We breakdown all the highs and lows from the final day at the Singapore Major.
Our final day at Singapore was smack bang full of amazing Dota. We take you through it all right here!
Lower Bracket Finals; PSG.LGD vs Invictus Gaming
Our last remaining Wild Card entrant, PSG.LGD, held on to the bitter end in the Upper Bracket. Finally falling to Evil Geniuses yesterday. But down in the Lower Bracket, China’s number one seed, Invictus Gaming, were battling their way back to the top.
It was set to be a battle of the titans as the two Chinese teams faced off in our Lower Bracket finals.
The draft for our first map saw Invictus flex pick a Mirana for Zhou "Emo" Yi in mid. A decision that threw LGD’s plans through a bit of a loop. He contested Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang’s Death Prophet pick well through the lanes, with both mid heroes coming out even. Meanwhile, up in top lane, Thiay "JT-" Jun Wen‘s Mars managed to bully Wang "Ame" Chunyu’s Monkey King out of a lot of early farm.
As the game moved out of the laning phase, Invictus had established themselves a strong lead, nearing a 4k gold advantage by the 15-minute mark. Catching out and shutting down Ame twice.
IG’s cores were fed. Jin "FlyFly" Zhiyi had a Linken’s under his belt by 15-min, and his Ethereal Blade by 20. He was a powerhouse, slicing through LGD like butter.
LGD managed to swing the lead back their way for a heartbeat around the 32-minute mark with a kill on FlyFly’s Morph. But it wasn’t enough. It was a grueling game for LGD as they pulled out all the stops to try and hold out. But Invictus wanted the win just as badly. They finally took it with a full team wipe at the 43-minute mark left LGD with nowhere to go.
NothingToSay managed an admirable performance on Death Prophet, in spite of the spanking IG were giving them. Securing 11 of his teams 21-kills.
Invictus took Game 1 at 44-minutes, 36-21.
It’s got be an unsettling site to see Ame on a Troll Warlord opposite you in the safe lane. With an Elder Titan from Zhang "y`" Yiping backing him up, it was easy for the pair from LGD to over run JT-‘s Nature’s Prophet and Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi’s Tusk.
While lanes aren’t everything, there is a lot to be said for winning them. And LGD managed to lock them down on this second map. Coming out strong with a 3k gold advantage.
IG’s draft found themselves quickly and swiftly overrun thanks to the free flow farm provided from Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida’s Alchemist. And LGD pushed their advantage, picking up their first Rosh with the aegis on Ame at 18-minutes.
After 32-minutes, Invictus called it quits. This game belonged to LGD.
It was an absolute stomp of a game for Ame’s Troll, who quickly itemized his profit into a Sange and Yasha and a BKB. He was an invincible thorn in the side of Invictus. He went 11/0/4 this game. Playing a massive role in helping his team push this series out to three.
With everything on the line for both teams, we knew we were in for some brutal Dota. But the 60-minute show that LGD and Invictus put on was a blood fest. The kills were coming in thick and fast from the first minute of play.
NothingToSay was again a force to be reckoned with in the mid lane. This time on a Windranger pick. LGD secured the early game, coming out of the lanes with a slight advantage in the farm. And they kept a tenacious grip on the lead all the way through the mid game, but it was only 8k by the 40-minute mark. LGD just couldn’t push the advantage hard enough to shut Invictus out of the game entirely.
And for IG, the late game was where things started to look up. Even though Emo lost the lanes, his Puck gave LGD no end of trouble. Eating their supports like candy with both y`’s Clockwerk and Zhao "XinQ" Zixing’s Shadow Shaman falling to him a combined 13-times. In fact the only LGD member Emo didn’t nab a kill on was Ame.
A big team fight at 45-minutes is what really gave Invictus the footing they needed. But LGD did not make it easy for them. Almost clawing their way back from the brink at 57-minutes. But again, the vital skirmish went the way of IG and LGD finally surrendered after a 60-min slog.
Invictus would be the ones to take the fight to the Grand Finals for China.
Image: ONE Esports
Grand Finals; Evil Geniuses vs Invictus Gaming
Invictus Gaming are aiming for the top, their motivation? Bring the Aegis back to China. It’s a big burden to take onto their shoulders. But if anyone can do it, it’s the top seed in the region.
Their first hurdle? Conquering the Kings of North America; Evil Geniuses
The draft for our first map saw EG heavily prioritize cutting down FlyFly’s core hero pool. We saw Alch, Jug, Troll and PL all banned out during the draft.
