series looks to be another close match-up with both teams experiencing mixed form. Team Random, formerly Team Wings, are searching to recover the form they had leading up to TI6. IG.V are looking to establish themselves as a top team. Team Random have the stronger set of players but seem to out mind game themselves in most games. Team Random showed flashes of genius during DAC, but normally it was too little too late. IG.V, on the other hand, showed promise during DAC finishing in fourth place. At DAC IG.V started slowly and for this reason I am backing Team Random to take the series 2-1.

Team Randon Team Wings Kiev Major Group Stages

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

OG v SG esports

Favorites for the event OG take on newcomers SG in their first group stage game. For SG this series will be the hardest best of three they have most likely ever played. The current OG team are the most consistent team heading into the event. Since November, the lowest placing they have had is 3rd – 4th. Not bad for a team that everyone always rules out. SG will have to pull out a miracle to take the series from OG, think TNC at TI6. OG will come into the series full of confidence and will take it 2-0.

OG Kiev Major Group Stage

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Liquid v Thunderbirds

This series is my one to watch heading into the first round. Two teams who have championship pedigree but are currently having some issues. Liquid are more up and down than a yo-yo. They place first at StarLadder and then finish 9th – 12th at DAC. Liquid are another team that on paper should be challenging for every title. However, for whatever reason, they are struggling to convert talent into ability in-game. Thunderbirds, formerly DC, have struggled since winning ESL One Genting in January. The team has been struggling in-game and out of it. With the team now leaving DC, it is possible that they will make a return to winning ways. Similarly to Secret v VG.J, both these teams will likely finish in the middle of the pack. This is a difficult series to call, but I have Liquid edging it 2-1.

Liquid Kiev Major Group Stage

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Faceless v Virtus Pro (VP)

Kiev will be the first LAN that VP have attended since January. Starting off with a series against Faceless will be a tough test for VP. Faceless come into the event the same as always, dominant in SEA, disappointing internationally. VP come into Kiev with strong domestic form in the last few months. This is series will set the tone for both teams heading further into the event. Will VP choke again, will it be same old Faceless? Faceless are on the cusp of a strong performance. However, VP are the team in form at the moment and I have them taking the series 2-1.

VP Kiev Major Group Stage

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Digital Chaos (DC) v Newbee

In their first series as DC, the former Team Onyx squad will face off against Newbee. Newbee are one of the more consistent teams heading into the event with a first, second and third place finish in the three events they have attended in 2017. On the other hand, this will be DC’s first LAN event as a team. The nerves will be high for the new squad, especially with the controversy surrounding their move to the DC banner. Newbee are looking to go into the later rounds of the tournament and a strong performance in round one will set the tone. I have Newbee taking the series 2-0

Newbee Kiev Major Group Stage

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Evil Geniuses (EG) v TNC Pro Team

EG v TNC on paper should be a relatively easy matchup for the North American powerhouse. However, if one thing is certain in Dota it’s that EG always start slow. EG come into the event with questions hanging over the roster. The performance at DAC raised more questions on whether the roster is strong enough to be consistently at the top. On paper EG has one of the strongest rosters in the world, they just can’t seem to click consistently.

TNC come into Kiev in the same spot they always are, underdogs. TNC have had an up and down 2017, which has included winning WESG. Furthermore, TNC have been hit and miss domestically, which is concerning considering the lack of tier one times in SEA. I have EG taking the series but it will be a close 2-1.

EG Kiev Major Group Stage

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Kiev Major Group Stage – Final Thoughts

Every event since Boston has been building up to the Kiev Major. The first Major of 2017 will be hotly contested with at least five teams strong favorites to take the event. Near the top should be the likes of OG, IG, VP and EG. Teams like Secret, Liquid and Thunderbirds have questions to answer moving into the build up to TI7. At the other end, SG esports are looking to capture the hearts of fans as TNC and Ad Finem have done before them.

The new group stage format will provide more consistent seeding heading into the single-elimination main event. Teams that start slow will have the chance to repair things and get a decent seed for bracket play.

For more in-depth coverage of each region check out my Regional Roulette series:

South East Asia

The Americas

Europe and CIS

China

What are your thoughts on the round one matchups? Let me know in the comments below.

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The Kiev Major Regional Roulette – China

Welcome to the fourth and final day of the Kiev Major regional roulette. Today it’s time to look at China.

China – The Teams

With China receiving five total spots at the event, the odds of a strong showing from Chinese teams seems likely. DAC reminded the rest of the world that the Chinese teams are to be feared. Let’s take a look at who will be representing China at Kiev:

Team Random (Formerly Wings Gaming) – Direct Invite

Team Randon Team Wings China Kiev Major

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Shadow

Position 2 (Mid) – Blink

Position 3 (Offlane) – Faith_bian

Position 4 (Support) – y’

Position 5 (Support) – iceice

It seems as if teams and organizations parting way is the flavor of the month heading into Kiev. For the former Wings roster, the reasons are still unclear, but they will be heading into Kiev as Team Random.

The TI6 winners have been without an event win since November 2016. For a team the strength of Team Random, this is not good enough. From watching them play, it seems as if Team Random got too focused on being … random. Team Random will need to returning to winning ways or they may return to the cut-throat world of the Chinese qualifiers.

In the last few events, Team Random have been unlucky with draws and have faced strong opposition early in the tournament. They will be hoping that the swiss format will alleviate some of the issues they have faced in previous events. Team Random have one more event, TI7 in which they are guaranteed a direct invite. They need to find the answer to their recent issues and find it fast.

Newbee – Direct Invite

Newbee DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Uuu9

Position 2 (Mid) – Sccc

Position 3 (Offlane) – Kpii

Position 4 (Support) – Faith

Position 5 (Support) – Kaka

Newbee come into Kiev in a great run of form. In the month before Kiev, they have finished third at DAC and first at DPL Season 3. They have also racked up a victory against Chinese favorites IG.

Newbee had a long time without a LAN event but they have arrived back with a bang. They have a strong base of play and are consistent. Newbee are looking to become the first organization to win two TI’s and the first step is a victory at Kiev.

Newbee come into the event as one of the top four teams likely to win it all. The Newbee twitter team are already preparing the memes, let’s hope they are top quality as always.

Team VG.J – Direct Invite

VG.J DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Agressif

Position 2 (Mid) – Freeze

Position 3 (Offlane) – rOtk

Position 4 (Support) – fy

Position 5 (Support) – Fenrir

VG.J have yet to reach the heights expected of them. The reason for this is hard to pinpoint. On paper, this is a TI winning team. However, for whatever reason, they cannot put it together in-game. One potential reason could be their inexperienced mid-laner Liu “Freeze” Chang. VG.J is the first top quality roster Freeze has been a part of and it shows. He often makes solo plays that are confusing and leave his team in compromising positions.

The rest of the roster is solid, they have bags of experience and the skills to boot. It is up to the four veterans to carry Freeze to the promised land of a major win. Without it, they risk falling onto the mountain of failed Chinese God-Squads.

Invictus Gaming – Qualifier

IG DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – BurNing

Position 2 (Mid) – Op

Position 3 (Offlane) – Xxs

Position 4 (Support) – BoboKa

Position 5 (Support) – Q

IG head into the event as joint favorites with OG, due to a dominant victory at DAC. In recent times, IG is the first team to make OG look average. In an amazing final, they sweep the three-time major champions 3-0.

IG came into DAC slightly under the radar and they took advantage of that fact. Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao was the star of the show at DAC, especially in the finals. BoBoKa’s performance on out of favor hero Riki in game one of the finals was something to marvel at. He crippled the OG support duo with intelligent rotations among other things. Check out some highlights of the finals here for a better idea.

IG come into the event in a place they have never been before. They are one of the favorites and the are the hope of China. How will this affect the squad? Let’s wait and see when Kiev is over.

iG Vitality – Qualifier

iG.V DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Paparazi

Position 2 (Mid) – Sakata

Position 3 (Offlane) – InJuly

Position 4 (Support) – Super

Position 5 (Support) – dogf1ghts

IG’s younger brother has not been able to find a similar form to that of their older sibling. Domestically they have been very hit and miss. Qualifying for one tournament, but missing out on the next. IG.V come into the event as one of the weaker Chinese teams, meaning they will probably do quite well.

IG.V is a team that is built around strong team play, rather than overly flashy plays. They hope that they can use this to their advantage during the swiss format. IG.V will need to address some of the drafting issues they have with their relatively limited hero pool.

China – Summary

It is no surprise that of the five Chinese teams attending Kiev, they were all at DAC. China is a region returning to power. China was the original Dota 2 superpower and history is beginning to repeat itself. With a winner likely to come from China or Europe, the pressure is on for the first event in recent history. Newbee and IG are the most likely teams to take home the crown. VG.J is hoping they will not become another failed god-squad. Team Random are hoping to achieve a strong placing heading into TI7. IG.V will be looking to step out of the shadow of IG and make a name for themselves.

China v. Europe will be the biggest regional battle at the event. The future is bright, but is the future China?

Where do you think the Chinese teams will place when it’s all said and done? Let me know in the comments below.

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DAC Bracket Play Preview

Dota 2 Asia Championships DAC Bracket Play Predictions

The DAC group stages were filled with upsets, with EG and Liquid both failing to finish in the top two of their group. As a result, the DAC bracket play stage looks set to host some of the best games of the tournament.

DAC Bracket Play – The Bracket

 

DAC Bracket Play

The bracket for the 2017 DAC bracket play stage.

This is not the bracket that most fans would have expected to see. Based on events coming into DAC, it looked as if OG, VG.J, EG and Liquid should have been shoe-ins for the top two spots in each group. Instead, VG.J failed to win a single best of two and EG looked lackluster in their performances. Liquid started rough and then managed to pick it up and finished third. In the end, Liquid might regret winning the tiebreaker against Team NP, as they are now in the tough bottom half of the losers bracket.

DAC Bracket Play Predictions

Upper Bracket Round 1

OG V Newbee

The first game of the upper bracket will see OG take on hometown favorites Newbee. Based on the form coming out of group stages, OG should take this pretty easily. OG have shown a dominance over the competition not seen for a long time. Whilst Newbee are strong, they were helped by teams underperforming around them in Group B. OG look likely to take the event and I cannot see them stopping against Newbee.

Prediction – OG to win

OG DAC Bracket Play

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

 

IG v Empire

This is a game that many will have expected to see in the lower bracket first round. However, due to a combination of strong performances and shock upsets, it is instead the second game of the upper bracket round one. IG came out on top of the strong group B without losing a single best of two. On the back of Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei, who has an impressive 11.44 KDA, IG has shown the considered yet ruthless play you expect from a Chinese team. In comparison, Empire is a team that will keep running at you, whether it is 10 minutes or 50 minutes, they will not stop. In typical CIS fashion, Empire has been able to run over some of the slower paced teams and find themselves sitting pretty with a guaranteed top six finish.

IG will likely have the class to take the games over Empire, but the CIS team should be proud of their accomplishments at DAC.

Prediction – IG to win.

IG DAC Bracket Play

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Lower Bracket Round 1

This is where things get interesting, the remaining eight teams are going to face off in a best of one that can make the difference between $8,000 and $17,000. Let’s take a look at the matchups in the lower half of DAC bracket play.

