There was a great disturbance in the Dota 2 competitive scene yesterday, which sent ripples throughout the community and the hometown crowd present at Epicenter XL.
Local team FlyToMoon successfully secured a third-place finish by defeating both of their opponents—who were considered to be heavily favored against them—in the lower bracket. Instead of succumbing to those considered superior to them, however, they buckled down and made a perfect run through the second day of playoff action.
Their first kill of the day came in the form of European team OG, who had been sent to the losers side by Team Liquid the day before. It took FlyToMoon over an hour to put their rivals away, though their more late game-focused draft helped them hang on past the 50-minute mark.
Star midlaner Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasylenko showed his immense skill and calmness under pressure once again, staying cool and collected in spite of several touch-and-go situations throughout the game. He ended the match with 18 kills and seven deaths to his name. Not to be outdone, though, veteran carry player Airat “Silent” Gaziev contributed plenty as well, with a 17-3 record and top damage by the end.
As FlyToMoon waited in the next round, fellow CIS squad Virtus Pro faced off against DAC 2018 winners, Mineski. Although Mineski held a significant gold lead through most of the game, a few questionable decisions and teamfights allowed VP to even things out in the late game.
Toward the end, Mineski secured Roshan, with the Refresher Shard alongside the Aegis of the Immortal and Cheese. Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang, who was playing Tidehunter, tucked the Shard away in their base—and later on used it without VP knowing.
Mineski went to the top lane in order to execute their “secret refresh” play, but Virtus Pro captain Alexei “Solo” Berezin had absolutely none of it. In a display of incredible reflexes, he saved Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev, who had just bought back prior to the engagement, using False Promise to remove the Ravage stun.
This allowed RAMZES666 to activate his Black King Bar, and the rest of his team to turn the fight around. The losses that Mineski incurred as a result were just too much for them to overcome, and just a few minutes later, they had their opponents knocking down their front door. There was nothing they could do to save themselves from elimination, although no one could say that they didn’t put up a good fight.
And then, it was time for the two local favorites to play against each other. Many thought that VP would triumph over their less-decorated comrades, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. What ensued instead was a total onslaught by FlyToMoon, who sent VP packing in just two games.
The first game was all about Alexey “nongrata” Vasilev and Aleksander “Nofear” Churochkin—the team’s tempo-setting support duo. Nofear’s Chen, in particular, helped them take control of the entire map, preventing VP from pushing toward their side.
They threw the hammer down in the second game with their twin cores Silent and Iceberg balling completely out of control. Iceberg used Leshrac to great effect once again, dealing nearly 70,000 points of damage across 26 kills. If there was ever any doubt about the man’s talent, surely it disappeared with such a monstrous performance.
The morale at FlyToMoon must be incredibly high right now—but they’ve got another wall to worry about on the way to the grand finals. The defending International champions Team Liquid stand in their way, after losing to the red hot PSG-LGD 2-0 in the upper bracket.
Given that they crushed Virtus Pro, however, we’ve got some confidence that FlyToMoon can at least take the series to three games. Should they get past Liquid, PSG-LGD will have a speeding freight train to deal with in the championship match.