WePlay! Mad Moon had a very high level of competition in both the Dire Asia and America events with only two spots open to teams through qualifiers.
Infamous looked surprisingly strong and got a little lucky to secure their spot, while Royal Never Give Up utterly dominated the other Asian teams.
Heading into the Asia qualifiers, there was a wide variety of newer teams and proven competitors like EHOME, Invictus Gaming, Mineski, and RNG. The seeding hurt some teams early on, though. EHOME and Invictus battled in the second round and Invictus upset EHOME.
Mineski and the Power of MYSG+AU stack that’s made some noise in recent qualifiers were also upset in the second round, leaving RNG, who defeated Newbee, to clash with Invictus. The two highest-rated teams left in the tournament battled it out for three rounds and RNG hit their stride after losing game one.
Invictus had a good thing going to start the series, but they failed to ban some of RNG’s favorite heroes, letting them draft Sven in all three matches, Grimstroke in two games, and Omniknight in the final two battles. Du “Monet” Peng helped his team turn things around and take the series 2-1.
In the grand finals, RNG completely destroyed Neon Esports 3-0, with Monet at the helm of a stellar opening on his Chaos Knight. Between this series of solid wins and already qualifying for the EPICENTER Major, RNG have really made a name for themselves in the Chinese Dota scene.
In America, things were much more heated among the top teams with J Storm and Infamous playing extremely well in early rounds. Once things got to the semifinals, though, J Storm battled the recently shuffled beastcoast roster in a series that went the distance.
For a recently-changed roster, beastcoast performed well against one of North America’s newer contenders. But they eventually fell 2-1.
The biggest news came from the South American clash between two of the tournament favorites, Infamous and paiN Gaming. PaiN refused to use a coin toss to decide which server they’d be hosting the events on, continuing the feeling of animosity between other SA-based teams and Infamous.
PaiN and most other SA teams are made up of almost-entirely SA local players. Meanwhile, Infamous only have their captain, Mariano “Papita” Caneda, who’s from Argentina while the remaining players are from European countries. This refusal, along with the team being late to the lobby, resulted in them being disqualified, giving Infamous the win.
Following that debacle, Infamous managed to take out J Storm 3-1 with both teams looking at mixing up their drafts. There were certain carryovers each game. Infamous kept a core of Legion Commander, Morphling, and Warlock in the final two games, while J Storm focused on trying to find what works.
After the tournament, J Storm’s Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok and RNG’s Du “Monet” Peng were voted MVPs of their respective regional tournament by the viewers. Both players got an extra $5,000 on top of their other earnings.
Infamous and RNG both join Ninjas in Pyjamas at WePlay! Mad Moon, with five spots left for direct invites that will be handed out over the next few weeks. There’s no set date for when Mad Moon will begin, but more details will be revealed soon for the $300,000 event.