LFY v IG.V

LFY looked surprisingly strong throughout the group stages. As a team that failed to qualify for Kiev, they surprised many by taking dominant victories over Faceless and Wings. They will come into bracket play with confidence on their side and will be hoping to show that they belong on the international stage.

IG.V, on the other hand, have no confidence. The younger brother of team IG, IG.V disappointed in group stages ending with an appalling 1-1-3 record. This was not the performance they will have been looking for considering that four of the five teams in their group are heading to Kiev at the end of the month.

IG.V will be hungry to avenge the disappointing performances that have got them into this position. Expect to see a ruthless IG.V attempt to dismantle LFY.

Prediction – IG.V to win

IG,V DAC Bracket Play

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Team NP v VG.J

Team NP will be grateful that they lost the tiebreaker against Liquid for third place in group B. They have been placed up against VG.J, one of only two teams that failed to win a best of two during groups. NP will be hoping that they can see more amazing plays for enigmatic mid-Jacky “EternalEnVy” Mao like this.

Going against fan favorite NP will be team VG.J, one of the better Chinese teams, at least before group stages.

If you look up calamity in the dictionary, you will see the boys from VG.J. Many people, myself included, had them finishing near the top of group A. Instead they finished bottom and failed to get a single series victory. VG.J are one loss away from joining all the other failed Chinese God squads in the “Never Again” pile. VG.J have no choice but to turn things around and a strong performance against NP will kickstart their lower bracket campaign.

Prediction – VG.J to win

VG.J DAC Bracket Play

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Wings v EG

From the winners’ bracket final at TI6 to the lower bracket best of one at DAC, a lot has changed for both of these teams. Wings continue to plummet following their dominance last year. EG have again decided to make things difficult for themselves. However, this time the challenge may be too great for the kings of lower bracket runs.

Facing Wings in a best of one is a recipe for disaster for EG. Having been famed for their unorthodox strategies and strong team play, EG will have their work cut out for them. In terms of individual skill, EG out matches Wings all over the map, however, as a team Wings have shown that they should never be counted out. EG should have what it takes but this will be the closest of the lower bracket games.

Prediction – EG to win

EG DAC Bracket Play

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Team Liquid v Team Faceless

A lot can change in a month, just ask Team Liquid. Finishing first at StarLadder signaled to everyone that Liquid was back. What was not mentioned is that it was only for one event. Liquid looked sluggish on day one and two until they realized that they should try and win a few games or they will have a terrible draw heading into the lower bracket. In hindsight, Liquid will be wishing they had lost the tiebreaker against NP as they now find themselves on the tougher side of the draw.

However, Faceless lived up to their name in the group stages. In the five games they played, they failed to win a signal best of two. This is simply not good enough for a team with aspirations of greatness. Faceless will need to find the positives and learn from DAC heading into Kiev. Liquid should dominate this game pretty easily.

Prediction – Liquid to win

Liquid DAC Bracket Play

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

 

DAC Bracket Play final placings

Now the predictions I made for the groups were completely ruined, however, let’s have another shot at predicting the final placings for DAC 2017.

1st = OG

Based on groups, OG should take the whole event easily as they looked dominant.

2nd = Newbee

Newbee demonstrated the precision that led them to second at ESL One Genting in January. Expect to see them finish second again here.

3rd = IG

IG shocked many during group stages and they will continue that run of form all the way to top three. BurNing is looking better than ever before and this is a great sign heading into Kiev.

4th = Team Liquid

Liquid will have to fight to get top four, however, if they go back to the ways of StarLadder then it’s possible. If they can get through EG in losers round two, they will ride that wave to top four.

5th – 6th = Empire, VG.J

7th – 8th = IG.V, EG

9th – 12th = LFY, NP, Wings, Faceless

Based on groups predictions seem to be set to fail, but let me know what you think in the comments below. What are your top four placings for the DAC bracket stage?

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DAC Group Stage Preview

Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 Group Stage Preview

The last stop on the road to Kiev is the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017. Hosted in the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, DAC will take place March 27th – April 4th. With 9/12 teams competing at the end of April in the Kiev Major, this is a perfect opportunity for teams to get in some practice. With the event set to take place over nine days, let’s check out the DAC Group Stages.

DAC Prize Pool

The prize pool for DAC was set at $500,000 USD, but with crowdfunding, this has risen to $564,261 USD, split as follows:

Place $ USD Percent Team
1st $225,704  40% TBD
2nd $84,639  15% TBD
3rd $67,711  12% TBD
4th $50,783  9% TBD
place 5 to 12
5th-6th $33,855  6% TBD
TBD
7th-8th $16,927  3% TBD
TBD
9th-12th $8,463  1.5% TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD

Courtesy of teamliquid.net/Dota_2_Asia_Championships

DAC Group Stage Format

The DAC Group Stages will take part March 27 – 29th and will consist of 12 teams split into two groups. The DAC Groups will have a Bo2 round-robin format with the top two teams from each group advancing to the winners bracket. The bottom four teams from each group will have to progress through the grueling losers bracket.

DAC Group A

Wings Gaming – Direct Invite

Wings DAC Group

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Shadow

Position 2 (Mid) – Blink

Position 3 (Offlane) – Faith_bian

Position 4 (Support) – y’

Position 5 (Support) – iceice

Wings currently have two things going for them. One, they are Chinese. Two, they won TI6. If not for these two things they would not have received an invite to DAC. Since November, they have only had two top three finishes.

In this event, Wings will be fighting to remain relevant. They are currently falling behind other Chinese teams, as shown in the Manila Masters Qualifier where they failed to qualify. Wings will be hoping to rediscover that spark that made them so threatening for a part of 2016.

Prediction – 4th in Group A

 

OG – Direct Invite

OG DAC Group

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Notail

Position 2 (Mid) – Ana

Position 3 (Offlane) – s4

Position 4 (Support) – JerAx

Position 5 (Support) – Fly

OG head into DAC with their eyes on capturing their fourth Major crown. After falling short in the last two major tournaments, OG hope to regain their impressive form.

OG have been matched up against newly formed VG.J, who beat them at StarLadder. OG will have their sights set on revenge. They are widely considered as one of the top three teams in the world. They didn’t make it to the top by accident. This iteration of OG is measured less by flashy plays, and more by death by starvation. Where other teams may falter, OG will hold fast and use their experience to grind out victories.

Prediction – 1st in Group A

Team VG.J – China Qualifier 

VG.J DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Agressif

Position 2 (Mid) – Freeze

Position 3 (Offlane) – rOtk

Position 4 (Support) – fy

Position 5 (Support) – Fenrir

VG.J had a point to prove going into StarLadder. Were they able to compete on an international stage? The answer, yes. VG.J looked dominant throughout the event but could not overcome the powerhouse that is Liquid.

VG.J are one of the hottest teams in China and hope to continue this into DAC. The one question that still remains is whether Liu “Freeze” Chang can make the transition for pub-star to top tier player. At points during StarLadder, Freeze was guilty of making some reckless plays which cost his team several maps. He will be looking to turn it around heading into DAC.

Prediction – 2nd in Group A

LGD.Forever Young – China Qualifier

LGD.FY DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Monet

Position 2 (Mid) – Super

Position 3 (Offlane) – Jixing

Position 4 (Support) – White

Position 5 (Support) – lpc

Let’s be honest here, LGD.FY are only at this tournament because there were four qualifier spots available for Chinese teams. Domestically, LGD.FY have looked uninspiring. Internationally, they have not been seen since the Boston Major.

LGD.FY will have to hope that they can catch a few teams unaware. Four teams in their group are going to have one eye on Kiev. This may be enough for LGD.FY to take a map. This is going to be a baptism of fire for the new look LGD.FY.

Prediction – 6th in Group A

Team Faceless – SEA Qualifier

Faceless DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Black^

Position 2 (Mid) – Jabz

Position 3 (Offlane) –iceiceice

Position 4 (Support) – xy-

Position 5 (Supprot) – NutZ

2017 has been the year of Faceless, at least in Southeast Asia. The SEA powerhouses have placed first in the last three domestic qualifier events. They also placed third at DotaPit, the only international event they have attended in 2017.

Faceless have shown they should be feared on the international stage, but they have a tough task ahead of them. With two of the best teams in the world in their group, this will be excellent practice for Faceless before Kiev. Faceless should expect to make it late in the tournament, but they will require a good losers bracket run.

Prediction – 3rd in Group A

Team Empire – CIS Qualifier

DAC Empire

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Chappie

Position 2 (Mid) – fn

Position 3 (Offlane) – Ghostik

Position 4 (Support) – Miposhka

Position 5 (Supprot) – KingR

Team Empire are another team that is not attending Kiev. With this in mind, they will be looking to make a major statement at DAC. Can they do it? Sure. Will they do it? Probably not.

Team Empire will be up against the best competition in the world, and at this point, they should not expect anything amazing. On the other hand, Empire possesses some decent pocket picks and have been known to pick Meepo should the chance arise. Empire will hope that they can give a good showing of themselves and not suffer too much throughout the event.

Prediction – 5th in Group A

DAC Group B

Newbee – Direct Invite

Newbee DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Uuu9

Position 2 (Mid) – Sccc

Position 3 (Offlane) – Kpii

Position 4 (Support) – Faith

Position 5 (Support) – Kaka

Newbee started the year as the Chinese team to fear, as they finished second at ESL One Genting. Since then, however, they have been missing from the competitive scene.

With just seven competitive games since January, Newbee is coming into DAC without much competitive experience. They are currently performing well domestically and will be hoping to regain the form of early 2017.

Prediction – 4th in Group B

Evil Geniuses – Direct Invite

DAC EG

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Arteezy

Position 2 (Mid) – SumaiL

Position 3 (Offlane) – UNiVeRsE

Position 4 (Support) – Zai

Position 5 (Support) – Cr1t-

EG are coming into this event with very little game time since their win at DotaPit in January. However, with a team full of superstars, a lack of games should not have that great of an impact. This will be the first time that the new-look EG have faced off against the new-look Team Liquid. In a clash for the title of best team in the world, EG hope that experience will carry them through.

What EG have that most other teams don’t is star power. They possess quality at each position. There is no weak link in the EG armor. They will be hoping that they can battle through a tough group and progress to the Winners Bracket.

Prediction – 1st in Group B

Invictus Gaming – Chinese Qualifier

IG DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – BurNing

Position 2 (Mid) – Op

Position 3 (Offlane) – Xxs

Position 4 (Support) – BoboKa

Position 5 (Support) – Q

Heading into DotaPit, many people were unsure of how IG would perform. They shocked many by finishing in the top four in a strong field. Since then they have qualified for the Kiev Major and the Manila Masters. IG are heading into DAC Group Stages with a lot of confidence. They hope to build a solid foundation for the upcoming Kiev Major. They are in the stronger of the two groups, so this will be a good test of their ability.

IG hope that veteran Xu “BurNing” Zhelei will be able to carry them to a decent group position. Unfortunately, being in a group with Newbee, EG and Team Liquid means that qualification into the Winners Bracket looks slim. The main worry for IG is the dreaded Losers’ Round One, in which all the games are best of one. Should IG prevail, they look to go late into the tournament.

