An epic showdown between two of the Eastern favorites here at the Dota 2 Asia Championships proved to be a treat to the viewers. The series went the distance, giving us a full three games. In the end, the South East Asian titans Mineski manages to secure a 2-1 victory over the Chinese giants Vici Gaming!
Game one was pretty much the Mushi show on the Gyrocopter. Mushi was farming extremely well throughout the game, being the highest networth since the twelth minute. Playing heavily around Mushi, Mineski managed to constantly increase their lead. Knowing that a fight around Ori’s Exorsism was the only way back for Vici, Mineski played extremely well against it, always focusing her down before moving on to heroes. Finally, Mushi's Gyrocopter proved to be too much for Vici Gaming to handle, calling the GG 54 minutes into the game. A great game for the SEA veteran as he ended the game 13-3-17 with 36.8k gold in networth.
Not wanting to allow the momentum of Mineski to continue into game two, VG focused their attention heavily onto securing their teamfight this time round. Vici Gaming’s team movements in the second game was impeccable as they picked off iceiceice (the highest networth of EG at that point in time) repeatedly through the use of Papparazi’s Chronospheres.
Despite that, Mineski's dual core (Mushi once again on Gyrocopter and Moon on Templar Assassin) managed to stay on top of the networth chart through efficient farming.
Just as the game seems like it was starting to go into Mineski's favor, with a pick up of a Rapier, a timely smoke play by VG at the 59-minute mark caught the SEA team by surprise and turned everything around. VG secured three huge kills with no buybacks while only losing their Puck who instantly bought back. VG marched high ground instantly and took two sets of rax in quick succession. It was pretty much downhill for Mineski from here on as Papparazi's Faceless Void made it impossible for Mineski to comeback into the game.
The best-of-three series was now down to a best-of-one! Winner moves on to the UB finals and loser drops down to LB Round 2. Knowing how important this game was, both teams were determined and going out all to secure the victory.
Vici Gaming decided to put on the pressure right from the start by going for an aggressive tri-lane, leaving eLeVeN in a 1vs1 match up with his classic Omniknight against Iceiceice's Tidehunter. Mineski decided to pickup Mushi’s signature Outworld Devourer for this game. With favorable lanes coupled with the good rotations from the supports, Mineski managed to secure an early lead (6k at 25 mins).
Thereafter, it was almost flawless plays from Mineski, making close to no mistakes. They kept putting on the pressure, secured Aegis on Moon's Death Prophet and just snowball their lead out of control. The game ended at the 47th minute with Mushi destroying the entirety of the Vici Gaming lineup with one Sanity’s eclipse.
Meanwhile, in the lower brackets, our other SEA team: TNC Predators were taking on the last NA hope, Optic Gaming. Both teams needed a win here to keep their hopes at DAC alive. PPD, especially after his bold claim, needed to put out a good performance to avoid being the laughing stock of /r/dota2.
TNC went into the game with their usual gusto – quickly finding kills in the early game and racking up a good lead with kills and towers. With Armel on his favored Timbersaw taking the mid lane the SEA squad quickly dispatched a tier 2 in the top and mid lane and found good control of the map. But OpTic managed to slow the game down a bit, and turtled it out into the late game, a stage where TNC have constantly shown that they’re vulnerable at. Pajkatt, after a bad start on his Lone Druid managed to redeem himself after a massive play that kept his team in the game as he ratted out the Top Barracks while TNC fought in Optic’s base.
As the game continued OpTic continued to utilize Pajkatt to split push and it was working in their favor for the most part, but TNC were not ready to give up just yet – claiming mega creeps by 45 minutes. A few minutes later it was over for OpTic as their throne fell.
Evil Geniuses were also eliminated by Virtus.Pro earlier today in their BO1 lower-bracket knockout matches as they failed to address Fear’s mid lane issues. Evil Geniuses overall lacked any sense of coordination and were frankly all over the place in this matchup. They’re now in a precarious position as a Grand Final matchup of Mineski vs LGD Gaming (Something that is very likely, considering their forms) would push them out of the Top 8 in the DPC tables. With Evil Geniuses having only two more potential opportunities to garner some DPC points (ESL One: Birmingham & China Super Major), NA might be staring down the barrel of a very stacked qualifier for The International 8.
EG's performance in a nutshell
Team Liquid fans were left shell-shocked as LGD Gaming managed to overwhelm the reigning TI champions to make it to the winner bracket finals. Although Liquid managed to win Game 1 on the back of GH’s IO, the Chinese squad, widely considered the best of the region at the moment, proved they would not go down easy and pushed the series into a Game 3 with a Faceless Void-Witch Doctor combo. While Team Liquid stuck to their preferred comfort picks and signature heroes, LGD Gaming gave us a top-tier display of their ability to adapt as they showcased their sheer versatility in Game 3 with a completely different draft and sent the European team to the Lower brackets.
Tomorrow will bring about three more eliminations as the Dota 2 Asia Championships finally begins to wind up. Team Liquid will have a rather unpleasant task of taking on TNC in a BO1. With the fast-paced gameplay and the general unpredictability of the SEA side, will they be able to knock out the TI champions and take one more step towards securing some DPC points?
And can Mineski take out the Eastern Giants, LGD Gaming and move on to the Grand Finals?