Vici Gaming's foreign imports propel team to I-League title
One of the biggest names in Dota 2 has found immediate success after looking abroad for help.
Chinese team Vici Gaming surprised some spectators with their runners-up finish at The International this summer. The finish netted the team nearly $1.5 million. But the team lost two of its five players in the aftermath: Liu “Sylar” Jiajun and former captain Bai “ROTK” Fan.
In its quest to reload, Vici Gaming looked outside the confines of their home nation for new blood. And they found it in the form of Singapore’s Daryl Koh “ice ice ice” Pei Xiang, formerly of Team DK, and Germany’s Dominik “Black” Reitmeier.
The addition of Reitmeier in particular was met with apprehension from some of the team’s fans. Reitmeier had been introduced to the Chinese Dota 2 scene while playing for LGD Gaming’s former international squad.
Later he would join Chinese side CIS Game as the team’s sole player from outside China. The team’s disappointing crash out of the play-in round at The International led to questions about Reitmeier’s decision and his place at the top tier of Chinese Dota 2.
The results of this weekend’s I-League final should bring quiet to at least a few of those dissenters.
Vici Gaming’s new roster blazed a trail through the tournament, which featured a prize pool of more than $300,000.
The event’s grand final was more of a coronation than an actual competition. Vici Gaming demolished fellow Chinese competitor Old Boys, who recently acquired sponsorship from local esports organization Tongfu Gaming. The best-of-five series ended in a sweep for Vici, with no game lasting longer than 33 minutes.
Vici’s only real challenge came in their semifinal match with Invictus Gaming, who were also playing with a modified roster following the aftermath of The International. That series went down to its final game, which Vici Gaming was able to close out successfully.
The event marked the start of a busy fall season in Dota 2. Four more live international events will be held during the month of October, including the latest edition of the ESL One series, which will be played in New York City.