SEA Struggles, Veterans Prevail: ESL One Genting Group Stage Recap
The group stage is now complete for 2017's first tournament. Over the past two days, we've learned a lot about how 7.01 will play out in the coming weeks. The current gameplay patch has put a greater emphasis on team-fighting over extended farming, not only in pubs, but in tournament play as well.
Digital Chaos, Newbee Cruise into Semifinals
The first day of the group stage saw two teams advance into the semifinals, with DC and Newbee placing first in their groups to make it to Sunday's final matches. Newbee had the hardest possible path to the semifinals, playing Team NP first in a best-of-one, followed by Virtus.pro in a best-of-three. By taking down VP, they're certainly one of the teams poised to take the tournament.
DC admittedly had an easier time getting to the top of Group B, having to take down Execration, but they did have to face Wings Gaming for the first semifinal spot. The last time that these teams met was indeed the biggest stage of all; The International 6 grand finals. But, DC earned their revenge by defeating Wings to take the top spot in Group B.
East Asia Stumbles Out of Genting
While things were looking up for DC and Newbee, tournament results for the local talent weren't nearly as favorable. The most represented region at the tournament saw its teams lose in all of their matches on the first day of the tournament, meaning they had to win every game on day two in order to advance to the semifinals.
The first match on day two was Team NP vs. Fnatic, followed by WarriorsGaming.Unity vs. Execration later that day. This meant that at least one SEA team would go home in dead last. In the end, it was two SEA teams that went home: Fnatic and WG.U. Execration then played Wings Gaming for the last semifinal spot. The SEA stack held their own in the first half of game one, but would promptly slip away and go down 1-0. Game two, simply put, was a stomping by the TI6 champions, who would not lose control of the game at any point, eliminiating Execration on a near perfect kill score of 20-1.
Virtus.pro, Wings Snatch Final Spots
VP's loss against Newbee in the Group A winners final was far from an upset, with three tightly contested games and some of the best Dota we've seen at the tournament. Virtus.pro then played and eliminated Team NP to take the second spot in Group A, and Wings crushed Execration to take the second spot in Group B. While WIngs looked worse against weaker opponents, VP looked great throughout the tournament, despite the disappointing result against Newbee.
The Semifinals: Carno's Predictions
Virtus.Pro vs. Digital Chaos
Carno's Pick: Virtus.pro, 2-1
This is the more difficult series to predict in the semifinals. They are two of the best teams at the tournament, and whoever takes this series has a good chance of winning the entire tournament. I'm very excited for this match, because it's one I've been wanting to see since the Boston Major. I give the nod to VP, based on the head-to-head matchup favorability and difficulty of bracket. Simply put, Group A has proven to be the harder group, with Fnatic being an outlier. DC was essentially uncontested by Execration, and Digital Chaos then played a unsatisfying Wings Gaming.
Newbee vs. Wings Gaming
Carno's Pick: Newbee, 2-1
This matchup is another tough call to make, but it's less of a toss up, for a number of reasons. While the head-to-head matchup is in WG's favor, those matches were played over six months ago. My choice comes down to recent results, as Wings, over the past two months, has not had the iron fist of dominance that they displayed around The International 6. At this tournament, Wings has looked far from perfect, with issues ranging from simple in-game mistakes to looking shaky against teams they really shouldn't. Newbee, on the other hand, has looked much stronger, not dropping a match so far in the tournament., and only losing a game to the second best team at the event, Virtus.pro. If they can captilize on Wings Gaming's mistakes, Newbee has a great chance of taking the first tournament of the year.
Who do you think will take ESL One Genting? Let us know in the comments or tweet at us at @GAMURScom.
Questions, comments, or criticism for Carno? He'd love to hear it. Find him on Twitter at @Carno_.
Be sure to follow him and the official GAMURS Dota 2 Twitter: @GAMURS_Dota2. The GAMURS Dota 2 Twitter is where you can keep up with the latest from ESL One Genting.
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