A look at what went down at DPC China scene, a week into this year’s first tour.
After a lengthy break following another thrilling iteration of The International, top-level competitive Dota 2 is back with a vengeance. All six regions that make up the Dota world have sprung into action, and that action has been nothing short of exhilarating. Since there are way too many matches going on at the same time, we’ve decided to recap them region-by-region. As China was the first region to begin proceedings, they got first priority.
Chinese DPC Tour 1 Table 12/1/23
The Chinese region has experienced quite a major shakedown, with many teams undergoing a partial or complete overhaul. Despite the changes, however, most of the established order has remained intact, with usual suspects PSG.LGD and Team Aster occupy the top spots. Meanwhile, EHOME has surprised many by performing better than expected, while fourth-place Knights is embroiled in controversy after being accused of using vision hacks.
Xtreme Gaming, who performed admirably in the DPC last year, will be more or less happy with their start, while 6th-place Invictus Gaming will look for ways to streamline the performance of their new squad. Aster Aries and Dawn Gaming look a little lost at the moment, and while Dawn has the excuse of being a new side, Aries must get their act together if they are to remain in the top division.
Due to the varying number of matches each day, we’ll be splitting them up by the days they were played on.
The proceedings began with EHOME facing iG and wiping them out 2-0. While the first game was pretty much a stomp after the early game, the second was a tense back-and-forth affair that was nobody’s game until EHOME took control of it shortly after the 30-minute mark and finished it before the 40th minute came about.
Next up was the much-anticipated debut of PSG.LGD’s new squad, which the juggernauts absolutely dominated. Dawn could only get 7 kills across two games, during which they were utterly outclassed. Neither game was competitive by any stretch of the imagination, and right now all one can think about is why the Division 1 slot was given to Dawn and not Vici Gaming.
The very next day, Aster went up against the might of Knights, although the word “might” might be misplaced if the evidence that was submitted to Valve regarding their possible use of vision hacks turns out to be damning. Game 1 went quite evenly until Aster took over in the mid-game and just rampaged their way to a victory, Game 2 went almost identically, except it was much later when Knights began dominating, and Game 3 saw sizable swings in favor of each team in a 64-minute game that ended with Aster coming out on top.
Aster’s academy team Aster.Aries began their campaign by winning their first game against Xtreme in a topsy-turvy journey that could have gone either way. However, last year’s Tour 2 runner-ups flexed their strength with a trouncing in Game 2. Game 3 was absolutely incredible, with Aries being far ahead almost the entire game before losing their lead to what looked like a possible comeback, subsequently gaining a massive advantage, and then losing the game while they still had a Net Worth lead.
EHOME’s next encounter was against Dawn, and although the latter did much better than they had against PSG.LGD, they were still clearly not in the same league as the big boys. In Game 2, however, they finally showed that they belong in the division by putting up a strong fight. Although they didn’t manage to win and never really looked like they were going to do so, it was a big step up from the humbling in their previous series.
The first game between iG and Knights was the kind of stuff that keeps Dota fans coming back for more. The match was mostly in Knights’ favor for almost its entire duration, but there were some strong glimpses of hope for 2021’s Singapore Major winners before the former grabbed the game by the throat and took it home. Sadly, Game 2 was nowhere near as hotly contested a fixture, with the new side dominating all the way through.
Thankfully for iG, they wouldn’t stay pointless for too long. Facing up against apparent group whipping boys Dawn, they dominated the early game, but had a pretty harrowing experience down the middle during which they kept losing fights before they were finally able to turn things around and close the game in their favor around the 41-minute mark. Game 2 was a pretty rocky ride for both teams, but after the 28th minute iG began gaining some major ground, and a few convincing teamwipes later it was all over for the newbies.
In a slight bit of revenge, PSG.LGD dominated Aster.Aries 2-0 after their big brothers eliminated them from The International last year. Both games displayed cold, calculated and methodical performances from the 2-time TI finalists. Aries never stood a chance as both games were wrapped up by the 30th minute.
The last match of the day saw a hard-fought series between Aster and Xtreme. Game 1 was a short, low-scoring game with the kill score at 15-5 in favor of Aster when it ended in the 31st minute, but the next match was much more competitive as it went back-and-forth despite Xtreme maintaining a Net Worth lead throughout almost the entire game before closing it out. Game 3 saw the balance on an even keel until about 22 minutes in, when Aster began climbing and never looked back.
Up next was the much-awaited clash between Xtreme Gaming and EHOME, and it went 2-0 in favor of the former. Game 1 was finely balanced for a long time with a slight Net Worth lead for XG, but just as EHOME managed to take the lead in that department, XG came along and shut them down. In the next game, EHOME should, by all means, have won the game as they held a decent lead for almost the entire game, but all it took for XG to win outright was just over 2 minutes of an advantage.
If Knights winning against iG was a surprise, their 2-0 over PSG.LGD was even more of one. It’s no surprise that allegations have come up against them, because only a handful of teams have ever dominated the biggest team in China over the course of a series in the last four years. They won the first game comfortably, and although the second was slightly more competitive, PSG.LGD were never in a commanding position.
You can’t keep a good team down for long, and PSG.LGD showed power and character in their 2-1 series win over EHOME. The first and third games, which PSG.LGD won, were both unilateral affairs that ended around the half-hour mark. The second, despite the difference in kill scores, was much closer, and EHOME had to work hard to close it out.
Aster’s first game against sister team Aries was a tour-de-force, but they had to fight hard to win the second game. The match could have gone to anyone until about the 42nd minute, and even when their lead became substantial, things weren’t absolutely certain for Aster until they closed things out around 56 minutes in.
Join us again next week when we recap the next batch of games, and feel free to take a look at our wide variety of other Dota content.