The Road to the Summer Season Finale

Vignesh Raghuram

21st, Jun, 2017
With the ESL India Premiership’s first LAN of 2017 set to kick off on July 1st, AFK Gaming brings you a preview of what could well be the most prestigious LAN in the Indian Esports circuit.

Season 2 has been nothing short of a revolution. Their introduction of the Starter and Challenger ladders into the Indian Esports world has made the process of ‘going pro’ much easier and has enabled hundreds of amateur teams to get a taste of the Indian competitive scene.

There are a lot of new teams with fresh faces and a lot of teams looking to upset those that have already cemented themselves as the Top Dogs of the subcontinent. Teams like Aggressive 5 in Dota 2 and SemperX in CS:GO have built up their rosters from the ground up and are looking to take things to the next level in the Indian Scene. Only time will tell if they can, as Entity Gaming have seemingly piled up on talent to continue dominating fronts for months to come.

The stage is set for India's first premier LAN tournament of 2017.
 

Event Details

 
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The main event of the ESL India Premiership 2017 – Summer Season Finale will take place on the 1st and 2nd of July at Phoenix Market City, Kurla, Mumbai.

8 Teams 
from each Esport (CS:GO and Dota 2) will be vying for the Lion’s Share of a whopping INR 15.37 Lakhs Prizepool, the high stakes should make for some great games.

The winners of the CS:GO and Dota 2 tournaments will each take home a cool 3.5 Lakh rupees, while the runner-up will end up with 1.5 Lakh rupees each. All the other 12 teams will be walking away with INR 35,000 Rupees, regardless of their finish, making it imperative to reach the Grand Finals.

The format for the event has also been announced. The 8 teams will face off in Double Elimination, Bo1 brackets all the way up until the Grand Finals; which will be a BO3 series. This guarantees that all competitors will play at least twice and approximately three quarters will play three games or more which is great news for the fans.
 

These 16 teams hailing from across the subcontinent had to battle their way through the 3 grueling phases to book their ticket to prove themselves in Mumbai. Let us take a closer Look at the top contenders and their journey to the Summer Season Finale.
 
 
Dota 2


Entity Gaming 

 

Without a doubt the most popular Dota 2 team in India, Entity Gaming currently have a 21-0 win-loss record in the ESL India Premiership across all 3 phases. They will go into the Summer Season LAN finale as the favorites to win their first LAN title. But it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing as the scoreline suggests they have had some minor hiccups in a few games like the ones against A5 and 3C4DA, it could be that Entity Gaming are experimenting with new strategies as well as taking it easy, considering that the other teams still have a long way to go before they can go toe-to-toe against them.

Sw1fty has been tearing it up in the Masters division, boasting a KDA ratio of 18.83 in Phase 3. No one else is even close to having that sort of an absurd KDA ratio. In fact, the next closest is Sw1fty’s fellow teammate BlizzarD with a KDA of 8.82.

However, Individual skill is not the only reason why Entity’s roster has an undefeated record in the ESL India Premiership. Their Teamfight execution is calculated and precise resulting in them winning a majority of the teamfights around the Roshan pit. This co-ordination leads to Entity Gaming having great high ground defenses even when they are at a net-worth deficit.
 

Having said that, certain chinks in Entity’s armor have been exposed by Aggressive 5 and 3C4DA which other teams in the Masters League will look to exploit.
 

Aggressive 5

 

Much like their namesake, Aggressive 5 play some impressive in-your-face DotA and usually end up beating their opponents by overwhelming them in the early-mid game skirmishes.

The team with a mixture of the young mechanically skilled players like Padling and Negi coupled with the experience that veterans of the Indian Scene Battusoi and Pasoll bring to the table have lead Aggressive 5 to three consecutive second-place finishes in the three phases.
 

However, their late-game decision making is quite mediocre. This can be evidenced by their stats.
 

While some of it can be chalked up to the fact that the only games they’ve lost have been to Entity Gaming who prefer taking it to the late game. The fact remains that they routinely make poor late game decisions. It lead to a couple of close shaves against The Council and it was their downfall against Go Figure in the finals of the COBX Indian Esports Championship.

Another cause of worry is Pinkman’s hero pool becoming very predictable. It is usually a hybrid 3/4 position hero like Clockwerk, Slardar, Tusk or the Spirit Breaker.

