ESL ONE Malaysia – Day 5 Recap

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ESL ONE Malaysia – Day 5 Recap

We catch up on the action from the penultimate day of the ongoing tournament in Genting.

Despite lacking two of the biggest Dota 2 teams out there, ESL ONE Genting has proven to be one of the most exciting tournaments of the year. Yesterday’s matches elevated the tournament to new heights with incendiary teamfights, brilliant comebacks, and some top-tier plays. 

The day began with a hard-fought Lower Bracket battle between OG and Thunder Awaken before Team Aster trounced Team Secret in the Upper Bracket Final. The last match of the day saw OG edge out a tenacious, dangerous Fnatic. The day’s matches set up an LB Final between OG and Secret and a Grand Final between the winner of that clash and Team Aster today.

OG vs Thunder Awaken 

OG’s run through the lower bracket began with a match against Peruvian giants Thunder Awaken, who had thumped Nigma Galaxy the day before to get to this point. Both teams favour aggressive plays and fast-paced action, so this was always going to be an exciting match. 

Game 1 

In the first match of the series, Thunder Awaken went for a somewhat bizarre draft with no real synergy or teamfight. Their picks were Hoodwink, Timbersaw, Tiny, Ogre Magi and Nature’s Prophet. By sharp contrast, OG’s draft of Rubick, Outworld Destroyer, Monkey King, Mars and Viper had far better teamfight and AoE damage. 

Thunder Awaken managed to use their better-laning heroes to their full potential as they racked up some early kills, but OG kept on getting trades and growing their gold lead. Once the laning stage was over, however, there really wasn’t much the South Americans could do. 

Slowly but surely, OG took an unassailable lead and began controlling the entire map. After a few decisive teamfights, they closed the game out in the 44th minute.

Game 2 

For their second game of the series, OG went for a comparatively pickoff-oriented draft with Razor, Storm Spirit, Clockwork, Templar Assassin and Io. With their backs against the wall, Thunder Awaken went for their own iteration of that draft with Snapfire, Kunkka, Tiny, Ancient Apparition and Morphlng. 

The way the game began, one would have thought it would be a stomp for OG. OG got pickoff after pickoff, and absolutely dominated the early game. By the 19th minute, Thunder Awaken were a ridiculous 13k gold behind with seemingly no shot at coming back.

However, OG’s relatively young squad showed the foolishness of youth with some highly questionable plays. The complacency cost the team greatly, as Thunder Awaken took advantage of OG’s misplays and came back very strong. In the 43th minute, Bozhidar “bzm” Bogdanov made a ludicrous mistake with his Storm Spirit, running out of mana right in front of the enemy carry. Thunder Awaken jumped at the opportunity and managed to close the game out off the back of that.

Game 3 

By this point, both teams were desperate. Thunder Awaken finally went for a slightly more teamfight-heavy draft with Mars, Kunkka and Rubick. They also had a Dazzle for heal and save, and Terrorblade for DPS. OG went for Earthshaker, Undying and Queen of  Pain for teamfight alongside a Huskar and Ember Spirit for damage. 

It was the Peruvians’ turn to take an early lead, going 5k gold up in just 15 minutes. However, some brilliant plays from OG led to a comeback. Soon, it was the Europeans that were on the offensive, zoning out their farm-starved opponents with only the Terrorblade of Crhistian “Pakazs” Casanova being able to use his illusions to keep his net worth lead.

Despite OG’s massive lead, however, they showed plenty of immaturity by being unable to take advantage of their situation. Slowly but surely, Thunder Awaken were clawing their way back as OG, especially Artem “Yuragi” Golubiev, showed some lapses of judgment and ended up losing their mid Barracks. However, a decisive fight near the Roshan pit saw them return with a bang, getting most of their opponents to buy back and die back to close out the game.

Team Aster vs Team Secret 

Despite a solid showing in the recent Major, most people considered Team Aster to be a weak team. Not after this match, though, as showed that even games against a team like Secret could be turned into not much more than a highlight reel for their players.