Prediction – 3rd in Group B

iG Vitality

iG.V DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Paparazi

Position 2 (Mid) – Sakata

Position 3 (Offlane) – InJuly

Position 4 (Support) – Super

Position 5 (Support) – dogf1ghts

IG’s younger brother has not been able to find a similar form to that of their older sibling. Domestically they have been very hit and miss. Qualifying for one tournament, but missing out on the next. Their only recent international tournament was StarLadder, in which they finished a disappointing 7-8th. IG.V have not been helped by the fact they are in a strong group, with four teams all fighting for the top two spots. This will be the advantage that IG.V have. They are looking to fly in under the radar.

IG.V is a team that is built around strong team play, rather than overly flashy plays. They hope that they can use this this to their advantage and take a few maps off the stronger teams in the group. In a similar vein to IG, if they can make it out of the best of ones, they can look forward to a deep run in the tournament.

Prediction – 5th in Group B

Team Liquid – European Qualifier

Team Liquid DAC

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – MATUMBAMAN

Position 2 (Mid) – Miracle-

Position 3 (Offlane) – MinD_ContRoL

Position 4 (Support) – GH

Position 5 (Support) – KuroKy

Team Liquid in 2017 can be summed up in one word, “Dominant.” The new look Liquid have taken 2017 by storm, finishing first place in every event they have competed in, including qualifiers. At StarLadder, they swept aside everyone in their path to victory. They did not at any point look to be in any trouble. Liquid are currently 16 matches without a loss. They look set to continue this run as they are one of the favourites to win the event.

The addition of Maroun “GH” Merhej to the roster has propelled Liquid to the top of many people’s power rankings. This will, however, be Liquid’s first opportunity to test themselves against a top contender in EG. In what will likely be one of the best series of the group stages, the winner of EG and Liquid will likely take the top spot in Group B.

Prediction – 2nd in Group B

Team NP – Americas Qualifiers

DAC NP

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Aui_2000

Position 2 (Mid) – Eternal Envy

Position 3 (Offlane) – MSS

Position 4 (Support) – SVG

Position 5 (Support) – Rose aka 1437

Team NP are heading into this event in a slump. They had high hopes heading into the Kiev Major qualifiers. However, they failed to advance as they were knocked out by Team Onyx. In what could be the team’s last event together, they hope that they can regain their form and put in an impressive performance. It has been announced that veteran Theeban “Rose” Siva, will be handling the drafting during the tournament. This may be the change that reignites Team NP.

The failure of the Kiev Major qualifiers was a bitter pill to swallow, but NP will have their eyes firmly on the DAC crown. With crowd favourite Jacky “EternalEnVy” Mao, NP will have a strong backing in China. EE is famous for his enigmatic plays, and NP hope that he can carry them to victory, rather than destruction. The road for NP will be difficult, but a good performance at this event may keep the roster together.

Prediction – 6th in Group B

DAC Group Stages Final Thoughts

The DAC Group Stages are filled with strong teams. With nine teams preparing for the Kiev Major, the DAC Group Stages will give an indication of what we can expect to see at Kiev. Group B is surely the stronger of the two groups, and the winner will likely come from this group. The DAC Group Stages kick off March 27th, and fans should be excited for what is in store.

Who do you think is going to finish as first in each group? Let us know in the comments below.

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Top 10 Best Dota 2 Teams in the World

The Best of the Best – Top 10 Dota 2 Teams in the World

Within competitive Dota 2, there is always one question that is repeated over and over again. Who are the top 10 teams in the world? The fluidity of Dota means that a team can be the best for a tournament, but then struggle to replicate that success at the next event.

With the Kiev Major on the horizon, it seems like a perfect time to take a look at who the current top 10 Dota 2 teams in the world are. The criteria for this list is that they have to have an active five man roster. This list is not based solely on a team’s performances on LAN and will focus more on events since the 7.00 update.

Number 10 – VIRTUS PRO

VP Top 10

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Ramzes666

Position 2 (Mid) – No[o]ne

Position 3 (Offlane) – 9Pashaebashu

Position 4 (Support) – Lil

Position 5 (Support) – Solo

Rewind back to Boston and VP would have been in the top two best teams in the world. However, times have changed, and a new patch and several issues have hit the VP team hard. Having recently forfeited the DAC CIS Qualifiers due to connection issues, VP look to be struggling. All this aside, they still have an immensely talented roster that is capable of winning any tournament they enter.

VP are a true CIS team. Known for their ability to overwhelm teams through sheer aggression, they are able to control games from start to finish. They have also been pioneers of unorthodox strategies such as the position four Phantom Assassin or Weaver in the past. They also have arguably one of the best Carry players in the world. Roman “RAMZES666” Hushnarev may only be 17, but has been playing competitively since 2015. VP have built a team around him, which has allowed them to compete at the very top level.

Kiev will be make or break for VP. Failure to qualify will likely result in a team change. A good performance at the event may reinvigorate the side. VP can rise back to the upper echelons of competitive Dota. Whether they do or not is a separate discussion.

Number 9 – Team Secret

Image courtesy of teamsecret.gg

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – MP

Position 2 (Mid) – MidOne

Position 3 (Offlane) – Khezu

Position 4 (Support) – Puppey

Position 5 (Support) – pieliedie

Team Secret have been through a period of transition. After the EE blog was released, Team Secret looked to be dead in the water. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov had other ideas, however. He made the interesting decision to take some of the best talents from SEA in Pyo “MP” No-a and Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng. He also added promising offlaner Maurice “Khezu” Gutmann, formally of Escape Gaming (Now NiP), to the squad. Secret has all the pieces of a top tier squad. Getting them to fit together, however, is difficult. Secret has been showing promise in recent months but continuously fall short.

With his current team, Puppey has what he has always wanted, four players who will listen to him unconditionally. Secret has shown that they can pull off strong performances against the top sides, and this is why they have made the Top 10. In Johan “PieLieDie” Astrom, you have arguably the most selfless position five in the game. Referred to as DieDieDie by fans, Pie has no issues with sacrificing himself for the greater good. It is his selfless nature that allows Secret to run greedy line-ups that will see Puppey receive the same farm as Khezu.

Secret are currently setting up a solid foundation before making their main assault on the top teams of competitive Dota. With one spot available in the EU qualifiers for Kiev, this is a make or break time for Puppey and the rest of Team Secret.

Number 8 – Team Faceless

DAC Faceless

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Black^

Position 2 (Mid) – Jabz

Position 3 (Offlane) –iceiceice

Position 4 (Support) – xy-

Position 5 (Support) – NutZ

Faceless are the Kings of SEA. What does that get them? According to valve, not that much. Faceless missed out on an invite to Kiev in favor of teams from EU, NA, and China. SEA is a region that is struggling, having recently lost top talent to EU and NA based teams. Faceless, however, are the bastion of hope for SEA.

The team is currently dominating SEA, as shown by their recent results in the Mr. Cat Invitational. In the seven games they have played so far, they won six, 2-0, and tied one, 1-1. Faceless are a big fish in a small pond. The current issue Faceless are experiencing is translating their regional success to an international level.

Daryl Koh “Iceiceice” Pei Xiang has flourished as the team’s captain and has nurtured Jabz, xy-, and NutZ. Faceless have been shown to understand the meta very well, abusing the different pulls available on the Radiant side. This innovation makes Faceless a team to fear.

NUMBER 7 – VG.J

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Agressif

Position 2 (Mid) – Freeze

Position 3 (Offlane) – rOtk

Position 4 (Support) – fy

Position 5 (Support) – Fenrir

Team VG.J are the new kids on the block, but they have evidenced that they are one of the best teams in the world. A strong second place finish at StarLadder showed that the team has promise. Valve agreed as they were given a direct invite to Kiev.

Having three legends of Chinese Dota in rOtK, fy, and Fenrir in the squad means that they are instant fan favorites. Combine this with the solid play of Carry player Agressif, and the unpredictability on pub-star Mid player Freeze. That makes a strong roster. The main issue the team faces is the unpredictability of Freeze.

In a few games at StarLadder, Freeze made some questionable plays which often put VG.J on the back foot. StarLadder, however, was the team’s first international LAN event and was an excellent learning experience for the new squad. With DAC and Kiev coming up, VG.J have a chance to prove themselves as a top squad.

NUMBER 6 – Digital Chaos

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Resolution

Position 2 (Mid) – w33

Position 3 (Offlane) – MoonMeander

Position 4 (Support) – MiSeRy

Position 5 (Support) – Saksa

DC went from 100 to 0 real quick in 2017. Having had an amazing 2016 with a second place finish at TI6 and a top four finish at The Boston Major, things were looking good for DC. 2017 started in the best possible way as the team won ESL One Genting. Since then, however, things have been in a downward decline. Bottom two finishes at Dota Pit and StarLadder have left DC looking vulnerable. To top it off, they also failed to qualify for DAC.

The team got some excellent news when they were given a direct invite to Kiev, saving them from the difficult NA qualifiers. They hope that Kiev can reignite the fire under the team as they look to achieve a strong placing at the event.

Many consider Aliwi “w33” Omar one of the best Midlaners in the world, and with good reason. During their victory at ESL One Genting, he demonstrated immense skill, often dominating his lane. The rest of the team are solid, and the addition of David “MoonMeander” Tan following TI has added a flashy playmaker to the squad. DC will have to perform at Kiev or all that they have built in the past six months may be under threat.

NUMBER 5 – Wings Gaming

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Shadow

Position 2 (Mid) – Blink

Position 3 (Offlane) – Faith_bian

Position 4 (Support) – y’

Position 5 (Support) – iceice

Having won TI6, Wings were on top of the world. Nowadays, not so much. After a disappointing placing at Boston, Wings have struggled to reproduce the form of 2016. In both ESL One Genting and StarLadder, they have been knocked out by two Chinese teams, Newbee and VG.J respectively.

Often called the innovators of Dota, Wings are famed for the unpredictable drafts and their consistent playstyle. Recently, however, they seem to be unsure of the direction they are heading in. StarLadder was a perfect example, as they did not draft the same hero more than two times. They were eventually knocked out in the second round.

They still, however, make the top five best teams in the world based on what they can achieve. They have shown sparks of brilliance at both ESL and Dota Pit. In some respects, receiving consistent direct invites may be a curse rather than a blessing. The lack of play time has shown them to be rusty, and in some cases, behind the meta. Having only played two tournaments so far in 2017, Wings need to find their mojo again.

NUMBER 4 – Newbee

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Uuu9

Position 2 (Mid) – Sccc

Position 3 (Offlane) – Kpii

Position 4 (Support) – Faith

Position 5 (Support) – Kaka

Newbee are one of the best teams in China currently. It’s a toss up between them and VG.J. Newbee suffers from a similar problem to Wings, a lack of game time. The difference, however, is that when Newbee shows up at a tournament, they always stand a chance of winning.

Dota is a game of fine margins, and ESL One Genting evidenced this. An epic back and forth series that ended with them losing 2-3 in the Grand Finals, highlights how strong this team is. They could have very easily won the series, but seemed to run out of steam mentally. Having received a direct invite to Kiev, they will again not have to worry about the qualifiers. This means they may have some rust heading into the tournament.

Any side possessing arguably the best mid player in China Song “Sccc” Chun, should be a challenger in any tournament. Combine this with the solidity of the rest of the roster, Newbee are a team to be feared. DAC and Kiev will offer Newbee the chance to prove this to fans that may still have doubts.

