The Eastern Timelapse

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AFK Gaming

The Eastern Timelapse: Epic Clashes, Dramatic VAC Bans, and the Art of Dota Banter

Vignesh Raghuram
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From Xtreme Gaming’s unconventional tournament prep to a leaderboard scandal shaking the foundations of Chinese Dota, and from Aurora’s group stage woes to Azure Ray’s steadfast upper bracket campaign, we unpack all the drama and excitement of SEA and China’s Dota 2 scenes.

Xtreme Gaming’s Zen Approach to the BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024

Let’s kick things off with Xtreme Gaming, the team that approached the BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 with the casualness of a Sunday morning pub game. Xtreme Gaming’s Position 4 support Ding "Dy" Cong let slip that their two-week "prep" might as well have been a meditation session, given their coach ended up being the only one breaking a sweat – possibly envisioning a strategy so advanced, it transcended the need for actual practice

"We have been preparing for the competition for about two weeks. We view this tournament as training practice. Usually our coach is more prepared than we are."

The surprising thing is it worked, atleast initially. Gliding through the Group Stages with the returning Wang "Ame" Chunyu and Zhao "XinQ" Zixing in their lineup, they seemed destined for glory by topping their Group.

Ame and XinQ at The Asian Games 2023

Ame and XinQ at The Asian Games 2023

But then Team Falcons decided to serve them a slice of humble pie, booting them into the lower bracket faster than you can say "China number 1." Now, on the brink of elimination against Team Liquid, Xtreme Gaming’s "practice" mantra will be put to the ultimate test. Will their laissez-faire attitude be their secret sauce or just a recipe for disaster?


23savage’s disastrous 2024

Next, we have the saga of Aurora and their star player, Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon, whose performance at the BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 was as disappointing as the rest of the team’s season so far. The team looks like a shell of its former pre-TI12 self and has regularly been dropping games in SEA qualifiers to teams that really have no business beating them.

The sole Southeast Asian team at this event lost two series in the group stages that proved to be its death sentence. Despite tying against titans like Team Liquid and Team Falcons, Aurora couldn’t clinch a single series win and was eliminated before they could even make it to the playoffs.

Unfortunately, 23savage had quite a bad start to 2024. Just last month, the player was in the spotlight after a particularly nasty exchange with Blacklist International player Kim "Gabbi" Santos. In a ranked match in the SEA servers, after a casual tip from Gabbi, 23savage responded in the all-chat, marking the beginning of a verbal duel. 

In a series of all chat messages, 23savage remarked, "“Nice tip f**king ugly face. You are super ugly, notice that. At least I was not born poor and ugly. My family has a life unlike yours. Can’t name a dumber person than you. You ugly st*pid b*tch mannerless creature.” He went on to claim that Gabbi only gets on teams because he is friends with pro players. Gabbi in turn retorted by stating that 23savage needed to save money for a nose job and that he was just “bitter” after getting kicked from teams. 

After Aurora's faceplant at BetBoom and 23savage's keyboard warrior duel with Gabbi, his next stop could be a boxing match. In a recent interview, the Thai player joked about setting up a boxing match with Gabbi. “Yes, I’m ready for real boxing. If it's for charity, I'm ready to participate. [Laughs] Not like in the UFC, where they literally kill each other. It would be too harsh. Just punching, maybe Muay Thai.”

Imagine these two swapping last hits for right hooks, all in the name of charity. It's a world where ggwp might just stand for good game, well punched.


The Great Chinese Ladder Purge

In a plot twist that shocked no one and everyone at the same time, the top dog of the Chinese Dota 2 ladder, known only as ʚKKɞ, was hit with a VAC ban so fast, he probably didn't have time to say "Overplus who?" Yes, folks, Valve’s new cheater detection algorithms are cleaning house, and they’re not stopping for anyone, not even for former Former IG.Vitality and CDEC player Chen "imitator" Ren nor Former Army Geniuses and Neon Esports player Yukatheo "you_K" Widjaja. 

Atleast 44 pro players were caught in this purge, with many feigning innocence and claiming that they’ve only used it once. Well one thing is clear now. It’s just safe to just avoid third-party programs altogether. Remember, kids, cheating in Dota is like blinking into the middle of the enemy team with Lion’s Shard mana draining everyone – it’s not going to end well for you, no matter what reddit tells you.

In fact, we were so scared to do research on our own PCs when working on our upcoming premium article on Dota 2 Hacks, that the author literally flew to another city to ensure that it doesn't get his account blacklisted.


Azure Ray: A Beacon of Hope in Turbulent Times

Amid the tumult and turmoil, Azure Ray stands as a testament to consistency and composure, navigating the upper brackets of the BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 with unwavering focus. As Chinese contemporaries faltered and fell to the lower bracket,. Their impending clash with Team Falcons looms large, a battle that promises to test their mettle and determine their destiny in the tournament.

Azure Ray Ori, Faith Bian, Fy

Azure Ray

While the rest of the scene was busy with their dramas, Azure Ray remained the stoic hero of our story, steadfastly holding their ground in the upper brackets of the BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024. As their Chinese brethren, Xtreme Gaming and LGD Gaming, found themselves demoted to the lower bracket, Azure Ray looks to follow up on its ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2024 victory (albeit with a completely different roster) with another one

The team is now just one win away from the Winner Bracket Final slot and a Top 3 finish in BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024. Their only obstacle: Team Falcons, who have looked in phenomenal touch. This is a battle that promises to test the mettle of the new roster and determine if they’re the chosen ones of the Chinese Dota 2 scene.


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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.

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