That said, While Aggressive 5’s roster change has yet to result in a marquee championship finish, this team consistently feels like it's just on the brink of winning a LAN. And the ESL India Premiership – Summer Season might just be their first major LAN victory.
 

Intelligence Quotient


It is one of the most heartwarming storylines of the season, a community coming together to help a small band of 5 gamers live their dreams. The humble team from Cambodia, Team Intelligence Quotient will be competing for the first time in the Master League at the ESL India Premiership – Summer Finale.

Intelligence Quotient had to take the hard road to reach the Master League. They had to start out in the Starter League where they chewed through the rest of the competition with ease with the help of some stellar play from their cores. The Challenger League was also a cakewalk for them, their superior mechanical skills, as well as some intelligent drafting, help them finish on top of the Challenger League with ease with an undefeated 7-0 record.

Their carry No7 is a phenomenal player, who regularly dukes it out against SEA superstars like Jabz, YamateH or AhJit in high mmr pubs as well as scrim games. It is no coincidence that he will also be the player with the highest MMR amongst all attendees with a jaw-dropping 7841~ MMR. This doesn’t mean that he is the sole star in this team. In fact, their team’s offlaner, seobAby was their flashiest and most dominant player in the Challenger League. He dominated the enemy safelane in almost every single game single-handedly much like Entity Gaming’s Ab1ngThe team's other players including their mid player D^Kumi as well as their supports Xing and TeminaLov3 are extremely talented individuals in their own right.
 
Team Intelligence Quotient also managed to make it to the RO16 in the recently concluded TI7 SEA Open Qualifiers, much further than any other team taking part in the Summer Season Finale.

Will they be the team to end the 21-match undefeated streak of Entity Gaming? Find out at the Summer Season Finale
 

Go Figure Red

 

Team Go-Figure’s first tournament showing of the year: a thrilling 2-1 win over Aggressive 5 in the finals COBX Indian Esports Championship lead us to believe that this team was destined to be one of the top Indian teams of 2017. They proved us right by Dominating the Challenger League in Phase 1. They didn’t drop a single match and were promoted to the Master League for Phase 2.

They lived up to our expectations in Phase 2, only dropping 2 games to Entity Gaming and Aggressive 5. It seemed like Archmage was back to his best, displaying some of the best Invoker and Queen of Pain play we’ve seen in the Master League. However, some of GoFigure’s flaws were exposed in Phase 3 where they finished in 5th place with a 3-4 win-loss record. Opponents shut down Archmage, who is their playmaker in chief, in the laning phase. This left Go-Figure struggling in the Mid-Game as their other players are not experienced enough to dictate the tempo.

This is not to say that the other players on the roster aren’t talented enough, their offlaner Snax, for one, has been one of the best players in the ESL India Premiership. He has taken over games singlehandedly as a Bristleback and the combos he executes on his Dark Seer are great to watch.

Although their performances in the COBX Indian Esports Championship has already made this season a success, they would want to make a statement that they aren’t a one-hit-wonder with a good performance in the Masters LAN.
 
 
CS:GO


Stopping Risky in their tracks

 

 
This season of ESL India Premiership has given us some nail-biting CS:GO matches so far. Entity has been on an undefeated streak in both DOTA2 and CS:GO. The middle-eastern team - Risky Gaming have remained undefeated in the tournament in phase 1 and 2. This would have been the story in phase 3 too if Entity and SemperX did not clinch an upset victory against them. Risky lost 12-16 against Entity on Cobblestone and 7-16 against SemperX on Train. It seems kind of shocking to hear the fact that Risky was beaten on train, which is supposed to be their strongest map!

However, it is necessary to point out that the only reason Entity and SemperX were able to pull this off was that Risky was short on firepower. GreeNz was unavailable for both these matches and Nami had to take his place. Also, HavoK was unavailable for the match against SemperX and w4rrlock had to be roped in. GreeNz and HavoK been carrying Risky since the start of the tournament and are a major part of their prowess. With them, both missing, Risky was at a disadvantage and lost 2 matches.

GreeNz and HavoK have time and again turned up the heat with their intense entry frags which pave the way for Risky to dominate their T side. While one might argue that AstaR and psy from Entity also have just as much as destructive power when it comes to entry fragging; the one place where Risky outclasses them is the map control they establish with their picks.

For Risky, drawing first blood isn’t only about getting that man advantage, but also getting the pick in a location where it will severely hamper rotates. Most of the times, we will notice that Risky takes mid-control seriously and tries to get picks around that area to establish control over that area of the map. Unlike most teams who do not utilize their picks wisely, Risky manages to pincer them into a corner and cut off all rotates, which enables to manhandle their opponents like nobody else does.
 