NUMBER 3 – Team Liquid

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – MATUMBAMAN

Position 2 (Mid) – Miracle-

Position 3 (Offlane) – MinD_ContRoL

Position 4 (Support) – GH

Position 5 (Support) – KuroKy

If this list was being compiled after Kiev, Liquid would most likely be number one. The new and improved Liquid have set the scene. They have won both the LAN’s they have attended in dominating fashion. At the recent StarLadder LAN, they only dropped two maps the whole event. Liquid is showing dominance on a level that Secret 1.0 showed in 2015, before TI5.

Possessing three players with over 9k MMR shows that the team has potential. In addition, they have one of the two best captains in the world, Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi. Liquid has been able to live up to expectations in recent months, dominating every event they have attended.

For Liquid to take the next step, they need to achieve consistency and stay at the top for longer than two events. The best teams don’t just win one event, they consistently win or place well. Liquid look in form and hope to carry that momentum into DAC and Kiev.

NUMBER 2 – Evil Geniuses

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Arteezy

Position 2 (Mid) – SumaiL

Position 3 (Offlane) – UNiVeRsE

Position 4 (Support) – Zai

Position 5 (Support) – Cr1t-

Coming in at number two is Evil Geniuses. They miss out narrowly on the top spot, very narrowly. Since establishing their new roster, EG has not finished below fourth in any event they have participated in. On the new patch, EG has shown dominance, winning both events they have entered.

EG have managed to assemble a God-Squad like no other. Not only do they have some of the best players in the world, they are playing well together. They showed at Dota Pit that they are a force to be reckoned with. The only issue they have is a lack of tournament participation. After winning Dota Pit in January, EG have only played one competitive series, a show match against Complexity in March. That’s six weeks of no competitive Dota. This is the main reason they miss out on the top spot.

NUMBER 1 – OG

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Notail

Position 2 (Mid) – Ana

Position 3 (Offlane) – s4

Position 4 (Support) – JerAx

Position 5 (Support) – Fly

OG takes the top spot as the best team in the world. Choosing between OG and EG was tremendously difficult as there are strong arguments for both teams being number one.

OG take the top spot due to consistency. They have placed either first or second in six of the last seven tournaments they have attended. Having that level of consistency at the top level of Dota is amazing. There were questions surrounding the squad when it was formed. Many people believed that Gustav “s4” Magnusson would not be able to transition to offlane. In fact, he has been one of the stand-out performers on this squad. His partnership with Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka was a pivotal part of the win at Boston.

Tal “Fly” Aizik is the best Captain in the world, and he marshalls his team with a ruthless efficiency. Fly and the boys play with a killer instinct, waiting until the opposition makes a mistake and then pouncing on them. OG have shown that having the biggest names doesn’t make you the best team. Instead, they have focused on building a consistent squad that knows how to win.

Agree or Disagree with my rankings? Let us know in the comments below.

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DAC Logo

Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 Regional Qualifiers Preview

Most fans will remember Dota 2 Asian Championships 2015 (DAC) as the breakout event for superstar mid laner Syed “Sumail” Hassan. After taking a break throughout 2016, it was announced that DAC would be returning to our screens in March 2017.

The qualifiers for the event are scheduled from February 3rd-13th and are being split into four different regions (the China qualifiers have already been completed):

AmericasAmericas DAC (one qualification spot)

SEA DAC

SEA (one qualification spot)

EU DAC

Europe (one qualification spot)

CIS DACCIS (one qualification spot)

DAC Format

Teams will be split into two groups of four teams, playing a double elimination format with all games being best-of-three. The top two of each group will then advance to a double-elimination bracket with the winning team booking themselves a spot in the LAN finals in March/April.

Americas DAC Qualifiers

Eight of the best teams based in North and South America will take part in the online qualifiers for a spot at DAC. The teams will be fighting it out for one spot, and with such a stacked field the competition will be of the highest level.

Having finished second at TI, third/fourth at Boston, and first at ESL One Genting, many would have expected DC to be given a direct invite to the event. This was not the case however. They have instead been thrown to the wolves that is the Americas regional qualifiers. Joining DC fans can look forward to seeing the following teams:

Group A

  1. DC
  2. Wanted (PPD’s team)
  3. Complexity Gaming
  4. Team Freedom

Group B

  1. Team NP
  2. SG e-sports
  3. Infamous
  4. Team Onyx

What to expect

With the StarLadder qualifiers wrapping up, it’s straight from the frying pan and in to the fire for most of these teams. Of the eight teams competing, six of them competed in the StarLadder qualifiers. Team NP, DC, Complexity, Team Onyx, Infamous, and Team Freedom will be hoping that they build on the events of StarLadder.

Ones to watch

Heading into the qualifiers, Team NP and DC look like they will be competing for the top spot, as they have done for the majority of the StarLadder qualifiers. If you are looking for an underdog, both Team Onyx and WanteD have the ability to give the more established teams a run for their money.

With Abed finally joining up with Team Onyx, they hope to take advantage of the easy group and progress to the playoffs where they stand a good chance of qualifying. WanteD are an unknown quantity, but with a roster captained by PPD, good things can be expected. WanteD are unfortunately in a group with DC, Complexity, and Team Freedom so progression will be difficult. Fans will be hoping that PPD can prove he is still one of the most formidable drafters in the world and draft his team to victory.

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Prediction – Team NP

Dark Horse – Team Onyx

SEA DAC Qualifiers

The teams in SEA are beginning to rise in power. With TNC winning WESG and Faceless finishing third at Dota Pit, the future looks bright for the region. With five of the competing teams possessing the ability to finish in the top spot, there will be some stiff competition. The only sour note hanging over the qualifiers is that they are missing Fnatic who pulled out of the qualifiers due to team issues. Fnatic have been placed by Next Generation, who will be hoping to seize the opportunity.

Group A

  1. Team Faceless
  2. Signature.Trust
  3. WarriorsGaming.Unity
  4. Next Generation

Group B

  1. TNC Pro Team
  2. Rex Regum
  3. Mineski.GGNetwork
  4. Execration

What to expect

The recent StarLadder qualifiers saw TNC finish one point above Team Faceless. Having seen the top spot be decided by a point will give fans a taste of what to expect. Faceless will be hoping to avenge the disappointment of narrowly missing out in the StarLadder qualifiers.

Ones to watch

TNC have had a very good start to the year, winning WESG and also qualifying for StarLadder, so they will be coming into the qualifiers in form. Being one of the more consistent teams in the region, they will inevitably mount a strong challenge for the number one spot at DAC. Trying to stop them will be Team Faceless. Faceless have been hit or miss in their time together and fans are hoping they can continue their strong start to 2017.

On the flip side, Execration recently showed cracks in the StarLadder qualifiers, finishing a disappointing sixth out of eight possible places. Possessing some of the more talented players in the region, they should kick into gear for the DAC qualifiers and be a serious challenge.

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Prediction – Team Faceless

Dark Horse – Execration

European DAC Qualifiers

The teams competing in the European qualifiers all posses the ability to gain qualification, and challenge at the main event. This must be the most hotly contested qualifying groups in recent history. Teams in EU have a right to feel hard done by. These qualifiers will also be the first time that B)ears has played together.

Group A

  1. Ad Finem
  2. B)ears (FATA’s Team)
  3. Natus Vincere
  4. Team Secret

Group B

  1. Team Liquid
  2. Ninjas in Pyjamas (Formely January 25th)
  3. Alliance
  4. Cloud9

What to expect

Group A is the group of death. Any of the four teams that are in the group have the ability to qualify for the main event. This will be the first showing of FATA’s team B)ears who seem to be the weakest team in the group.

Group B contains the 35k God Squad, Team Liquid. Liquid secured a spot at StarLadder with a dominant qualifying run. Liquid hopes to dominate StarLadder and rise to prominence once again on the world stage.

Ones to watch

Any of the teams in this qualifier could easily qualify for the main event. Team Liquid look to be the favorites based on recent results, but the new Navi roster looks to be gelling well. Navi v Secret in round one of the groups is an ode to a team gone by, but may shape the rest of Group A.

Having been picked up by NiP, Synderen’s team hopes to take advantage of a slightly weaker group to make it into the playoffs and cause some trouble. It is just unfortunate that there is only one qualification spot available, as a handful of top tier teams will fail to qualify.

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Prediction – Team Liquid

Dark Horse – Ninjas in Pyjamas

CIS DAC Qualifiers

Virtus Pro will be celebrating DAC’s decision to host CIS based regional qualifiers. Containing only a handful of challenges, and several tier three teams, VP will be looking to take advantage. Standing in their way is Vega Squadron and Team Empire, who can both cause trouble.

Group A

  1. Virtus.Pro
  2. Effect
  3. Team Spirit
  4. LQ

Group B

  1. Vega Squadron
  2. Comanche
  3. Team Empire
  4. F.R.I.E.N.D.S

What to expect

If you are hard pressed for time, missing the CIS qualifiers might not be the worst idea. A region that has a huge difference between the top and bottom teams will often provide uninteresting games.

VP should capitalize in the qualifiers if they perform to their potential, something that is easier said than done.

Ones to watch

Virtus Pro are the favorites and should dominate the qualifiers. The main challenge will be from Vega and Empire. VP struggled at Dota Pit, so Vega and Empire may be able to capitalize on some of the cracks. However, VP should kick back into gear and steam roll the qualifiers.

Vega and Empire have unluckily been grouped together in Group B. Should both of them make it out, they will be hoping to cause an upset over strong favorites VP.

Image courtesy of teamliquid.net

Prediction – Virtus Pro

Dark Horse – Team Empire

Final Thoughts

Whilst the qualifiers are set to showcase some of the best Dota in the world, the lack of qualification spots may eventually limit the main event. Europe especially will be feeling the strain with eight of the best teams in the world competing for one qualification spot. For the teams that do not qualify, it will be a good opportunity for teams to prepare for the Kiev Qualifiers which are fast approaching.

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ESL One Genting

ESL One Genting 2017 Tournament Recap

For the last three days eight of the worlds best teams ascended to the dizzy heights of the Genting Highlands to wage war in the arena of Dota. Lets recap what has happened throughout the event and also look at what the event showed us about the 7.01 meta.

 

Day 1 Recap

Group A: Virtus Pro v Fnatic – Best of 1

The Draft

Fnatic

Mushi – Lifestealer

InYourDreams – Templar Assassin

Ohiayo – Slardar

Febby – Bounty Hunter

Yamateh – Lina

 

Fnatic v VP Recap

Image courtesy of Youtube.com

Virtus Pro (VP)

Ramzes – Juggernaut

No[o]ne – Outworld Devourer (OD)

9Pasha – Omnikinight

Lil – Earth Spirit

Solo – Rubick

 
Both teams came out with pretty standard drafts. Nothing that really set the tournament alight, but considering that this was a best of one its not a surprise.

Game Recap

The early game went well for both teams and was pretty passive, at 10 minutes it was 4-5 kills for VP and Fnatic respectively. VP had eked out a small 100 gold lead a following a string of failed ganks and rough team fights, but by 20 minutes the story looked slightly different. VP now had the lead in kills, 13-9, and were also ahead 5,000 gold in the net worth chart. At this point in the game the cores of VP had started to become a problem. With Juggernaut and OD sitting atop the networth chart, a good 1,000 gold ahead of Lifestealer, things were starting to slip away from Fnatic.