Game 1 

Aster’s draft of Luna, Tiny, Enigma, Storm Spirit and Abaddon covered all the bases, with plenty of catch, pickoff, and teamfight ability helped along with a bit of healing. In response, Secret went for Earthshaker, Monkey King, Batrider, Ember Spirit and Dark Willow, which seems to recently have returned to the meta.

Secret went off to a solid start early on with a pretty big lead, Aster came back strong and hard, showing incredible coordination in their teamfights. Although the game was still pretty balanced, a brilliant 3-man Black Hole from Lin “Xxs” Jing alongside a Du “Monet” Peng Eclipse increased that lead substantially.

Despite a few attempts at doing so, Secret couldn’t quite recover and Aster just didn’t let upon the pressure. By the 30th minute, the Chinese team finished the game off. 

Game 2 

Secret seemed to have gotten all their comfort picks with Crystal Maiden Tusk, Terrorblade, Kunkka and Enigma. Plenty of teamfight, albeit lacking both healing and heavy burst damage. To counter this, Aster picked Mars, Winter Wyvern, Hoodwink, Puck and Phantom Assassin, favoring kiting and playing around the opponent’s draft. 

This time, the game went back-and-forth for a while. Secret looked like they weren’t going to let this one go as easily, and with the Terrorblade farming fast, it seemed as though they would be able to put up a better fight going into the late game.

Unfortunately for the European side, that all changed when Xxs and Monet started showing up again. A double Rampage from Monet was all that was needed to completely shut down Secret, and although Secret managed to drag the game on for a bit more, it was over in the 41st minute.

Fnatic vs OG

Try as they might, Fnatic simply can’t seem to be able to beat OG on the main stage of an event despite putting up a great fight almost every time. The same pattern followed here, with the SEA squad getting eliminated from the tournament. 

Game 1 

Anyone watching Game 1 would have had great hopes for a Fnatic success. Their draft of Beastmaster, Tiny, Puck, Alchemist and Dark Willow seemed to trump OG’s Monkey King, Dragon Knight, Rubick, Templar Assassin and Undying in almost all quarters as long as things didn’t go too far into the late game. 

Although OG put up a strong fight initially, it wasn’t long before the Alchemist-induced gold lead began to show its toll on the team. Fnatic was in total control of the game, and all OG could seemingly do was stand by and watch as the SEA team stomped around the map.

It wasn’t long before OG’s base became a part of that stomp, and the fan favorites had their Ancient destroyed in the 38th minute.

Game 2 

With their tournament lives on the line, OG went for a more team-fight based approach with Razor, Earthshaker, Invoker, Ember Spirit and Dark Willow. Fnatic also had decent teamfight, but their pickoff potential outshone that aspect of their draft. They picked Visage, Tiny, Queen of Pain, Bloodseeker and Crystal Maiden.

The game seemed to be tipping in Fnatic’s favour early on, until OG pulled off a teamwipe in the 18th minute. After that, the advantage kept growing in the favor of the Europeans. Every teamfight seemed to end with OG getting more kills than their opponents.

Although it took them a while, the two-time TI winners managed to whittle Fnatic down, and ended the game in the 46th minute.

Game 3 

The third game saw Fnatic resort to putting Djardel “DJ” Mampusti on Nyx, on which he had pulled off a ridiculously good performance the day before. They complemented this with Razor, Puck, Chaos Knight, and Hoodwink. OG’s reply came in the form of Earthshaker and Shadow Demon as supports along with Viper, Terrorblade, and Tiny as cores. 

This game had a very slow start as far as kills went, with only 11 kills between the two teams as late as the 20th minute. Things subsequently ramped up as OG managed some pickoffs and turned it into a strong push. 

Turning the slightest chance into an overwhelming cascade of pressure is something of a trademark for OG at this point, and this game was no different. A few minutes later, they were pushing into Fnatic’s base, and within another few, they had finished things off with 19 kills for and only 3 kills against them in the previous 12 minutes. 

Join us tomorrow as we cover the final day of matches at ESL ONE Malaysia. Plus you'll find more news, guides and even Dota 2 betting tips, right here on ESTNN.

ESL ONE Malaysia – Day 5 Recap
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.