Keen Gaming overcome their initial struggles at the ESL One Mumbai 2019, making their way through all but one round of the perilous lower brackets to sweep Mineski in the Grand Finals and take home the trophy.
The series was initially a lot closer. In the first two games, Mineski put up a good fight, with each game lasting at least 40 minutes. But, come Game 3, Keen Gaming decided to flex their superiority and their balanced attack proved too much for Mineski to handle as they bowed out in 31 minutes. Although Zhai ‘一‘ Jingkai was a standout throughout the entire series, dominating Kam ‘Moon‘ Boon Seng in the middle lane, it was a team effort on the side of Keen Gaming.
All three of Keen Gaming’s cores posted an average of 600+ GPM in the Grand Finals. On the other hand, none of Mineski’s players even came close to the 600+ GPM mark, with Moon coming the closest.
Keen Gaming will pocket $135,000 from their win, with Mineski going home $70,000. Natus Vincere and TNC Predator will each go home with $35,000 and $20,000, respectively.
Mineski’s former player and current stand-in, Kim ‘Febby‘ Yong-min, was voted in by the Dota 2 community as the Mercedes-Benz MVP of the ESL One Mumbai 2019.
Keen Gaming Looking Like the Next Big Chinese Dota 2 Team
Made up of a mix of proven and hardened veterans, such as Wang ‘old chicken‘ Zhiyong and Ren ‘eLeVeN‘ Yangwe from EHOME and Hu ‘Kaka‘ Liangzhi from Newbee, as well as relatively young talents such as their 22-year-old midlaner, Zhai ‘一‘ Jingkai, and their captain, Song ‘dark‘ Runxi, Keen Gaming entered the season with a lineup brimming with potential.
Now, Keen Gaming are finally starting to elevate their play and are rising to the occasion.
True, ESL One Mumbai 2019 is not as big of a tournament as the name suggests. It may be the biggest Dota 2 tournament in India, but that also comes as a back-handed compliment. This is especially true when you consider that Keen Gaming are the only Dota 2 team that have had a decent placement at a Major (5th-6th place at the DreamLeague Season 11) after the likes of Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance, and Gambit Esports backed out to focus more on the upcoming Minor.
But, a win is a win, and no one can take that away from Keen Gaming.
Heading into the final stretch of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit, winning ESL One Mumbai 2019 might just be the confidence-booster and experience that Keen Gaming needed to solidify themselves as one of the top contenders in the Dota 2 scene.
Following the conclusion of the ESL One Mumbai 2019, Dota 2 fans can now finally shift their attention back to the DPC once again.
Next week, from April 22 to April 28, eight Dota 2 teams will square off in Split, Croatia at the OGA Dota Pit Minor for a shot at the $300,000 prize pool and the final slot to the MDL Disneyland Paris Major on May 4-12.
As the fourth Minor-Major pairing of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit, both the OGA Dota Pit Minor and the MDL Disneyland Paris Major will serve as the second to the last chance for teams to secure one of the twelve direct invites to The International 2019 in August.
With that said, expect all Dota 2 teams to give it their all as they try to avoid having to fight through the open qualifiers once the direct invites are decided.
What do you think of Keen Gaming’s win at the ESL One Mumbai 2019? Was it enough to make them one of the best Dota 2 teams today? Or will Keen Gaming still need to have a better showing at a Major to silence all critics? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.