Will Entity and SemperX be able to stop the Risky juggernaut during the LAN finals when GreeNz and HavoK will be present? Only time will tell.
 

Power Struggle

 

A three-way battle ensued between Entity, SemperX and Wolves. Brutality trails close behind but they still have a lot of work to do before they can leave their mark in the tournament. 

Entity became the Indian powerhouse after they hoarded a lot of powerful players under their banner and are sailing comfortably.
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They did have a few hiccups along the way, like their upset loss against Brutality in Phase 2; but that did not stop them from taking the #1 spot in the series. SemperX and Wolves are high on firepower but have been struggling to find their consistency. SemperX made Risky sweat during phase 1 when they pushed them into overtime, but they fell to them 16-12 in phase 2. Even though they won against Risky in phase 3, do consider that Risky wasn’t playing at its full potential at that time. 

Since almost every team underwent roster shuffles this time, we see them conforming to the age-old, tried-and-tested tactics and strategies. None of these teams have been able to set their distinct pace or playstyle yet. We hope to see them using the strengths of their players wisely in the future as they get used to the new line-ups.

As for the inconsistencies, we believe a lot of these come down to the map they are played on. It’s a small world and by this point, all the teams know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so the VETO process is more important and challenging than ever. 
 
 

Game4Glory struggles to hold up their glory 

 

The Pakistani contenders were firing on all cylinders in the Starter and the Challenger Series, where they managed to beat down every team they faced comfortably. However, the moment they breached the Master League barrier, they seem to have fallen flat. 

One of the few reasons that they are not succeeding is because their playstyle is very predictable. In the Starter and Challenger League matches, we see TraNz and co. using the standard ‘pick-and-play’ tactics to get the early advantage in their matches. They had the power to out-aim their opponents without having to rely on their teammates for that. 
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In the Master League however, that will no longer work as the competition cannot be simply out-aimed. On the T side, we see them playing individually to garner as much map control as they can; but often fail to do so because of their inability to use the utility nades to their fullest.  They will need to step up the ante.
 
 
COSPLAY
 
 
In addition to the tournament, ESL India Premiership will also be hosting a cosplay contest as one of the ESL India Premiership 2017 – Summer Season Finale’s main side-attractions at Mumbai, which will feature a whopping INR 46,000 prize pool all on the line. The cosplay showcase that has been a long-standing part of the festival experience at ESL India Premiership will once again give all talented and aspiring cosplayers a chance to unveil their newest creations in front of a huge crowd of Esports fans.

On July 2nd (Sunday) the ESL India Premiership will officially open its doors for the contestants where an exclusive photo shoot will be conducted with all the cosplayers. The competition will be open to all participants cosplaying as original gaming characters. You can register for the cosplay competition here.

The ESL India Cosplay competition has always been one of India’s most prestigious cosplay events. We saw some great costumes over the course of last season, some so good that ESL India took the Winners of the Cosplay competition in The ESL India - Masters all the way to Genting, Malaysia where they would go on to compete in the ESL One Genting Cosplay Competition.

One of the Winners who got to go to ESL One Genting was PurpleShrimp Cosplays.
 
 
It is safe to say that the Indian Cosplay community is very excited for this event and we will get to see some amazing Cosplay Showcases in the Summer Season Finale.
 

The Summer Season Finale will undoubtedly come packed with some action packed Esports action. Given that only two finalist teams from each game will be raking in more than INR 35,000, teams will be going all out to secure their slots in the Finals and we're expecting some close and competitive matches to occur.

In addition to the tournaments, the LAN finale will also be featuring numerous activities like Just Dance Competition, Live InterviewsPlayer Signing sessions & Giveaways for attendees to stay entertained and engaged. There will also be Booths where ZOWIE by BenQ, HP by Omen & HyperX will be showcasing their latest products.

It's been a long time since the last grand ESL India event, so we are understandably very excited about this. This is an event that you wouldn't want to miss if you're an Esports fan from in or around Mumbai.

AFK Gaming will be attending the event and we hope to see you there as well!!
 
 

Image Credits:  ESL India
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All Stats Sourced From  Dotabuff.comand  Datdota.com

Credits to Kripz for the CS:GO Content and Fenux for the GFX designs


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