As a result, it was a greedy draft for Invictus. They had a Naga Siren for FlyFly and a Morphling pick on Emo. EG opted for a Leshrac carry for Artour "Arteezy" Babaev and a dual lane mid; Abed "Abed" Yusop on Storm Spirit and Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen on Mirana.
The NA team snatched first blood with a kill on Chan "Oli" Chon Kien’s Disruptor in the bottom lane. But IG performed strong through the lanes, with FlyFly’s Naga Siren winning top. They had a 2k advantage by 12-minutes.
A series of skirmishes just past the 17-minute mark wiped all 5 of IG’s heroes off the map. EG pushed their advantage straight into Rosh, with the aegis on Arteezy’s Leshrac by 19-minutes.
Cr1t- locked down a Spirit Vessel at 21-minutes, and Abed had his BKB by 24-minutes. EG’s cores were all coming online fast and IG were left scrambling to keep up. The last 5-minutes of our game was a blood bath, with EG securing 10 of their 27-kills during their rush of IG’s high ground.
They took the win in Game 1 at 31-minutes.
Again we saw plenty of both team’s comfort heroes banned out during the draft. But Game 2 was an especially hard map for FlyFly, who was forced to pick a Faceless Void into Arteezy’s Bloodseeker. And JT- losing out on his Alchemist in top lane.
EG’s draft was just faster, better and stronger. It was an especially fast game for Arteezy, who managed to itemize for a BKB by 18-minutes, giving him some counter for FlyFly’s Chronosphere early on. FlyFly didn’t even manage to land a kill this game, with Emo securing the majority of the team’s farm and kills.
EG had a brutal spirit combination, with Cr1t- on Earth Spirit and Abed on Storm again and they abused it to its full potential. Relentlessly hunting down pick offs and setting up team fights.
It was a quick snowball for EG. With Invictus calling the match at 28-minutes. A dominating victory for the North American team.
But this was a Bo5, and there was no guarantee that EG would take the next game as easily.
EG again focused their bans on FlyFly’s cores, limiting his hero pool immensely. But while EG managed to be rid of the threat of them on the Chinese team, they also weren’t available for Arteezy.
As the heroes came up, we saw some fresher faces; a Crystal Maiden pick for Tal "Fly" Aizik and an Underlord for JT- gave us a taste of some heroes who’ve been picked up less than others at this Major. Crystal Maiden is sitting at around 35th most picked. While Underlord is at 58. He’s been picked only six times at this tournament, although his win rate is 100%.
It was a Razor carry for EG in the end, with last pick Sven for IG. We saw Sven have mixed success for Team Liquid earlier in the tournament. Was this another risky draft for Invictus? Only time would tell.
Arteezy came in very aggressive at the start of our lanes, diving for a kill on JT-‘s Underlord for which Kaka punished him, chasing him back into the Radiant side and taking out the first blood.
IG took control during the lanes, and pushed their advantage into the early midgame. They were almost 3k ahead in gold and experience at the 15-minute mark. But EG had a lot of opportunity to make plays with Cr1t- on the Earth Spirit yet again. And the NA team took China on a merry dance from 20-minutes. They shut down Emo’s Void Spirit four times. Setting him back in the farm and pushing IG onto the back foot.
The advantage swung Radiant’s way. It was 14-11 kills at 21-minutes as EG shut down Invictus outside the Rosh pit, taking an aegis for Abed. It looked as if perhaps the Grand Finals would be done in just three games.
But Invictus showed tenacity. Tossing down buybacks and defending an attempt on their high ground to save the bottom rax from falling at 30-minutes.
Their offense diverted, EG again went for a Roshan attempt. Securing an aegis for Arteezy in their push, for the mid barracks this time. They took them at 34-minutes, and it looked like the beginning of the end for China here in Singapore.
But IG smoked up to wrap around and try their luck at a team fight as Evil Geniuses retreated, back into the Radiant. In a beautifully executed team fight around the 37-minute mark they burned Arteezy’s aegis, and then took him down; alongside Abed and Cr1t-.
It was the turn that the Invictus tide needed, and they were ready to ride it straight to the finish line.
By 42-minutes they had cut EG’s 11k lead back down to 8, finding opportune kills on Abed and Cr1t- once more. The kills were 28-21 at 47-minutes when Invictus pushed for the Rosh, taking an aegis for FlyFly’s Sven, sitting pretty now with over 30k farm. They pushed for the high ground, taking objectives and a kill on Arteezy on the way. Then, a masterful teleport from JT- had them all safe and sound away from the fray before EG even had a chance to respond.
