Vici Gaming takes The Summit
China's German-led Dota 2 super-squad looks as strong as ever after topping hot-and-cold international competition in Los Angeles.
Vici Gaming walked away with nearly $200,000 in prize money after toppling a streaking Cloud9 squad three games to one at The Summit 2 on Sunday. The win marks Vici's second victory over Western competition since their second-place finish to Chinese dream team Newbee at The international in July.
Cloud9's performance, while ultimately netting silver, was a bright spot for North American Dota fans over the five day competition. Adrian "Fata" Trinks and Jacky "EternalEnvy" Mao turned in incisive performances that elevated the team over their "kryptonite," Evil Geniuses, to earn a spot in the finals. Pittner "Bone7" Armand was instrumental in the semifinal upset, turning in marquee performances on Legion Commander to put the series just out of reach for the "Boys in Blue."
Unfortunately for Cloud9, Dominik "Black" Reitmeier's skill has only grown during his time with the Chinese side. Reitmeier piloted numerous high-impact carries with consistent dominance, eventually securing the title with a perfect double Chronosphere on Faceless Void that wiped all five opponents off of the map.
While one North American side fulfilled their long-standing expectation for second place, another was lamenting their first placement outside of the top two since July. Evil Geniuses finished day one of pool pay with three losses and zero victories, appearing uncharacteristically sluggish and uncoordinated. While the result was non-ideal, to be sure, many participants still tipped the side for a comeback, citing their poor day one performances in past events.
The team did bounce back on day two, toppling Peruvian side Not Today with relative ease in the first round. But the momentum would be short-lived. Evil Geniuses gave far too many opportunities to a Cloud9 side on a mission in the semifinals, landing in the third place match after winning three of their past four major competitions since The International. The consolation match ended rather unceremoniously as Evil Geniuses was dispatched by Team Secret three games to zero, thanks to stale drafting and visibly fatigued play.
With roughly six months until The International 2015, the results are a potential benchmark for that event. While China will no doubt continue to grow their considerable hero pools and Team Secret will continue to innovate to the top of the European heap, Cloud9 will likely spend the next half-year learning how to turn silver into gold by any means necessary.
Illustration by Max Fleishman