The last day of the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor saw three of the best up-and-coming teams in the world fighting for a slot at the Kuala Lumpur Major, $125,000, and 120 DPC points.
Royal Never Give Up, Natus Vincere and Tigers each took to the stage to determine who among them is worthy of winning the first Minor of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit. At the end of the day, only of the three remained. It was the Southeast Asian team, Tigers, led by famed coach and captain Theeban ‘1437‘ Siva and 2-time Major winner, David ‘Moonmeander‘ Tan.
To claim the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor, Tigers edged out Natus Vincere in a tight best-of-five series that went all the way.
DreamLeague Season 10 Minor Recap
Natus Vincere Make Royal Never Give Up Yield
True to their name, Royal Never Give Up have built a reputation for their resilience. Although the team’s lackluster early-game execution have forced many observers to dial back a bit on their estimation of their strength as a team, no one can deny their ability to secure wins on the backs of their superior late-game execution.
Unfortunately, up against an aggressive Natus Vincere squad that’s been on an absolute tear since losing to Tigers earlier in the tournament, Royal Never Give Up just could not find their form.
Game 1 looked like it would go their way as they held on early on and managed to stay in the lead for much of the mid-game. However, a costly fight at the 43-minute mark gave Natus Vincere a chance to come back to the game. Afterwards, it was all downhill for Royal Never Give Up as they slowly lost their lead and eventually, the game itself, less than 10 minutes later.
The following game, Natus Vincere pushed the tempo, and with Idan ‘MagicaL‘ Vardanian leading the way on his Invoker, the CIS organization proceeded to end the game and close out the series.
Tigers Roar Back to Take Down NaVi
Advancing to the Grand Finals of the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor, Natus Vincere would meet Tigers for the second time this tournament.
In Game 1, Natus Vincere went with a first phase Drow Ranger pick that Tigers quickly countered with lane dominators and a last pick Meepo for Lai ‘Ahjit‘ Jay Son. Losing all three lanes made a comeback impossible for Natus Vincere as Ahjit ended the game with more kills (17-11) than all of them combined.
Game 2 looked like it was going to go the same way as Natus Vincere lacked any sort of way to deal with Ahjit as he went uncontested in his lane on Huskar. However, Tigers failed to capitalize on this early lead. As a result, both MagicaL on Storm Spirit and Evgeny ‘Blizzy‘ Ree on Axe eventually recovered to help Natus Vincere force out a GG and tie the series 1-1.
Blizzy was once again the story on his first phase Axe pick. His record-setting early Hood of Defiance pick up made him damn near impossible to kill. This allowed Natus Vincere to take Game 3 in less than 25 minutes to go up 2-1.
Natus Vincere looked to close the series in Game 4 with a greedy Huskar draft. However, Muhammad ‘inYourdreaM‘ Rizky would not let that happen. He led the way on his Invoker, pushing the tempo along with David ‘Moonmeander‘ Tan, who was finally on a playmaking core in Pangolier.
The momentum from their Game 4 win carried over to the next game as Tigers proceeded to close out the series, 3-2, to win the DreamLeague Season 1o Minor.
All throughout the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor, we saw the more aggressive team win the game. The lone champions of late-game execution in the tournament, Royal Never Give Up, fell short of the title because they simply just could not keep up once Tigers and Natus Vincere started pushing the tempo.
Of the eight teams in the tournament, the Grand Finalists were near the top in terms of kills and assists. Perhaps more importantly, they were also at the top in average match duration. This is a clear indication that the key to winning right now is clean and crisp early-game execution, as well as finishing games way before opponents could have any chance of staging a comeback.
Heading into the Kuala Lumpur Major, Tigers will look to continue polishing their signature SEA aggression as they face off against the best Dota 2 teams in the world.
What do you think of Tigers’ performance at the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor? Do you think they have what it takes to make a deep run at the Kuala Lumpur Major next week? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.