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Dota 2

DPC Week Six: Prove Their CIS Dominance

Hotspawn Team

The sixth week of the DPC is in the books, and what a week it’s been. As the majority of leagues (with the exception of China) wrapped up this weekend, viewers were treated not only to regular season games, but a host of tiebreakers. When the dust settled, we had a better picture of the first DPC Major of 2021 in Singapore and would be attending. dota banners ended the CIS DPC season going a perfect 7-0 across their series (Photo via Cinch CIS

Written by: Michael Hassall

1. 7 0
2. Natus Vincere 5 2
3. AS Monaco Gambit 4 3
5. Team Spirit 4 3
6. Team Unique 2 5
7. Team Empire 2 5
8. NoTechies 1 6

In the most anticipated matchup of the year, would face Natus Vincere in the final match of the season. VP were undefeated, having gone perfect in the regular season, while Na’Vi had dropped just a single match in an upset against Team Spirit. This would be the real test though, with Na’Vi potentially able to win the season following tiebreakers with a victory.

In practice though, this was just another display of how dominant are. The squad swept through Na’Vi first with a dominant Templar Assassin game, and then with Dmitry “DM” Dorokhin’s Timbersaw popping off. Ultimately this just proves how ready for international play are. Their performance at the Major is surely going to be one of the highlights.

However, outside of VP and Na’Vi, this left a crucial tiebreaker between Team Spirit and AS Monaco Gambit for the last spot at the Major. Team Spirit were riding high, having taken their aforementioned win off Na’Vi and defeating Team Unique on Thursday, February 25. However, Gambit, formerly Live To Win, had been in equally good form, holding wins over every team in the league apart from Unique

In a tight best of three, Gambit were able to barely clutch out a win. Stealing the first game after a 50+ minute war, Gambit dropped the second game as Team Spirit’s Mid Queen of Pain spiraled out of control. In their final meeting, Gambit wouldn’t allow Team Spirit the chance to beat them, spiraling out of control with Weaver, one of the deadliest carries on the patch. With their win, Gambit heads to their first LAN competition in over a year.

Endless Tiebreakers in Europe? Not Quite…

Written by: Michael Hassall

1. Team Secret 7 0
2. Alliance 5 2
3. Team Nigma 4 3
4. Team Liquid 3 4
5. OG 3 4
6. Tundra Esports 3 4
7. 2 5
8. High Coast Esports 1 6

In what feels like an age ago, the last few games of the European season wrapped up. Last place High Coast Esports fought valiantly but were unable to shift Team Nigma into tie breaker position. Meanwhile, Alliance offed Team Liquid to secure their own Major spot.

But in the most anticipated match of the week, flawless Team Secret faced off against a struggling OG side. The undefeated team struck first, in a 28-minute stomp that saw Michał “Nisha” Jankowski pop off on Invoker. The pick was so effective, not only because of Nisha’s effectiveness, but it also robbed OG’s Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen of one his own signature heroes.

In game two, however, a pick OG would try and force all week finally paid off for them. The Alchemist on Sébastien “Ceb” Debs would prove deadly. A hero that traditionally needs tonnes of farm, by picking the hero in the resource lacking three position, OG gambled that they’d quietly be able to farm up a monster. A gamble that paid off with a win.

Forced to a decider, and with their undefeated season on the line, Secret banned away the Alchemist, and took away as many of the signature OG heroes as possible. What followed was a long, slow death for OG. While the team clung on for close to an hour, pushing back each time with dramatic engages, they never really had an advantage. Team Secret finished the game in style, 71-26 scoreline.

Tie Breakers Time

But things were far from over for Europe, and especially OG. Sent to tiebreakers, OG, Team Liquid, and Tundra Esports were locked in a three-way tie. But after one series of incredible games, things were all locked up. Team Liquid dominated OG, OG struggled past Tundra, and then in a shock result, Tundra bumped off Team Liquid. We were locked into another round of tiebreakers.

Another crushing by Team Liquid followed, with OG bouncing back to crush Tundra in the most one-sided game of the day. This left OG in the unenviable position of hoping the team they’d just crushed would somehow defeat Team Liquid. Only then would OG have a chance at the major. Unfortunately, Tundra has just run out of steam. Liquid put the day to bed, and headed to the Major. A crazy end to an incredibly close season.

So Long South America!

Written by: Michael Hassall

1. beastcoast 6 1
2. Thunder Predator 5 2
3. SG e-sports 4 3
4. NoPing e-sports 4 3
5. Team Unknown 3 4
6. Infamous 3 4
7. EgoBoys 2 5
8. Latam Defenders 1 6

After being on top of the standings for almost the entirety of the season, Thunder Predator and beastcoast took deservedly SA’s two spots at the Major. The standings of the league also meant that this was the only regional league so far with no tiebreakers.

The most significant move this week came from Infamous, who valiantly escaped relegation by defeating EgoBoys. Having sat on the edge of demotion since Week 4, Infamous’s crucial win against the last-place Latam Defenders meant that this was do or die in Week 6. But the EgoBoys didn’t make things easy for the storied SA team.

Taking an early lead in laning in game one, EgoBoys looked to punish Infamous with a late-game Medusa, and an Enigma to catch them out. Infamous even helped out their opponents by getting caught in a crucial team fight at the 20-minute mark. But Infamous were eventually able to power through, farming up their Juggernaut and Vengeful Spirit to late-game hyper-carry status.

