A recap of the Chongqing Dota 2 Major Group stage.

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Day 2 of the Chongqing Major has come to an end with the conclusion of matches from Group C and Group D. We will now move into the Playoff stage of the DPC event which will determine the final prize money and DPC points distribution. The Chongqing Major has a prize pool of $1,000,000 and has a total of sixteen teams in participation.

 

Day 1 saw Virtus Pro and PSG.LGD secure top spots

Four teams moved to the upper bracket at the Chongqing Major. While no team is out of the event, these four teams have multiple instances to prove their worthiness at the Major.

The four teams at the top of the two Groups are :

  • Virtus Pro
  • Ehome
  • PSG.LGD
  • Team Secret.

Virtus Pro

Virtus Pro retains their trademark playstyle in 2019.

The first day saw the Groups A and B matches play out. Virtus Pro came out on top of their group with relative ease. The class Virtus Pro in and out playstyle was evident in their gameplay. They had excellent mastery of the early and mid-game consistently establishing their advantage over their opponents.

They won both their matches and this secured their spot in the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs. It was really interesting to see that Virtus Pro lost the first game in both the series. It does seem that they took their time to judge their opponents’ playstyle and adjust accordingly. No[o]ne is a player who has a large variety of heroes that he can play. Virtus Pro used it to their advantage in their draft. While they did show us the strong early game, they did eventually also pick a lineup which translates into the late-game.

The team preferred picking the Medusa, who looks extremely strong in the current patch. The team’s performance has not diminished, but it is refreshing to see how the team adapt to the new meta.

Ehome

The Ehome Dota 2 team won the Bucharest Minor after a 3-1 victory over Gambit Gaming.

Ehome proved that their win at the Bucharest Minor was not really a fluke. The team looked extremely strong at the Minor. Their win at the Minor over Gambit esports saw them dominate the CIS roster. Ehome’s games were dominated with their extremely strong laning phase. They were able to gain a huge advantage over their opponents. Their win against Virtus Pro also saw them end the game around the 20-minute mark.

Faith_bian has not always had the best performance on his position 3 roles. But he always made the comeback on the team and provided the necessary support to the team’s team fight ability. They presented a very strong case in their Group stage. However, as we head into the next phase of the tournament, it will be difficult for Ehome to get wins against stronger teams. The team faces off against Fnatic in the next phase of the tournament. 

PSG.LGD

The finalists of TI8 still look as strong as ever. The team has maintained its position as one of the best teams in the Chinese region. PSG.LGD has a very strong understanding of the current meta. Their ability to play the strongest heroes in the meta such as BeastMaster, Earth Spirit and Tuskar seems to play on their strengths. The players have excellent coordination with each other.

Ame and Chalice have put forth some really strong performances in their match against Forward Gaming and Team Secret. The second game between Forward Gaming and PSG.LGD was one of the most interesting games of the tournament. However, PSG.LGD’s movement across the map seems to be in perfect harmony with their gameplan. We expect PSG.LGD to be one of the stronger teams at the Chongqing Major. However, we will see them next in action against Vici Gaming / The Pango.

Team Secret

Nisha of Team Secret.

Team Secret might not be the most favourable team in the tournament. They have some really skilled players, however, they are not really putting up big results so far. Their group did not have quality opposition for Team Secret and that was a big help in their qualification to the upper bracket. Their win over Forward Gaming was a very close series which ultimately saw Team Secret win the series in Game 3.

Mid.One had a very strong mid-game with the Kunka. His ability to catch out individual members of the Forward Gaming meant that Nisha was given all the free space he needed to win the game in the late game. With Medusa on the team, Team Secret was always aiming for the late game. However, they pretty much won the game in the mid-game helped immensely by Mid.One’s Kunka.

Four more teams finalise the upper bracket after Day 2

The four teams that moved through to the upper bracket of the Playoffs on Day 2 are:

  • Fnatic
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Team Liquid
  • Vici Gaming

Fnatic

Fnatic topped Group D at the Chongqing Major. Abed had one impressive showing.

Fnatic had a very strong start to the Major with their 2-0 wins over Alliance and Evil Genius. We expected Fnatic to be able to win easily over Alliance, the Fnatic roster looks very strong in the current meta. Throughout the day, Abed has some of the best performances on an individual level. The team was also conscious of the importance of Abed’s performance and how it can impact the team’s overall performance. We think that Fnatic puts forth some of the best team chemistry when it comes to protecting and enabling Abed. DJ and Jabz have shown us some really impressive highlight-worthy plays during Day 2 with heroes such as Rubick, Elder Titan and Disruptor.

