After nearly two weeks of Dota 2 action, King’s Cup America is finally headed to the playoffs, with four teams — The Dire, CompLexity Gaming, Digital Chaos, and Infamous — set to battle it out on September 19-20 for a direct invite to The Summit 8 Minor tournament later this year.
King’s Cup America – Group Stage Recap
From September 6 to September 17, a total of eight teams battled it out in BO2 matches for seeding purposes. However, Iceberg Esports had to drop out in the middle of the tournament due to scheduling issues.
As a result of Iceberg Esports dropping out, each of the remaining 7 teams went on to receive 2 free points.
As one of the first official matches of the 2017-18 season, teams in North and South America used King’s Cup America as a way to showcase their latest lineups.
Newly formed teams such as Digital Chaos.SA, VGJ.Storm and Team Leviathan each made their debut in the online tournament. The same goes for CompLexity Gaming, who recently reacquired the Swedish brothers, Linus ‘Limmp’ Blomdin and Rasmus ‘Chessie’ Blomdin.
Other participating teams that played their official match together as a team include The Dire, Digital Chaos, Infamous and the aforementioned, Iceberg Esports.
The newly-revamped North American organisation were the first to qualify for the playoffs after sweeping their first four series and going 10-0. Unfortunately, they were unable to sustain their momentum and suffered consecutive sweeps at the hands of The Dire and Digital Chaos in the final day of the tournament.
This left all three teams in a three-way deadlock for first place and the right to handpick who their opponent was going to be.
The Dire, led by Peter ‘ppd’ Dager, ultimately broke the tie by winning both of their tie-breakers and picked Infamous as their opponents.
King’s Cup America Playoffs – Power Rankings
1. The Dire
- Per Olsson ‘Pajkatt’ Lille
- Quinn ‘CC&C’ Callahan
- Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg
- Rasmus ‘MiSeRy’ Filipsen
- Peter ‘ppd’ Dager
The Dire is perhaps right up there with Evil Geniuses as one of the most talented and skilled teams in North America if not the world.
ppd is one of the most successful Dota 2 captains of all time, while MiSeRy and Pajkatt are stable scene veterans who’ve gone to multiple TIs. The former, in particular, is one of the very few players to have attended nearly every Valve event in Dota 2 history.
Adding to the team’s wealth of experience and talent is Zai, who has only impressed since his return to the offlane.
Finally, there’s CC&C, who, despite having only started his career as a professional player in 2016, has quickly made a name for himself as one of Dota 2’s rising stars.
While The Dire may have initially stumbled out of the gates, they have looked so much better recently and have slowly begun to look more like the team that they’re supposed to be on paper.
That’s a scary thought for the other three teams in the playoffs.
2. Digital Chaos
- Mason ‘mason’ Venne
- Abed ‘Abed’ Yusop
- Arif ‘MSS’ Anwar
- Kanishka ‘BuLba’ Sosale
- David ‘MoonMeander’ Tan
Digital Chaos seems averse to announcing roster changes. They chose to stay mum as Kim ‘Dubu’ Doo-young and Lee ‘Forev’ Sang-don left the team to reunite with the rest of the TI6 MVP squad. Then, when they finally decided to roll out their new roster, all everybody got was a simple tweet.
Then again, the young organisation doesn’t exactly need to make huge announcements when their roster has a penchant for making waves with their gameplay.
So far, that’s exactly what Digital Chaos’ latest lineup has done at the King’s Cup America online tournament.
MoonMeander has done an excellent job so far acclimating to the position five support role and being the team’s captain. Meanwhile, MSS remains his stable self even after moving to a new team. The rest of the team seems to have only improved as well after their top 16 finish at TI7.
With Abed and Mason leading the way, Digital Chaos has a puncher’s chance against anyone and is a solid bet to win the direct invite to The Summit 8.
3. CompLexity Gaming
- Rasmus ‘Chessie’ Blomdin
- Linus ‘Blomdin’ Limmp
- David ‘Moo’ Hull
- Zakari ‘Zfreek’ Freedman
- Kyle ‘melonzz’ Freedman
CompLexity Gaming is a team that’s capable of taking games against any team. However, much like every iteration of the team that’s featured the Freedman brothers, the latest lineup has so far shown that they’re somewhat averse to deviating from their usual strategy.
This often works against lower-tier teams and in BO1s, but when in a series against the best teams in the world, it’s necessary to have a couple of cheese picks and strategies to rely on when your backs are against the wall.
In any case, CompLexity Gaming are a relatively safe pick to go to the finals, but unless Infamous takes down The Dire, which is highly unlikely, there’s a slim chance that they’ll end up winning the whole tournament.
- Alonso ‘Kotarō Hayama‘ León
- Leonardo ‘LeoStyle-‘ Sifuentes
- Mariano ‘Papita’ Caneda
- Steven ‘StingeR’ Vargas
- Christian ‘Accel’ Cruz
Infamous are undoubtedly a Tier below the other three teams in the playoffs, which are arguably neck-and-neck. Although that doesn’t mean that they should be underestimated.
After all, Infamous are the only team to have swept both Digital Chaos and The Dire in the group stages. Albeit, the latter’s loss comes with a caveat since they played that series without Zai and with Jimmy ‘DeMoN’ Ho as a stand-in.
Unfortunately, The Dire are likely out to avenge their earlier sweep and they surely will have prepared for whatever Infamous has to throw at them. But, if Infamous can pull off the upset and take the series from ppd’s stack, there’s a huge chance that they might win just end up winning the whole thing.
Who do you think will end up bagging the direct invite to The Summit 8 and win the King’s Cup America online tournament? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.