The next two minutes however would bring about the beginning of the end for the game. After taking Roshan and having Juggernaut with a completed Manta Style, VP realised it was time to capitalise. By 22 minutes VP had turn one tier two tower into a full lane of rax. From this point on the result was academic as VP continued to take objectives until Fnatic called “GG” after 26 minutes.

Result : – Virtus Pro victory.

With this result VP progressed to play either Newbee or Team NP for first the seed in Group A. Fnatic however dropped down to face the loser of that match in the first elimination match.

Group A: Newbee v Team NP – Best of 1

The Draft

 

Newbee

Uuu9 – Lifestealer

Sccc – Queen of Pain (QoP)

Kpii – Centaur Warruner

Kaka – Mirana

Faith – Shadow Demon (SD)

 

Newbee v NP Recap

Image courtesy of Youtube.com

Team NP

Aui_2000 – Luna

Eternal Envy – Windrager

MSS – Dark Seer

Rose – Spirit Breaker

SVG – Ogre Magi

 

NP seemed to have a draft advantage in this game with a good “wombo-combo” with Dark Seer Vacuum into Spirit Breaker Charge. Newbee however had good ways to disengage if NP initiated.

Game Recap

This game was not as close as the first game of the day, instead it was a show of dominance from Newbee. Within the first 10 minutes Newbee had taken the lead in kills, 8-3 and had amassed a 10,000 gold networth lead.

This game showcased how good Song “Sccc” Chun is capable of performing as a mid player. Playing one of his signature heroes in Queen of Pain (QoP), Sccc dominated the game finish with 14 kills, one death and nine assists. Sccc was able to remain active on the map whilst also maintaining a very high level of farm, which saw him reach his item timings very early on the game.

Eventually after 46 minutes NP accepted defeat and called “GG”. NP however had something to be happy about despite the lose. Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling was able to stay close enough to Newbee’s cores in networth even though the majority of the map was controlled by Newbee. This was a good sign for NP as their Carry player was beginning to perform well moving forward into the rest of the tournament.

Result : – Newbee Victory

With this victory Newbee set up a Group A winners final between Virtus Pro and Newbee. Team NP would fall to face a knockout match against Fnatic on day two.

Group B: Digital Chaos (DC) v Execration – Best of 1

The Draft

Digita Chaos

w33 – Meepo

Resolut1on – Luna

Moonmeander – Axe

Misery – Rubick

Saksa – Tusk

 

DC v XctN Recap

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 Exceration

Nando – Weaver

Gabbi – Timbersaw

Dj – Sand King

Owa – Slardar

Kimo – Shadow Demon

 

In their first game of the tournament DC immediately picked up the Aliwi “w33” Omar Meepo. Arguably the best Meepo in the world, fans watching the games were filled with excitement at what was to come.

Game Recap

Within the first 10 minutes of this game it looked as if Execration were more than up to the task of defeating the TI6 (The International) runners-up. Execration where able to take the advantage in kills in the first 15 minutes, taking the lead 12 – 5. Despite this lead in kills however, Execration were unable to prevent both Meepo and Luna from farming consistently for the first 15 minutes.

Unfortunately for Execration, following a couple of disastrous team-fights which saw them lose four heroes each time, by the 25 minute mark DC had taken the advantage with a 20,000 net worth lead. At this point the game was beyond the grips of Execration who chose to “GG” out following a great base fight by DC.

Result : – DC Victory

DC took the game to set up the winners final against Wings Gaming or WG.Unity. Execration would face the loser of the next match in a knockout game on day two.

Group B :- Wings Gaming v Warriorsgaming.Unity (WGU) – Best of 1

The Draft

Warriorsgaming.Unity

Ahjit – Morphling

Nana – Tiny

KanGaroo – Puck

Ahfu – Ogre

xNova – Skywrath Mage

WGU v Wings Recap

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 Wings Gaming

Shadow – Vengeful Spirit

Blink – Shadow Fiend

Faith_Bian – Slardar

Iceice – Pudge

y’ – Orace

Wings surprised people with the early Shadow Fiend pick (SF), while also by the end of the draft it was clear that the Vengeful Spirit was going to be playing in a core role. It seemed as if the innovative Wings Gaming had come in to the game with a strategy and rather than draft depending on what Warriorsgaming.Unity picked, they picked the heroes that they wanted to play.

Game Recap

Wings started the game by running an aggro-trilane top so that they could pressure the Morphling and stop him from pulling ahead. Unfortunately for Wings this did not quite work and instead limited the amount of farm that the carry Venge was able to get during the early game.

Within the first 10 minutes WG.Unity managed to amass a 2,000 networth lead over Wings. Having died three times within the first 10 minutes the decision to pick Venge in a carry role seemed to be the wrong one. The only saving grace was that Blinks SF had been dominating his lane and was atop the networth charts. This was until all five members of Wings were killed in a team-fight that would see WG.Unity lose no heroes and stretch their lead to 5,000 gold.

WG.Unity however had difficulty converting their large gold lead into taking objectives. Combine this with the fact that Wings were able to maintain control of the Roshan pit and claim the Aeiges of the Immortal consistently, WG.Unity looked like they were slowly losing hold of the game.

At the 36 minute mark WG.Unity had a 9,000 gold net worth advantage, however they had not been able to successfully push high ground. Finally Wings were able to punish WG.Unity multiple times, including in the deciding fight at the Roshan pit which would see WG.Unity call “GG”.

Result:- Wings Gaming Victory

This victory would set up the Group B winners final match between Digital Chaos and Wings Gaming

Group A Winners Match :- Virtus Pro v Newbee – Best of 3

Game 1

The Draft

 

Uuu9 – Drow Ranger

Sccc – Queen of Pain (QoP)

Kpii – Nyx Assassin

Kaka – Weaver

Faith – Witch Doctor

Newbee v VP Recap Game 1

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 Virtus Pro

Ramzes – Luna

No[o]ne – Juggernaut

9Pasha – Batrider

Lil – Pudge

Solo – Disruptor

 

Newbee made the decision to open with Drow and Weaver, something which VP has almost exclusively used in recent times. Going into the game it seemed as if Newbee had an advantage based on the draft.

Game Recap

Sccc was again given the opportunity to play Queen of Pain, one of the heroes he is best known for. His ability on the hero shone throw as we was able to maintain harass on the mid Jugernaught and eventually solo kill him in the first 4 minutes of the game.

Newbee showed the control that Chinese Dota teams are renowned for and were and grabbed control of the game and did not let go. It seemed as if VP were not expecting the support Weaver and also the Sccc QoP and they were heavily punished. After losing the decisive team fight at the 38 minute mark, VP realised they were too far behind and called “GG” to end game one.

Result:- Newbee Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 

 Newbee

Uuu9 – Ursa

Sccc – Outworld Devourer

Kpii – Sandking

Kaka – Pudge

Faith – Witch Doctor

Newbee v VP game 2 recap

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 Virtus Pro

Ramzes – Juggernaut

No[o]ne – Shadow Fiend

9Pasha – Underlord

Lil – Io

Solo – Disruptor

The first Underlord pick of the tournament made most fans excited. The panel were very surprised by the last pick Io and maybe Newbee were too.

Game Recap

The beginning of game two looked to be going in a similar way to game one as Newbee took an early lead of 3,000 gold at the 13 minute mark. Unfortunately for Newbee this was also the same time that Underlord would finish his Mekansm. With the Mekansm in hand VP were able to group as five and begin to push.

VP managed to gain control of the map and with a lineup containing heavy sustain and were able to end the game at the 22 minute mark with Newbee calling “GG”.

Result:- Virtus Pro Victory

Game 3

The Draft

 

Newbee

Uuu9 – Lifestealer

Sccc – Queen of Pain (QoP)

Kpii – Centaur Warruner

Kaka – Mirana

Faith – Shadow Demon (SD)

 

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Virtus Pro

Ramzes – Juggernaut

No[o]ne – Shadow Fiend

9Pasha – Slardar

Lil – Weaver

Solo – Abaddon

Having already played this lineup earlier in the day it seemed as if Newbee had the advantage going in to the deciding game of the series.

Game Recap

Game three of the series was unlike any game that had been seen on day one of ESL One Genting. The reason for this is that it was a show of complete dominance from Newbee.

Sccc on his signature QoP for the third time in the day, again proved why teams would have to potentially waste a ban on eliminating QoP from the game. Ending with 10 kills, 0 deaths and 12 assists Sccc completely tore apart VP.

VP looked a shadow of the team from game two as they let Newbee run away with the game. Eventually after 32 minutes VP finally admitted defeated and “GG” was called.

Result:- Newbee Victory

With the victory Newbee took top spot in Group A progressing directly through to the semi finals on day three. Virtus Pro would fall and face the winner of Fnatic v Team NP

Final Score: – Newbee 2 – Virtus Pro 1

Group B Winners Match :- Digital Chaos v Wings Gaming

Game 1

The Draft

 Wings Gaming

Shadow – Gyrocopter

Blink – Shadow Fiend

Faith_bian – Sand King

Iceice – Winter Wyvern

y’ – Rubick

 

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Viper

w33 – Meepo

Moonmeander – Dark Seer

Misery – Slardar

Saksa – Dazzle

This was an interesting draft for two reasons. The first was that DC picked the Meepo in the first phase, although they did ban out two of the possible Meepo counters in Ember Spirit and Sven they still left Winter Wyvern in the pool. Wings then responded by picking Shadow Fiend and Winter Wyvern along with a last pick Gyrocopter.

Overall it seemed that if executed correctly Wings had the stronger of the two drafts.

Game Recap

With Resolution going to the mid lane and Meepo going to the safe lane this was a switch up in roles for DC, which Wings took the opportunity to punish. Throughout the game Winter Wyvern was able to completely take Meepo out of the fight using his ultimate, Winters Curse, to lock down one of the Meepo’s leading to his eventual death.

With Meepo being shut down, it would fall to Viper to carry DC to victory. Unfortunately for DC this was not the case, Wings were able to limit the farm of Viper and with SF taking a lead in the early game things began to get out of control. After defending valiantly against the push from Wings, DC eventually succumbed to the pressure and called “GG” at the 47 minute mark.

Result:- Wings Gaming Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 Wings Gaming

Shadow – Terrorblade

Blink – Ursa

Faith_bian – Slardar

Iceice – Riki

y’ – Warlcok

 

 

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 Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Naga Siren

w33 – Mirana

Moonmeander – Legion Commander

Misery – Leshrac

Saksa – Vengeful Spirit

This draft was a flashback to a land of times gone by. Both teams would have been comfortable playing in 6.88 so it was interesting to see how it would play out in 7.01 with the changes to illusions.

Game Recap

DC was the happier of the two teams as they were able to pick up Naga Siren, a hero that Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok is well known for.

The early game was very back and forth with Wings taking an early lead but due to the farming speed of Naga they were not able to create as big a lead as they would have liked.

As with all Naga games the clock hit 30 minutes and it became a foregone conclusion. If not for some sloppy play and over committal from DC the game could have been over at the 40 minute mark. As it was, Wings were unable to punish DC and eventually surrendered to the Naga tidal wave at the 57 minute mark.

Result:- Digital Chaos Victory

Game 3

The Draft

 Wings Gaming

Shadow – Lone Druid

Blink – Juggernaut

Faith_bian – Beastmaster

Iceice – Crystal Maiden

y’ – Bounty Hunter

 

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 Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Wraith King

w33 – Ember Spirit

Moonmeander – Omniknight

Misery – Pudge

Saksa – Rubick


Moving in to the final game of the series, DC pulled out a draft that you would only normally see in low priority. Wings also went for something unpredictable by picking Lone Druid in the carry position.