Game two was equally hard-fought, with EgoBoys threatening to send the series to a game three as solo middle player Ricardo “Alone” Sanchez Fernandez punished with his Morphling. For a moment, it looked like EgoBoys would cheese their way to victory with the Morph transformation exploits. However, taking advantage of some questionable engages, Infamous were able to pick off EgoBoys’ carry and take home the victory. Infamous is safe for another season, while the EgoBoys must attempt to requalify.

Evil Geniuses Clinch Championship in North America

Written by: Patrick Bonifacio

1. Evil Geniuses 6 1
2. Quincy Crew 6 1
3. Undying 6 1
4. 4 Zoomers 4 3
5. SADBOYS 2 5
6. Black N Yellow 2 5
7. A-Team 2 5
8. 5ManMidas 0 7

Move over, Quincy Crew — the fan favorites in Evil Geniuses have snatched an invite at the eleventh hour. In the final days of play, EG stole the Major playoff spot from QC via the tiebreakers. Their quest for the playoff berth began in Week Six, where they brushed aside the winless 5ManMidas in two games. QC lagged a bit behind as they dropped a map to Undying on the same day, allowing EG to swoop in on Sunday.

And swoop in they did, as the tiebreakers for the top three involved the aforementioned teams sans 5ManMidas. Faced with the task of scoring as many points as possible, EG handled both QC and Undying with no trouble. Their victories over their two closest rivals automatically gave them the top seed — and with it, a spot in the playoffs. Not bad at all for a team that technically wasn’t even in the region until recently.

As for Quincy Crew, we’re sure that they would have liked to have that seed for themselves. Instead, they will have to settle for playing in the group stage in Singapore this March 27th. Though they fell short of their goal this time around, fans will certainly expect plenty from them at the LAN event still. QC themselves will also want to exact their revenge on EG when the event rolls around. Should be an exciting series if that does come to pass.

Sadly for Undying, they won’t be present at the Major — not even for the Wild Card stage. This is because the Wild Card qualifier does not include slots for North and South America. Nevertheless, they can be proud of what they’ve accomplished so far, and it won’t be surprising to see them build on their progress.

Fnatic Assert True Dominance in Southeast Asia

Written by: Patrick Bonifacio

1. Fnatic 6 1
2. Neon Esports 5 2
3. T1 5 2
4. TNC Predator 4 3
5. BOOM Esports 4 3
6. Execration 2 5
7. 496 Gaming 1 6
8. Vice Esports 1 6

The true kings of Southeast Asia are back — and will be looking to defend home turf in Singapore. Fnatic’s performance in Week Six ended up being all they needed to secure the Major playoff berth. A 2-1 victory over TNC Predator helped them clinch the top seed — avoiding the tiebreakers altogether.

Not even Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte and his signature Morphling could stop Fnatic’s advance. While TNC struck first in the series with their Morphling/Spirit Breaker combo, Fnatic responded well in the second game. Piloting his signature Timbersaw, Natthaphon “Masaros” Ouanphakdee ran roughshod over TNC to send the series to a deciding third map. From there it was just a matter of execution for Fnatic, which they did to hold TNC to 14 kills.

Over in the tiebreakers, Neon Esports held fast against T1 to grab the last available invite. Unfazed by their defeat in the first game, Neon masterfully turned the tables in the second. Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer shone the brightest, notching 20 kills with only four deaths as Void Spirit. John Anthony “Natsumi-” Vargas meanwhile took one straight from Fnatic’s playbook with his 10-1 carry Io.

They then stomped the living daylights out of T1 in a game that ended with a score of 36-8. The gank squad composed of Yopaj and Prieme Ejay “PlayHard” Banquil proved lethal and effective. T1 could muster no good answers to the onslaught and were forced to tap out 43 minutes into the game. Neon certainly have what it takes to hang in SEA — but only time will tell if they will get far in Singapore.

Elephant Return from Chinese New Year Break With Important Wins

Written by: Patrick Bonifacio

1. Invictus Gaming 5 0
2. Vici Gaming 4 1
3. Team Aster 4 1
4. Elephant 3 2
5. PSG.LGD 2 3
6. EHOME 1 4
7. Team MagMa 1 4
8. LBZS 0 5

China took an extended break over the Chinese New Year, with two weeks of no play to make way for the celebrations. Upon returning to the Perfect World studio, Elephant proved just how good they can be. They swept EHOME in two games in their first match back, which improved their map score to 7-5.

Though this score still has them in fourth, the 2-0 result gives them some crucial momentum going into Week Five. And they’ll need all of it, given that they’ll be up against second placers Vici Gaming. Regardless, it seems that this superteam isn’t quite done yet — and will look to make good on their potential.

Invictus Gaming, on the other hand, put in another stellar performance to remain undefeated in terms of matches. They currently sit 5-0 in series wins, and have their rhythm and grooved locked in for sure. Facing an early lead held by PSG.LGD Gaming, Zhou “Emo” Yi said “no” to the sweep in the second game. Creating tons of space for Jin “flyfly” Zhiyi to farm, Emo’s Kunkka wreaked havoc on the map. iG leveraged their advantage from there, increasing it to an insurmountable lead in the late game. Not even the flawless Lycan play from International champion Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida was enough to prevent the inevitable.

Then it was Malaysian import Thiay “JT-” Jun Wen’s turn to play in the third game. His Timbersaw play was just exquisite, leading the way from the offlane alongside the two other cores flyfly and Emo. His play also allowed iG to shrug off the fact that Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang beat Emo in the mid lane matchup. Paired with flyfly’s 12-1 Weaver, he was able to deal with NothingToSay’s Morphling pick well.

iG are now squarely in the driver’s seat in China, with only a match against Team Aster to really worry about from here. Their opponents next week are the winless LBZS — whom they will surely handle without breaking a sweat.