Fresh off the action-packed weekend tournament that was Galaxy Battles II, the Dota 2 Pro Circuit continues this weekend with ESL One Genting—an official Pro Circuit Minor event with $400,000 and 400 qualification points on the line.
Yesterday, the playoffs kicked off with single-elimination matches between Newbee and Vici Gaming as well as Evil Geniuses and Virtus Pro. Only four teams remain at this point, with no lower bracket to give anyone a second chance, everyone must bring their A-game from here on out.
The first match yesterday pitted the International 7 runners-up Newbee against the Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng-led Vici Gaming, the latter of which has been a mainstay of the Chinese Dota 2 scene as of late. Vici’s roster has really come together in the last two months, making them a significant threat from the east.
Newbee would have none of it, however. They brushed their compatriots aside in just two games, both of which hovered at around 30 minutes each. Game one was a field day for Damien “kpii” Chok, whose Hand of Midas-fueled Enigma hit almost 500 gold per minute by the end. Support player Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi helped him hit some easy Black Holes, thanks to his setups with Song of the Siren.
The second map went far worse for LaNm’s squad, with the scoreline reading 37 and 10 in favor of Newbee. Their teamfight-focused draft of Zeus, Naga Siren, Tiny, Warlock, and Phantom Lancer netted them kill after kill—and they cruised to victory in spite of the fact that VG drafted Lycan, one of the most successful heroes in the current metagame.
After Newbee was done sweeping the floor with VG, it was Evil Geniuses’ turn to shake their opponents up. EG and Virtus Pro have had a long-standing rivalry, with the North American team having had the upper hand in literally every single best-of-three encounter with the Russians in the last two-and-a-half years or so.
This trend continued yesterday, with the boys in blue demolishing their adversaries in two games. For some reason, VP seemed perfectly content with giving Lycan away to EG, even knowing that they have the best Lycan player in the world in Artour “Arteezy” Babaev.
Arteezy was not the Lycan pilot in both games, however—for instead, it was Old Man Dota himself Clinton “Fear” Loomis handling the hero. Game one went particularly well for him, Arteezy, and Syed “SumaiL” Hassan, whose play on Lycan, Tinker, and Abaddon respectively helped keep the gold and objective advantage firmly on EG’s side.
Game two was the SumaiL and Arteezy show, with the former flexing all over VP on his signature Puck and the latter dishing out the damage as Gyrocopter. Both players’ item timings were eye-opening, and VP could do nothing to stop them from running away with the gold advantage.