Game Recap

With progression to the semi final and a favourable seed as reward for the winner of this game, both teams were conservative out of the gate.

In the early game Wings were able to get the lead in farm, with Chu “Shadow” Zeyu’s Lone Druid topping the networth chart. Shadow had opted to focus on the new Druid build that focused on getting farm on his hero rather than on his Spirit Bear. It seemed as if this was going to be a game that Wings were able to take the victory in.

DC however had different ideas, as they grouped up and made an aggressive smoke maneuver near the Dire Secret Shop at the 20 minute mark. This would prove to turn the tide of the game, as DC were able to secure four kills whilst Wings could only respond with one.

From that point on DC were able to maintain control and after another big teamfight Wings eventually admitted defeat and called “GG” at the 42 minute mark.

Result:- Digital Chaos Victory

With this win DC secured a place in bracket play on day three of the event. Wings gaming would face off against the winner of WG.Unity or Execration.

Final Score: – Digital Chaos 2 – Wings Gaming 1

Day 2 Recap

Day two of the tournament was the last day of group stages and the last chance the teams had to secure a place in bracket play.

Group A Knockout Match :- Fnatic v Team NP – Best of 3

Game 1

The Draft

 Fnatic

Mushi – Medusa

InYourDreams – Queen of Pain

Ohaiyo – Slardar

Febby – Kepper of the light

Yamateh – Disruptor

 

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 Team NP

Aui_2000 – Slark

EternalEnvy – Ember Spirit

MSS – Dark Seer

Rose – Spirit Breaker

SVG – Crystal Maiden

 

NP seemed to have an advantage when it came to the draft, and the last pick Slark seemed as if it could be potentially game winning for NP.

Game Recap

As had become the trend by this point in the tournament, the first 15 minutes of the game were relatively even, however after that point NP took control and never looked back. EE playing his signature Ember Spirit provided a wonderful showing of how to position yourself when playing Ember. EE ended the game with 10 kills, 0 deaths and 24 assists. Combine that with Aui_2000’s Slark who ended up with 14 kills, 0 deaths and 24 assists, this game was a pleasure to watch.

NP managed to maintain map control through and were able to suffocate the resources of Fnatic. Eventually after 39 minutes Fnatic called “GG” and ended game one of the three game knockout series.

Result:- Team NP Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 Team NP 

Aui_2000 – Ursa

Eternal Envy – Mirana

MSS – Beastmaster

Rose – Undying

SVG – Warlock

 

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 Fnatic

Mushi – Lifestealer

InYourDream – Tinker

Ohaiyo – Dark Seer

Febby – Riki

Yamateh – Disruptor

The last pick Tinker took many by surprise. This looked like it had the makings of an interesting game, with Fnatic facing elimination.

Game Recap

If game one was a show of dominance by NP, game two showed that they still have weaknesses.

Fnatic were able to maintain control of the early to mid game as NP struggled to contain both Lifestealer and Tinker. However even with a 14,000 gold networth lead Fnatic were unable to end the game.

Then the unthinkable happened.

Following a solo pick-off on the Tinker, NP were then able to kill the Tinker again in the next team-fight and also win the fight with minimal loses. From this point on it was NP who took the advantage and would eventually, after 74 minutes, force Fnatic into calling “GG”.

Result:- Team NP Victory

With this victory NP progressed to the Losers Final of Group A and would play against Virtus Pro. This was also the end of a disappointing tournament for Fnatic, who had only finalised their roster two days before the tournament, and it showed throughout the games they played.

Final Score: – Team NP 2 – Fnatic 0

Group B Knockout Match :- Execration v WarriorsGaming.Unity – Best of 3

Game 1

The Draft

 WarriorsGaming.Unity

Ahjit – Drow Ranger

Mirana – Nana

KanGaroo – Nyx Assassin

Ahfu – Slardar

xNova – Shadow Demon

 

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 Execration

Nando – Luna

Gabbi – Dragon Knight

Dj – Tidehunter

Owa – Sandking

KimO – Dazzle

It seemed as if XctN had the draft advantage going in to game one. They had managed to secure a very tanky lineup that seemed to counter what WG.Unity wanted to do with there lineup.

Game Recap

This game was settled in the draft, as WG.Unity did not have a great way to deal with the tanky lineup of XctN. In the first 15 minutes XctN began to pull out an early lead due to the good farm picked up by Luna as the early game progressed.

XctN were able to keep control of the game, however after losing a big team-fight it looked as if WG.Unity might have been shown a way back in to the game.

XctN decided that play time was over and took back control of the game, and the game ended at the 40 minute with a somewhat anti-climactic base race.

Result:- Execration Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 WarriorsGaming.Unity

Ahjit – Morphling

Nana – Juggernaut

KanGaroo – Timbersaw

ahfu – Earth Spirit

xNova – Disruptor

 

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 Execration

Nando – Puck

Gabbi – Naga Siren

Dj – Axe

Owa – Spirit Breaker

KimO – Winter Wyvern

The last pick Morphling gave WG.Unity the advantage going into game two.

Game Recap

The last pick of Morphling did indeed shape the game. XctN did not have an answer to Morphling and he was able to farm freely for the majority of the early game. XctN did try and put up a valiant fight however this game was all about the Morphlings ability to get kills and stay alive, whilst also maintaining an extremely high level of farm throughout the game.

XctN eventually conceded defeat and called “GG” after 26 minutes.

Result:- WarriorsGaming.Unity victory

Game 3

The Draft

 Execration

Nando – Mirana

Gabbi – Meepo

Dj – Batrider

Owa – Earth Spirit

Kim0 – Silencer

 

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WarriorsGaming.Unity

Ahjit – Juggernaut

Nana – Alchemist

KanGaroo – Underlord

ahfu – Nyx Assassin

xNova – Winter Wyvern

 

XctN surprised fans with the Silencer + Meepo opening picks. WG.Unity responded with the Winter Wyvern which was shown by Wings to be an effective Meepo counter.

Game Recap

WG.Unity picked the Winter Wyvern to counter the Meepo, but unfortunately for them Execration built the rest of their lineup around preventing this from happening.

Similar to the previous game, WG.Unity had no way to deal with the Meepo and he eventually farmed them out of the game. In addition to this the plays shown by Dj on the Offlane Batrider allowed XctN to maintain a firm grip on the game.

Eventually at the 47 minute mark WG.Unity accepted defeated and called “GG” ending their time at ESL One Genting.

Result:- Execration Victory

With this victory XctN would set up a rematch from their first group match with Wings Gaming. WG.Unity however were eliminated from the tournament, and although they did not perform well their were glimmers of hope for the SEA side.

Final Score: – Execration 2 – WarriorsGaming.Unity 1

Group A Decider Match :- Team NP v Virtus Pro

The Draft

Team NP

Aui_2000 – Luna

EternalEnvy – Mirana

MSS – Sand King

Rose – Spirit Breaker

SVG – Warlock

 

 

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Virtus Pro

Ramzes – Ursa

No[o]ne – Sniper

9pasha – Underlord

Lil – Disruptor

Solo – Ogre Magi

Team NP managed to secure a tried and tested lineup with Aui’s Luna starting to become one of his most feared heroes. VP was happy they managed to pick up the Underlord, a hero they have already had success with in the tournament.

Game Recap

The first 15 minutes of this game was very back and forth between the two teams. There were a lot of scrappy fights, resulting in one or two kills each time. That was until a team-fight broke out in the mid lane which NP were able to take advantage of. After killing three members of VP, they were able to take Roshan.

Despite trying to contain VP, eventually the power of the sniper became apparent, as he was able to sit in the back and continuously rack up kills and take objectives.

NP continued to fight valiantly, and nearly staged a comeback. VP however decided that the game needed to finish and managed to force NP into submission, resulting in a “GG” call from NP at the 55 minute mark.

Result :- Virtus Pro Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 Team NP

Aui_2000 – Slark

EternalEnvy – Ember Spirit

MSS – Dark Seer

Rose – Axe

SVG – Crystal Maiden

 

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Virtus Pro

Ramzes – Juggernaut

No[o]ne – Invoker

9pasha – Nyx Assassin

Lil – Slardar

Solo – Rubick

NP was happy with the draft as they had already played a very similar lineup in an earlier game. The difference this time is that VP decided to pick up Invoker who is one of the best counters to Ember Spirit.

Game Recap

This game was a showcase from VP on how to deal with an Ember Spirit. No[o]ne opted to go Quas/Wex Invoker to dispel Embers Flame Guard. Despite this disadvantage, NP managed to stay even with VP until the 14 minute mark.

Following a cataclismic fight on bottom lane, with NP losing five heroes, VP took control of the game.

Once VP had control of the game they did not surrender it. They managed to remain patient and controlled the map until NP called “GG” at the 33 minute mark.

Result :- Virtus Pro Victory

With this victory VP would advance to the semi finals to face Digital Chaos. NP were eliminated from the tournament finishing third in their group.

Final Score: – Virtus Pro 2 – Team NP 0

Group A Final Placing

  1. Newbee
  2. Virtus Pro
  3. Team NP
  4. Fnatic

Group B Decider Match :- Wings Gaming v Execration

Game 1

The Draft

 Execration 

Nando – Mirana

Gabbi – Invoker

Dj – Dark Seer

Owa – Spirit Breaker

Kim0 – Crystal Maiden

 

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Wings Gaming

Shadow – Juggernaut

Blink – Ember Spirit

Faith_bain – Magnus

Iceice – Underlord

y’ – Rubick

Having seen the success of Invoker against Ember Spirit, XctN decided to pick it up in this game.

Game Recap

This was a game of two halves. For the first 15 minutes, it was dominated by XctN, as they were able to pressure the Ember Spirit in the mid lane. Ember reached the 15 minute mark with five deaths and was behind on farm. Luckily for Wings, Juggernaut and Magnus were managing to stay close to XctN in terms of farm.

After the 15 minute mark however the game turned around. Suddenly it was Wings winning all of the team fights and getting all the objectives around the map. Eventually, the pressure from Wings became too much for XctN to handle and they called “GG” at the 34 minute mark.

Result :- Wings Gaming Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 Execration

Nando – Luna

Gabbi – Rubick

Dj – Slardar

Owa – Earth Spirit

Kim0 – Shadow Demon

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 

Wings Gaming

Shadow – Lifestealer

Blink – Shadow Fiend

Fait_bian – Centaur Warruner

Iceice – Earthshaker

y’ – Vengeful Spirit

A mid Rubick ?!?!? It seemed as if Wings had the draft advantage going into game two.

Game Recap

If game one was close, this game was the opposite. The early game was very passive, seeing only one kill in the first 10 minutes. Both teams stuck to farming and generally avoiding each other. Based on this, Gabbi made the decision to buy a Hand of Midas and get the Level 10 Talent that gives him 60 Gold per minute. The casters, especially Purge, seemed unhappy with this decision, as it would slow down his item timings.

The decision was proven to be an incorrect one, as XctN began to struggle against the line up of Wings once they decided to start pushing as a team. Following the consumption of nearly all the farm on the map, Wings began to push high-ground.

Wings were able to push XctN’s base with minimal loses, and eventually XctN admitted defeat and called “GG” after 42 minutes.