 

Their game against Evil Genius constantly felt like Fnatic was able to easily out-draft EG in the series. The second game saw EG give out the Gyrocopter and IO combination to Fnatic. With DJ being the excellent IO player, he was always able to help Gyrocopter get the maximum damage and survivability in the team fights. Despite having heroes such as PA, Magnus and Kunka; EG was unable to catch the IO out of position.

Evil Geniuses

EG move into the Upper Bracket, however, they had a mediocre performance in the Group Stage.

Evil Genius was unable to move past Fnatic in the winner’s bracket of Group D. Abed ran amok in both the games, first with his Tiny and later with the Tinker. In the current meta, the early to mid-game is extremely important and if the mid-game has a player like Abed, there is little to do. He was able to control the pace of the game with constant ganks and movement across the map.

Evil Genius faced off against Alliance in the decider match. Alliance had an extremely dominant Game 1. However, in what can only be described as a cheeky move, Alliance decided to pick Huskar as the first pick for Game 2. Evil Genius countered them really easily and Alliance lost all three of their lanes. At one point, Evil Genius was up 10-0 in the game and there was simply no comeback for the Swedish roster into the game. As Gustav “s4” Magnusson faced off against his former team, he displayed some really great gameplay. With the Doom, he was able to jump in, tank the entire opposition while baiting them to use their skills on him.

Evil Genius would often wait on his initiation and had excellent execution in the later stages of the game. EG is not a strong team by today’s Dota 2 standards, however, they are up against Virtus Pro in their first upper bracket match. It will be a very difficult matchup for the TI8 third-place team.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid advances to the Upper Bracket. They face off against Secret. Image Courtesy: ImbaTV

Team Liquid played with Shadow as the stand-in on the roster. The former Wings player looked slightly uncomfortable earlier in the day. He was unable to bring about the best performances and was often losing his individual lane. However, the North American team changed their playstyle to play a 4 protect one type of play. It worked for them on multiple occasions, the extremely close Game 3 against The Pango where they won the game despite being down against Mega Creeps.

In their second series of the day against Vici Gaming, Team Liquid was not the favourites to win the series. Their poor performance against The Pango had definitely raised a few questions of their efficiency with the current roster. However, in the first game, despite having a miserable start to the game; Team Liquid was able to bounce back. They had heroes such as Dark Seer, who despite having one of the worst early games was able to farm a blink and hex for the late game. In addition, there were multiple occasions when a five-man smoke movement by Vici Gaming would be broken by Monkey King. However, without any tree-clearing ability, Vici Gaming would often waste essential time on their heroes. Meanwhile, Shadow was given the space and time to farm up bigger items and ultimately provide the damage output required for the win-condition.

Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi from Team Liquid

The second game saw Matumbaman emerge as one of the tackiest cores for Team Liquid. He was also able to deal a lot of damage in team fights and it was impossible for Vici to deal with his character. It was a slow and steady win for Team Liquid in this game and series. They advance to the Upper bracket, but there are still doubts about their performance and progress with Shadow as a stand-in.

Vici Gaming

Zhang “Paparazi灬” Chengjun is one of the best players in China.

 

Vici Gaming had a very easy 2-0 win over ThePango to salvage some pride for the team at the Major. Their loss to Team Liquid, a 0-2 loss nonetheless was very unexpected. Vici Gaming is considered to be the better team in the group, especially as Team Liquid is fielding Shadow as a stand-in. However, ‘Vici Gaming’ seems to be unable to provide the right drafting for themselves and is often seen coming out of the draft phase with a big disadvantage. It might be that they are not getting the space to play according to the strengths of their lineup. This is a big problem for Vici Gaming who will face off against local counter-parts PSG.LGD in the Upper Bracket match.

The Chongqing Major moves to its playoff stage. There are four matches in the upper bracket and the same number of matches in the lower Bracket too. The matches start at 1800 PST on the 21st of January. With  15,000 Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) points on offer, there is a lot at stake at this event. The tournament takes place at the BLOOMAGE Cultural and Sports Center in Chongqing, China.


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