At 53-minutes, Invictus were bringing it home with a 13k net worth lead. There was nothing EG could do to recover, as Invictus took the third map.
The Grand Finals were not over yet.
Our Grand Finals were starting to get hot as we moved into our fourth game of the series.
This time we saw a Bloodseeker not for Arteezy, but for JT-. Giving Invictus a lot more kill potential in the lanes than their earlier drafts had. They took first blood with a kill on Arteezy in the bottom lane, and then a second kill on Daryl "iceiceice" Koh Pei Xiang’s Death Prophet at 3-minutes.
But things stayed quite even in the lanes, with a lot of trades. The kills were 3-3 at 9-minutes in.
IG were looking very dominant as the mid game approached, pushing into the Rosh pit. However, a textbook Rolling Thunder from Cr1t- let Arteezy snatch the aegis, bringing the kills to 7-9 by 20-minutes.
But Invictus were better prepared for these set ups from EG this time around. JT- itemized a Rod of Atos early, giving the team that little bit more lock down to help them control the Storm Spirits tempo in fights.
Plus, much like the last game, FlyFly had just been farming to get fat. Locking down a BKB early and building an Abyssal Blade for the late game.
32-minutes saw a massive engagement in the river around the Rosh pit which resolved in IG’s favor. They brought down three on the side of EG. Giving them another chance at the Rosh, this time without any pesky cores to contest it.
They were 13k ahead at 35-minutes, as they pushed for the Radiant top rax. While EG were basically nowhere to be seen. Invictus kept up the assault, wrapping around to push for bottom.
Now Evil Geniuses mounted their defense, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Chinese team from taking this game home. They took a full-team wipe, and EG had nowhere left to run.
Invictus Gaming were taking this Grand Finals all the way to five games.
It was do or die in the very last game of our series, and Evil Geniuses definitely started map 5 with their best foot forward. They’d established a strong gold advantage by 7-minutes in. The kills were close however, sitting at 3-2.
JT- was on Mars for our last game, and it is a hero that looks good on him. He executed a stunning arena at the 10-minute mark to turn the kill count around, 5-7.
And the kills just kept coming thick and fast into the mid game on both sides. 7-11 at 14-minutes, 11-13 at 16-minutes, with a not so stellar Arena from JT-, this time allowing EG to close the gap.
Abed managed to score a free pick off for his Storm Spirit on JT- at 19-minutes, and with the Arena out of play, EG make a move for the first Rosh. Easily securing it for Abed before the clock hit 20-minutes. A nice jump from Cr1t-’s Tusk at the 22-minute mark gave them their kill-lead back, 17-14.
But FlyFly’s Spectre was stealing leading the way in experience. In fact, it was Lifestealer who was a level behind as the game began to near the late stages. And IG wanted him to stay behind. They smoked up at 27-minutes and landed a jump on the Naix, shutting Arteezy down swiftly and then mopping up iceiceice’s Enigma, who wasn’t able to catch them with his ult.
They followed up that killing spree with another at 29-minutes, picking off Arteezy yet again and chasing down Fly and Cr1t- too. The kills were 20-21 as Invictus pushed their momentum for a Roshan attempt of their own.
A cheese for Emo’s Ember Spirit and an Aegis for FlyFly’s Spectre and it was off to make some moves happen. They headed for the top Radiant rax, and FlyFly took himself a triple kill. It was 24-21 at 34-minutes and Invictus had an 8k lead. FlyFly didn’t even have to pop his aegis.
Evil Geniuses moved to try and catch JT- in the jungle as IG retreated, but despite another nice set up from Cr1t-, the skirmish goes sour. With Oli using his Phoenix Egg to keep EG zoned out and let Invictus turn the fight. They take down three from EG, 22-27 kills, as they push for the mid rax at 37-minutes.
Another big engagement in the river at 39-minutes let’s IG manage a full team wipe on Evil Geniuses. Giving them space to push the T4s and take a free Roshan before any of EG’s cores respawned.
Image: ONE Esports
With Emo’s Ember rocking a double refresher, IG went straight in for the kill. JT- slammed down an Arena and it was all in on Lifestealer. Arteezy fell, and it was GG for EG at 42-minutes.
The script had been flipped, as Invictus Gaming swept through the Evil Geniuses in the last three games of the Grand Finals. Taking the title and the glory for China.
That's a wrap for the first Major of the DPC this year. Our teams will be back in the action in a few weeks as Season 2 of the Dota Pro Circuit kicks off with the regional leagues!
Feature Image: ONE Esports