Result :- Wings Gaming Victory

Having secured the series Wings set up an all Chinese semi finals, as they faced off against Newbee. XctN were eliminated from the tournament finishing third in their group.

Final Score: – Wings Gaming 2 – Execration 0

Group B Final Placing

  1. Digital Chaos
  2. Wings Gaming
  3. Execration
  4. WarriorsGaminug.Unity

Day 3 Recap

Semi Final 1 : Digital Chaos v Virtus Pro – Best of 3

Game 1

The Draft

Virtus Pro

Ramzes – Luna

No[o]ne – Tiny

9pasha – Underlord

Lil – Chen

Solo – Witch Doctor

 

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Juggernaut

w33 – Queen of Pain

Moonmeander – Sand King

Misery – Leshrac

Saksa – Shadow Demon

Interesting drafts from both sides heading into game one.

Game Recap

Game one of the series was very back and forth, with both teams surrendering leads.

In the early game, DC started strong, leading over VP at the ten minute mark. VP however were not frightened by the lead of DC, as they decided to take and win a big team-fight on the top lane, which gave them the advantage.

VP kept control of the map until the 20 minute mark, when DC took and won another team-fight with VP. From this moment on the game was pretty much in DC’s hands as they were able to push objectives consistently whilst also limiting the ability of VP to do the same.

Eventually, after 40 minutes, VP admitted defeat and called “GG” ending game one.

Result :- Digital Chaos Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 

 Virtus Pro

Ramzes – Juggernaut

No[o]ne – Ember Spirit

9pasha – Underlord

Lil – Earth Spirit

Solo – Lion

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 

 

 Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Chaos Knight

w33 – Invoker

Moonmeander – Sand King

Misery – Mirana

Saksa – Shadow Demon

DC decided to pick the Invoker to counter out Ember Spirit which had seen mixed results in the tournament.

Game Recap

The early game of game two was very similar to that of game one, with both teams vying for map control. However, at around the 15 minute mark, DC was able to engage VP in a team-fight and come away with the advantage.

VP managed to stage a comeback, mainly due to Ramzes` Juggernaut farming very well and staying atop the networth charts.

Fast forward to the 27 minute mark and DC were again able to take a big team-fight victory, and began to push VP back inside their base. DC continued to hold the lead for the next ten minutes until VP made one last desperation play and jumped in on DC at the 38 minute mark.

DC however would come out on top, completely wiping VP, resulting in a “GG” call by VP at the 38 minute mark.

Result :- Digital Chaos Victory

With this win DC would move to the final to play the winner of Newbee v Wings Gaming. VP would be sent home with the top four finish.

Final Score: – Digital Chaos 2 – Virtus Pro 0

Semi Final 1 : Newbee v Wings Gaming – Best of 3

Game 1

The Draft

 

Newbee

Uuu9 – Lifestealer

Sccc – Templar Assassin

Kpii – Slardar

Kaka – Winter Wyvern

Faith – Ogre Magi

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Wings Gaming

Shadow – Drow Ranger

Blink – Dragon Knight

Faith_bian – Mirana

Iceice – Rubick

y’ – Oracle

Newbee had a very solid draft heading into game one.

Game Recap

This game was much like many of the others that Newbee had played throughout the tournament, in that they gained control from minute one and did not let go until the end.

The first 15 minutes of this game were very calm, with Newbee puling ahead and Wings having little to no answer for the power of the Newbee draft. At the 18 minute mark, the fate of the game was sealed, as Newbee won a team-fight, taking down all of Wings whilst not losing any heroes.

Wings held on for another 10 minutes, but eventually admitted defeat and “GG” was called at 29 minutes.

Result :- Newbee Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 Newbee 

Uuu9 – Drow Ranger

Sccc – Templar Assassin

Kpii – Clockwerk

Kaka – Weaver

Faith – Ogre Magi

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Wings Gaming

Shadow – Morphling

Blink – Necrophos

Faith_bian – Centaur Warruner

Iceice – Mirana

y’ – Witch Doctor

Wings surprised many with the Necrophos pick up. Would it prove to be a game changer?

Game Recap

Game two was a very different game from the first of the series, and showed a side of Newbee that had not been seen yet, that they were not all-powerful.

Newbee managed to get out to an early lead, and by the 20 minute mark they had amassed a 15,000 gold lead in the networth charts. Unfortunately for Newbee, no matter how many fights they won, they were unable to kill the Necrophos played by Blink.

As a result, Wings started to come back, and in a game where they were behind for 45 minutes, they eventually managed to overwhelm Newbee and the “GG” was called at 46 minutes.

Result :- Wings Gaming Victory

Game 3

The Draft

 

 Newbee

Uuu9 – Drow Ranger

Sccc – Medusa

Kpii – Clockwerk

Kaka – Rubick

Faith – Ogre Magi

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Wings Gaming

Shadow – Vengeful Spirit

Blink – Shadow Fiend

Faith_bian – Broodmother

Iceice – Earthshaker

y’ – Dazzle

With eyes on the final, Wings surprised everyone with a last pick Broodmother.

Game Recap

With a spot in the final on the line, both teams started out cautious and were even in farm until the 20 minute mark. Wings gaming grouped up early and began to take objectives, eventually amassing a 17,000 gold lead after 35 minutes.

Wings would have thought that they would be able to overpower Newbee. However, as a team known for their high-ground defense, Newbee was able to rebuff the push of Wings on multiple occasions. They were also able to win back to back team-fights, and eventually remove Wings’ gold lead.

Newbee began to stretch out a lead of their own, as Medusa began to take over the game. By 55 minutes, Newbee had turned the tables and were now 15,000 gold ahead of Wings. This lead was still not enough for them to finish the game, as Wings made use of the Broodmother to constantly split push, which was a problem for Newbee.

Newbee however remained calm and in control. Eventually after winning a team-fight, they were able to take the victory, with Wings admitted defeat and calling “GG” at the hour mark.

Result :- Newbee Victory

Newbee took the game and the series to set up a much anticipated clash with Digital Chaos. Wings would end up finishing in the top four along with Virtus Pro.

Final Score: – Newbee 2 – Wings Gaming 1

Grand Final : Digital Chaos v Newbee – Best of 5

Game 1

The Draft

 Newbee

Uuu9 – Lifestealer

Sccc – Outworld Devourer

Kpii – Slardar

Kaka – Sand King

Faith – Disruptor

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Juggernaut

w33 – Shadow Fiend

Moonmeander – Legion Commander

Misery – Pudge

Saksa – Rubick

The OD pick seemed like it might cause DC some problems in team-fights.

Game Recap

This was a game that again showed the power of Newbee and their ability to control a game. The OD pick did turn out to be a problem for DC in team-fights.

Every time that Legion jumped in and Dueled an opponent, OD would be there with his Astral Imprisonment to disrupt the Duel. As a result, Legion was not able to amass many Duel wins, and ended the game with only 24 bonus damage, compared to OD and Lifestealer both ending with 28 bonus damage.

Sccc’s OD proved to be the major difference in this game, as he finished with 14 kills, 0 deaths and 8 assists. Newbee was able to control the game, and eventually, after a string of lost team-fights, DC admitted defeat and called “GG” at the 37 minute mark.

Result :- Newbee Victory

Game 2

The Draft

 Newbee 

Uuu9 – Morphling

Sccc – Ember Spirit

Kpii – Dark Seer

Kaka – Slardar

Faith – Witch Doctor

Image of youtube.com

 Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Naga Siren

w33 – Ursa

Moonmeander – Legion Commander

Misery – Keeper of the Light

Saksa – Rubick

Newbee allowed DC to pick up the Naga Siren, did they have an answer for the hero?

Game Recap

Game two can be separated into two halves, before Naga got Radiance and after Naga got Radiance. Unfortunately for Newbee, both of which were dominated by DC.

The early game started with a string of failed ganks on Ursa in the mid lane. Newbee attempted to pressure w33’s Ursa, however, he was able to turn around the ganks and take two heroes with him to the grave. During this time, Naga was farming freely and heading towards a good Radiance timing.

Naga picked up her Radiance at 14 minutes, and from then on the game was just a matter of how long Newbee could hold on. The answer to that question was 53 minutes.

Newbee valiantly attempted to hold their high-ground, however DC were patient and forced all the lanes in at the same time, using Naga illusions. Eventually it was too much for Newbee, and they called “GG” at 53 minutes.

Result :- Digital Chaos Victory

Game 3

The Draft

Newbee

Uuu9 – Luna

Sccc – Shadow Fiend

Kpii – Underlord

Kaka – Sand King

Faith – Witch Doctor

Image courtesy of youtube.com

 Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Juggernaut

w33 – Outworld Devourer

Moonmeander – Dark Seer

Misery – Slardar

Saksa – Rubick

Seeing the success of the OD earlier in the series, DC decided to pick it up for themselves.

Game Recap

Game three followed the same equation as game one, Newbee got the lead and kept it. The OD pick from DC did not provide the same success for them and seemed to be out of place in their draft.

DC spent much of the early game forcing Kpii’s Underlord out of the lane and into the Jungle. This however was not enough, and Underlord instead spent the majority of the early game roaming and setting up kills on the mid OD.

Sccc managed to control the game, playing his signature Shadow Fiend. After claiming the Aegis, Newbee made the decision to group together and push for objectives. This decision payed off, as DC were eventually forced to tap out at the 29 minute mark with a “GG” call.

This win put Newbee up 2-1 in the series. DC needed to win the next game to stay alive in the finals.

Result :- Newbee Victory

Game 4

The Draft

Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Slark

w33 – Leshrac

Moonmeander – Sand King

Misery – Bounty Hunter

Saksa – Shadow Demon

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Newbee

Uuu9 – Luna

Sccc – Dragon Knight

Kpii – Underlord

Kaka – Io

Faith – Witch Doctor

DC came out with a surprise mid Leshrac, something that had not been seen in a long time. Would this surprise be enough to keep them in the tournament?

Game Recap

Having lost game three by a pretty big margin, most people expected DC to be on the ropes. Instead, they came out fighting. W33 spent the first couple of minutes using his taunt at the rune spots.

Newbee had made the decision to go for a high mobility lineup, but DC were not going to play into Newbee’s hands. In fact, it was the opposite. DC was able to push into the lineup of Newbee. During this time, DC was able to create the space for Resolut1on to be able to farm freely on his Slark, and by the 20 minute mark he had a fully completed Silver Edge.

Slark would prove to be the game winner, as he became too powerful for Newbee to kill, and would eventually finish the game with 9 kills, 0 deaths and 2 assists.

After 29 minutes of dominance from DC and realizing that they were too far behind, Newbee called “GG” and set up a deciding game five.

Result :- Digital Chaos Victory

Game 5

The Draft

 

 Digital Chaos

Resolut1on – Lifestealer

w33 – Queen of Pain

Moonmeander – Centaur Warruner

Misery – Mirana

Saksa – Shadow Demon

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Newbee

Uuu9 – Luna

Sccc – Templar Assassin

Kpii – Sand King

Kaka – Orge Magi

Faith – Witch Doctor

After three days of intense competition, it came down to one game for all the marbles. $100,000 was on the line, who would come out victorious?

Game Recap

With the crowd behind them, DC got out to an early lead in the deciding game five. Newbee attempted to take fights, but DC kept getting the better of them, and at this point the wheels began to fall off the Newbee train.

