Dota 2 Asia Championships Qualifiers Recap
The 2017 Dota 2 Asia Championships has finalized the attending teams as all regional qualifiers have concluded.
In addition to the four invited teams, Evil Geniuses, Newbee, OG, and Wings Gaming have set their path to attend the 2017 DAC event. Eight teams from around the globe have punched their tickets to Shanghai next month through a string of qualifying matches.
- iG Vitality (China)
- Invictus Gaming (China)
- LGD.Forever Young (China)
- Team Empire (CIS)
- Team Faceless (Southeast Asia)
- Team Liquid (Europe)
- Team NP (Americas)
- Team VG.J (China)
The twelve teams in total earned their way to the second DAC event through a week-long set of matches against their region's top teams.
In China, Invictus Gaming went undefeated in their five group play matches, clinching an automatic qualifying spot. Team VG.J also finished first in their respective group, despite only winning three of their matches and tying the other two. With Invictus and VG.J already qualified, only two spots remained with four teams competing for them: CDEC Gaming, iG Vitality, LGD.Forever Young and Vici Gaming. CDEC took down Vici in their matchup, while LGD did the same to Vitality. When the two winners fought each other, LGD was able to complete a 2-0 sweep and clinch a DAC position. CDEC was not out of yet, however, as they would play the winner of iG Vitality and Vici. Vitality was able to survive and eliminate the once great team; winning 2-1. The momentum seemed to be in the favor of Vitality in the next series as they swept CDEC and became the final qualifying Chinese team.
The Southeast Asian region held an eight-team qualifier, one that was eventually topped by Team Faceless, a mixed-nationality team that recently placed third at the Dota Pit League Season 5 finals. Faceless went 2-0 in their group, advancing to the playoffs to face Mineski.GGNetwork, the second-place team in the other group. Faceless quickly swept and moved on to face WarriorsGaming.Unity, a team they swept in group play. This time, however, WG was prepared and defeated Faceless in three games to move on to the Grand Final. In the lower bracket, TNC Pro Team, the SEA representative team for the upcoming SL i-League, finals faced off against Mineski, who they would beat 2-1. In the next match, TNC and Faceless matched up. Faceless was able to complete another sweep to advance to play WG.Unity once again. In the Grand Final, Faceless dismantled their opponents, defeating them in less than 30 minutes in the first game and in just under 17 minutes in the next to become the sole Southeast Asian qualifiers. In the final game, WG was held to just one single kill, while Faceless racked up 16 of their own.
Team Liquid finished at the top in the European qualifier, defeating the surprising 'B)ears' in the Grand Final. Liquid rolled through their four-team group rather easily, finishing 2-0, defeating Ninjas in Pyjamas and Cloud9 while B)ears shocked everyone in their group, sweeping Ad Finem and Natus Vincere to finish above tournament-favorite Team Secret. This group play led B)ears to play C9 in the first round of playoffs, where they would sweep the WESG runner ups. Liquid would complete a sweep of their own against Secret. This led to a showdown between Liquid and B)ears, where Liquid would take a hard-fought victory. With the loss, B)ears was sent to the lower bracket where they faced C9 again after C9 knocked Secret out. Once again, Cloud9 was swept by B)ears. This led to a rematch between B)ears and Liquid in the grand finals. Unfortunately, Liquid prepared well while B)ears' magic ran out as Liquid quickly won the series and became the qualifying team.
In the Amercian region, compLexity Gaming, Digital Chaos, Team NP and Team Onyx advanced from group play to the playoffs where we saw a rematch of the SL i-League American qualifying tiebreaker match as Team NP faced off against Digital Chaos. DC was able to sweep the popular team of NP. This must have fired up NP as they steamrolled through the lower bracket following the loss, sweeping both Onyx and coL, who had been defeated by DC as well. This led to another rematch between DC and NP, unarguably the second and third-best teams in North America, only behind Evil Geniuses. In the rematch of the rematch of the rematch, NP was finally able to defeat Digital Chaos, winning the series in two games, and clinching a spot in the 2017 Dota Asia Championships.
Finally, we have the CIS qualifier. Eight of the best teams in the region battled for the final DAC spot. In groups, Virtus.pro was unable to compete due to internet issues, forcing them to forfeit all of their matches. This led to Effect and Team Spirit to top the group while Team Empire and Vega Squadron conquered the opposite group. Effect and Empire advanced to the second round of playoffs after defeating Vega Squadron and Spirit, respectively. In the series pitting the top two group play teams against each other, Empire was able to sweep Effect. This forced Effect to face off against Team Spirit, who squeaked out a 2-1 victory over Vega. Effect swept Spirit again, just as they did in group play, to advance to the Grand Final to re-challenge Team Empire. Unlike the first series, Effect was able to capture a game, winning the first one in 40 minutes. They were unable to win the series, however, dropping the next two games to Empire, the final DAC team.
Now that the qualifiers have finished, all eyes are on the $500,000 tournament that begins play on Mar. 28. The winner is expected to be between the best two teams in the world, Evil Geniuses and OG, but the outcome can never be certain when adding in defending TI6 champions, Wings Gaming, and an always-tough pack of teams hungry to ruin the best's chances at another title.
Preston Byers is a contracted writer for GAMURS. For any inquiries, please contact him via Twitter (@Enblitz).