From sixteen Dota 2 teams at the start of the ESL One Genting 2018 Group Stages, we’re now left with only six who will battle it out in the main event.
Team Liquid were the last to advance after beating Newbee 2-1 in the winner’s finals of Group A. They will join Virtus Pro, Team Secret, ViCi Gaming, Evil Geniuses and Newbee in the playoffs. Though they aren’t set to play until the 2nd day, when the semifinals start, after securing a Top 4 finish, along with Team Secret.
Now that the ESL One Genting 2018 Group Stages have ended, things are only going to get much more intense, especially since each of the six Dota 2 teams left in play all have a legitimate shot at winning the entire thing. And with ESL’s controversial handling of their Facebook deal looming over everyone’s heads, there’s even more of a reason to watch the event until the very end.
The Southeast Asian Triumvirate Crumbles
Many expected Fnatic, TNC Pro Team and Mineski to assert their dominance and champion their home region. Instead, however, they all crumbled. Fnatic and TNC Pro Team, in particular, couldn’t even make it to the last day of the ESL One Genting 2018 Group Stages. Though they put up a valiant effort in a 91-minute win in Game 2 against ViCi Gaming, the all-new Fnatic lineup ultimately came up short 2-1. Meanwhile, the latter never stood chance against Newbee; their frenetic and aggressive playstyle effectively controlled by the Chinese powerhouse. Mineski were the last of the Southeast Asian triumvirate to go, losing to Natus Vincere 2-1.
These early exits do not bode well for Southeast Asia. Thought to finally rejoin the ranks of the top Dota 2 teams in the world, the scene has seen its top teams post on and off performances throughout the course of the season. Mineski’s loss, in particular, is troubling; an all-star cast headlined by Dota 2 veterans Chai ‘Mushi‘Yee Fung and Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice‘ Pei Xiang, Mineski have failed to follow up their excellent start to the season.
Mineski will look to rebound next week at Starladder i-League Invitational Season 4 in Shanghai.
First Time’s Not the Charm
Tough luck for first time Pro Circuit debutants Planet Dog and PENTA Sports. Both teams definitely would’ve wanted a better showing than a last-place finish.Especially Planet Dog, who finally were able to qualify for a Pro Circuit tournament after falling short in the Grand Finals of numerous online qualifiers professional.
It’ll be a while before we see Planet Dog and PENTA Sports play in a Pro Circuit tournament. Here’s to hoping their appearance at the ESL One Genting 2018 Group Stages won’t be the last.
Natus Vincere Come Up Short Once Again
— Natus Vincere (@natusvincere) January 23, 2018
How many tournaments has it been that Natus Vincere have come up short? Though their performances so far this season have been enough to get the “NaVi is Back” hype train going, it’s not enough. Especially not when their 315 Qualifying Points is only good for 9th place in the season leaderboards. This means that if Valve gave out the TI8 invites today, Natus Vincere would find themselves on the outside looking in.
On a positive note, Natus Vincere can go home knowing that one of their players, the young and talented carry player Vladislav ‘Crystallize‘ Krystanek pulled off what has to be the best play of the tournament so far.
What’s Next for CompLexity Gaming?
Our ESL One Genting run comes to an end as we fall 0-2 to @Team_VGJ Thunder.
The boys will be travelling to Shanghai next for StarLadder #coLDota
— compLexity Gaming (@compLexityLive) January 24, 2018
Believed by many to rise up and challenge Evil Geniuses for the top spot in North America after such a promising start to the season, CompLexity Gaming’s current lineup appears to have peaked. Could this mean a roster shuffle is in the cards? That’s certainly possible if only a bit out of character. But, it is worth taking note that CompLexity Gaming have yet to lock in their roster, which means that they are at least keeping their options open.
CompLexity Gaming are set to play at Starladder i-League Invitational Season 4 next week in Shanghai.
VGJ.Thunder and LFY Fail to Impress
We are unfortunately eliminated, just missing out on Top 6 at #ESLOneGenting. Lots of mistakes in Game 3. Thunder will go back to the drawing board and hopefully come back stronger. Look for @Team_VGJ Thunder again at #PGLBucharest! GG @ViCi_Gaming pic.twitter.com/cAZIAX4b4J
— Team VGJ (@Team_VGJ) January 25, 2018
LFY’s latest addition Ou ‘Op‘ Peng had a less than stellar outing in their first LAN together. Though it was unfortunate that they were matched up against Newbee in the opening rounds of the ESL One Genting 2018 Group Stages, their 2-0 loss against Mineski in the lower brackets was inexcusable. Especially when it came in such dominant fashion.
VGJ.Thunder too failed to impress. After winning Galaxy Battles 2018 last week, VGJ.Thunder started things off on the right note with a huge win against ViCi Gaming. However, Virtus Pro would slaughter them in the next round, sending them to the lower brackets where they made quick work of CompLexity Gaming only to fall to ViCi Gaming 2-1 in their rematch.
South America Exits Early for the Nth Time
Another tournament, another early exit. That’s been the life for SG e-sports, or pretty much any South American team for that matter. So far, not a single team from South America have made the playoffs in a Dota Pro Circuit tournament. Although they’re not likely to lose their assured qualifier spot soon, the lack of any real contenders from the region is worrisome.
Perhaps it is time for South American organizations to start thinking of ponying up cash to gather free agent Dota 2 players from other regions. An all-star cast, albeit made up of international players, reigning in the region may just force the other teams to elevate their play. This is similar to what Team Faceless once did for Southeast Asia last year and Evil Geniuses for North America way back when.
The first 16-team Dota 2 tournament of the season only served to clarify one thing: the top Dota 2 teams on the Pro Circuit leaderboards are on another level. Of the top 7 point-getters of the season, only Mineski failed to advance, and they owe a huge chunk of their points to their huge wins in the first two tournaments of the season.
With teams starting to round into midseason form, it’ll be interesting to see how the top eight of the leaderboards will look like in a month. Also another point of interest will be how ESL salvage themselves from the PR nightmare they dug themselves into these past few days.
Of the six Dota 2 teams who advanced from the ESL One Genting 2018 Group Stages, who do you think will end up winning the whole thing? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.