Image courtesy of github.com

With the crowd willing them on, DC moved from fight to fight, objective to objective, carried by some higher power. Icefrog was smiling down on DC from his high tower.

Resolut1on again dominated the game, this time playing Lifestealer, ending the game with 14 kills, 0 deaths, 8 assists.

Newbee began to crumble under the pressure of DC, and the end seemed to be near. Eventually, after one too many failed team-fights, Newbee finally admitted defeat at the 31 minute mark.

Result :- Digital Chaos Victory

Final Score: – Digital Chaos 3 – Newbee 2 

Digital Chaos Wins ESL One Genting 2017

With that final match, DC took the tournament and the Cinderella story was complete. After finishing second at The International and top four at the Boston Major, many people were left wondering if DC had what it took to win a LAN tournament.

At ESL One, DC proved the doubters wrong and showed the dominance required to win the event and start strong in 2017.

Final Positions:

1st – Digital Chaos

2nd – Newbee

3rd / 4th – Virtus Pro + Wings Gaming

5th / 6th – Team NP + Execration

7th / 8th – Fnatic + WarriorsGaming.Unity

Final Thoughts

ESL One showcased some of the best teams in the world, and on the new patch the games were nothing short of amazing. In a tournament missing both Evil Genuises and OG, Digital Chaos was able to seize the opportunity and get their first ever LAN win.

DC proved that moving forward into the rest of the year, they are the team to fear, and with Dota Pit just two weeks away, the world class Dota is coming in fast.

For full highlights of all the games at ESL One Genting, visit Dota Digest

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Joe!

ESL One Genting

ESL One Genting 2017 Dota 2 Preview

In just a couple of days. the 2017 Dota 2 season kicks off with ESL One Genting. The tournament will take place from January 6-8th and is hosted at the prestigious Arena of Stars. For the eight teams competing in the tournament, they will be hoping that they can take home the first tournament of the year.

ESL One Genting Format

The tournament will be played in two stages. The first will be a group stage consisting of two groups, each with four teams. They will play each other in a double elimination format until two teams are left from each group who will proceed to bracket play. As with all ESL Dota 2 tournaments, bracket play will be single elimination. Meaning anything can and will happen. As a fan of the unpredictability that single elimination bracket play brings to competitive Dota, I am excited to see what the teams have in store for us over the weekend.

ESL One Genting Prize Pool

ESL One Genting boasts a $250,000 prize pool, which is a large amount considering it is possible to win the tournament only playing four series. The prize pool is broken down as follows:

  • 1st Place – $100,000
  • 2nd Place – $50,000
  • 3rd Place – $25,000
  • 4th Place – $25,000
  • 5th – 8th Place – $12,500

ESL One Genting Teams

Eight of the top teams will arrive in Malaysia, all with aspirations of winning ESL One Genting. The winners of the last ESL One event, OG, are not attending the event so a new champion will be crowned over the weekend. Lets take a look at who is fighting it out to be ESL One Genting 2017 champions.

Group A

Virtus Pro (VP)

 

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Ramzes666

Position 2 (Mid) – No[o]ne

Position 3 (Offlane) – 9Pashaebashu

Position 4 (Support) – Solo

Position 5 (Support) – Lil

Heading into the Boston Major, VP was touted by many, including myself, as firm favorites to win the event. Unfortunately for VP this was not the case, Evil Geniuses (EG) defeated them, resulting in a 5-8th finish.

With ESL One Genting just round the corner, VP will be desperate to avenge their failure at the Major with a dominant display over the weekend.

Prediction:- 1st in Group A

VP are famed for playing a chaotic style, combine this with their niche picks (Phantom Assassin / Weaver supports) and a single elimination tournament, I foresee VP performing very well and taking home first place in their group.

Fnatic

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – InYourDream

Position 2 (Mid) – Mushi

Position 3 (Offlane) – Ohaiyo

Position 4 (Support) – Febby

Position 5 (Support) – Yamateh

Following disappointment at the Boston Major, Fnatic made the decision to drop three players from their roster. Leaving Mushi and Ohaiyo to look for three players in time for ESL One Genting, but they managed to pull it off. Fnatic announced their new roster on January 4th, a mere 36 hours before their first group stage game against heavy favorites VP.

Fnatic will be hoping that they do not regret leaving it to last minute to finalize their roster for the event. Instead they will be hoping to benefit from taking the time to select the correct players for each role.

Prediction:- 4th in Group A

Unfortunately, I think that Fnatic have decided on a roster too late. The team will not have had a chance to play together very much, and at this level of Dota, skill is not enough to win a series, let alone a whole tournament. ESL One Genting has come too soon for this Fnatic roster, and I expect that they will be hoping to use this tournament as a chance to bond as a team.

Newbee

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Uuu9

Position 2 (Mid) – Sccc

Position 3 (Offlane) – Kpii

Position 4 (Support) – Faith

Position 5 (Support) – Kaka

Newbee is currently one of the two best teams in China, the other being Wings Gaming, and will be hoping to assert their dominance on the international stage at ESL One Genting. Following a very disappointing 9 – 16th finish at the Boston Major, they bounced back in the recent Dota 2 Professional League Season 2 to finish first in the all Chinese league. They will be hoping that they can start 2017 with a bang.

Prediction:- 2nd in Group A

Combine the brilliance of Mid lane player Song “Sccc” Chung with the reliability of the rest of the team, Newbee are one of the favorites to take the tournament. Although I have predicted them to finish second in the group, it would not be a surprise if they nabbed the top spot from VP.

Team NP

 

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Aui_2000

Position 2 (Mid) – Eternal Envy

Position 3 (Offlane) – MSS

Position 4 (Support) – SVG

Position 5 (Support) – Rose aka 1437

Fan favorites NP boast an International winner, in Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling. Aui, along with Shangai Major winner Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao, will be hoping to lead NP to the ESL One Genting crown. Having formed in September 2016, NP will be hoping to build on recent performances and get the teams maiden first place finish at ESL One Genting.

Known for his insane plays and almost reckless abandon, EE will be hoping that the solidity of the four other players on the team will propel them to glory. Team NP are on the cusp of the elite Dota 2 teams, and they will be hoping that 2017 is the year they join the elite teams.

Predictions:- 3rd in Group A

Unfortunately for Team NP they are in the harder of the two groups and up against the likes of Newbee and VP. I believe that they will finish third in their group. If NP can start hot and catch other teams in their group by surprise, I think that they may have a chance at making it to bracket play. As heavy fan favorites, the Dota 2 community will be willing NP to greatness. Whether they can achieve it or not, is a different question.

Group A Predictions Recap

  1. Virtus Pro
  2. Newbee
  3. NP
  4. Fnatic

Group B

Digital Chaos (DC)

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Resolution

Position 2 (Mid) – w33

Position 3 (Offlane) – MoonMeander

Position 4 (Support) – MiSeRy

Position 5 (Support) – Saksa

DC recently finished second place at The International 6 (TI6), a few days later and to the surprise of many they made a roster change. They dropped fan favorite David “Moo” Hull and replaced him with David “MoonMeander” Tan. After a good showing at the Boston Major, finishing 3rd/4th, DC will be hoping that they can start the year with a victory at ESL One Genting.

In many people’s eyes DC have a roster with the ability to take the Dota 2 scene by storm, although they have yet to realize this potential. Will ESL One Genting be the start of a great 2017, or another bump in the road to greatness?

Prediction:- 1st in Group B

Being placed in the same group as the TI6 champions could be both a blessing and a curse. DC will be looking to avenge the defeat they suffered in the finals of TI6, and I fully believe that they will be able to at ESL One Genting. I expect them to finish top of their group, although they will be fighting it out with TI6 champions Wings Gaming.

Execration (XctN)

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Nando

Position 2 (Mid) – Gabbi

Position 3 (Offlane) – Dj

Position 4 (Support) – Owa

Position 5 (Support) – Kimo

2016 was a massive year for XctN. They have shown themselves to be one of the best teams in the South East Asian (SEA) region. However, 2017 started with uncertainty, XctN lost two players and were left searching for replacements. With the addition of Fernando “Nando” Mendoza and Joshua “Owa” Dela Serna, they will be hoping that they can continue to improve in 2017.

XctN will be hoping that their Mid player Khim “Gabbi” Villafuerte can make the same stylish plays in 2017 that he made in 2016 (Click here to see Gabbi’s amazing Puck play at MPGL in September).

Prediction:- 3rd in Group B

The difficulty with an eight team tournament is that you are inevitably going to face extremely tough opposition in the group stages. Unfortunately for XctN, this is the predicament that they find themselves in. Being grouped with the first and second place teams from TI6, Wings and DC respectively, means that their chances of making it out of group B are slim. I do, however, hope that they can prove me wrong as they are an exciting team to watch.

Wings Gaming

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Shadow

Position 2 (Mid) – Blink

Position 3 (Offlane) – Faith_bian

Position 4 (Support) – y’

Position 5 (Support) – iceice

2016 was a rollercoster year for Wings, which saw them achieve six first place finishes. This includes taking home the Aegis of Champions at TI6, and also winning ESL One Manilla in April. Many expected them to challenge for the crown at the Boston Major, however this was not the case. They achieved a disappointing 9 – 16th placing, followed by another disappointing finish at China Top 2016.

With the groundbreaking 7.00 patch still relatively new, Wings will be hoping that they can use their highly unpredictable play style to achieve a good placing at ESL One Genting.

Prediction – 2nd in Group B

Expect Wings to make it through their group relatively easily. In my opinion, it is a straight fight between Wings and DC for top spot in Group B. Wings have the skill and team play to win the entire tournament, however their most recent performances have been lackluster to say the least. I expect Wings to finish 2nd in the Group, but they may prove me and many others wrong.

WarriorsGaming.Unity (WG)

Image courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/dota2

Roster:

Position 1 (Carry) – Ahjit

Position 2 (Mid) – NaNa

Position 3 (Offlane) – KaNG

Position 4 (Support) – Ahfu

Position 5 (Support) – Wenn

WG are one of the best teams in SEA, and at the Boston Major they shocked many people by battling to a respectable 5 – 8th placing. WG are somewhat an unknown entity in the international Dota 2 scene. Apart from their performance at the Boston Major, they have mainly played in SEA based tournaments where they have seen great success.

Prediction – 4th in Group B

WG are going to suffer the same issues as I mentioned in relation to XctN. Their group has two of the best teams in the world, who have the potential to win the entire tournament. I expect WG to be fighting it out with XctN for the bottom two places in the group. There is always the chance that WG could potentially catch DC or Wings off guard, but I find this highly unlikely.

Group B Predictions Recap

  1. Digital Chaos
  2. Wings Gaming
  3. Execration
  4. WarriorsGaming.Unity

ESL One Genting Final Thoughts

7.00 has reinvigorated Dota, and I am excited to see some of the best teams in the world play on the new patch. With the ability of teams like Virtus Pro and Wings Gaming to make almost all the heroes work in some way, I expect to see a weekend of world class Dota

In terms of my overall event predictions, I think that Virtus Pro will take the whole event, with Digital Chaos finishing second.

1st Place – Virtus Pro

2nd Place – Digital Chaos

3rd / 4th Place – Newbee / Wings Gaming

5th / 6th Place – Team NP / Execration

7th / 8th Place – Fnatic / WarriorsGaming.Unity

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