Another week, another two dozen games, and here we are - in the playoffs of what is arguably the world's most prestigious Dota 2 league. As predicted, iG and DK lead the way, with LGD and Orange close behind. They head into the winner's bracket while MUFC, Flash, Tongfu and EG will have to fight it out in the loser's.
For more, see kupon3ss' detailed rundown of what went down. If you on the other hand had a busy week and missed most of the games, you can check out TheEmulator's Games of the Week column and decide which ones you want to watch. Think of it as your personal Dota 2 tivo, only this one is sentient, and picks the best games for you while you work/sleep/IRL.
Finally, we have an interesting weekly feature this time in the form of kupon3ss' piece on everyone's favourite carries - Burning and Zhou. The times, they are a-changin' for the hard carry, and this piece looks at how the role is evolving.
That's what we have for you this week, folks - plenty to munch on while you wait for the games to begin. Enjoy!
When the dust settles, we're left with 8 teams to compete in the elimination stage. The die has been cast, and soon battle will be joined for the biggest Dota2 tournament since The International. Of the remaining competitors, we have an eclectic assortment of squads with different goals and expectations.
iG finished the group stages in the same form they began, utter dominance. With the triumphs over FTFC and EG even more one-sided than the games versus MUFC and LGD. Some of the games were one sided that iG didn't seem to feel them worthy of GGs, including a 13 minute dismantling of FTFC that can best be described as a massacre. iG goes into the elimination as nothing but the top slot, the seemingly invincible juggernaut that crushes all opposition.
DK is the team looking stronger and stronger with every trial. Since their shaky performance in the opener against Orange, they've jelled very nicely as a squad, narrowly finishing Second after going 2-2 overall against iG at WCG and finishing the games against N9 and Flash in a form almost as dominant as iG's. The resurrection of the Burning, Dai/X/MMY, and 357 combo appears to be running on all cylinders.
LGD was the second strongest team at the start of the tournament, but now they appear to be a third fading into the distance. Drawing MUFC after completely dominating them in the first game is something you can't simply shrug off as "testing lineups" and is more reflective of a team that's still adapting, both to the new .76 version in-game and to LGD.int's move to China.
Orange's roster for G-1 is perhaps the strongest pool of individual talent in SEA, and their results showed it. Still as on and off as ever, they looked like different teams in each of their games. From the quick defeat at the hands of TongFu to the second overwhelming victory against the same team, their performance against N9 with a stand-in heavy roster even varied hugely throughout the games themselves.
MUFC is decidedly middle of the road. Tying LGD is is perhaps the high point of their group stage experience, which showcased a strong SEA team that is a bit out of place against both the top of the bracket and the bottom.
TongFu barely escaped elimination by playing one of the big games of their group stage against Orange only to fall back into the disorganized mishmash of talent that they've shown us all tournament. Hampered by internal issues, a reforming team, and the highest pings of any Chinese outfit, TongFu has little hope of making the offline finals if their form doesn't vastly improve.
EG, as expected, got stomped rather badly by both LGD and iG, but their showings were not entirely devoid of brilliant plays like Fear's Rubrick against iG. Adding mother nature in the form of Hurricane Sandy to their mounting list of external enemies, EG nevertheless managed to crawl itself into the elimination stage. There might be a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel, but it's still a rather distant glimmer.
Flash barely eased out a spot over N9 by the way of the elimination bracket. While Ewahh has shown himself to be a capable captain and player, the rest of the team has been derided by viewers and commentators alike, with jokes like "will DsF pass the death/10cs line?"
iG vs Orange, Nov. 3, 2100 KST
The Strongest non-Chinese team in the tournament against the seemingly Invincible iG. If any team has a chance to match iG's relentless aggression and talent, it would be Orange's all-star lineup of SEA Gods, but even that seems unlikely as iG has showcased a level of consistency and decision making that makes the wanton aggression of the likes of Orange seem rather dull and disorganized next to the well honed assassin's blade that is iG.
DK vs LGD, Nov 4, 2100 KST
A fight to determine the second best team in China is always a close matchup. Having the seasoned experience and a greater level of comfort in .76, DK has the edge, especially after the win over LGD and the close match against iG at WCG China last weekend. Nevertheless, LGD certainly has both the talent and organization to claim the win, should they find their niche in the new meta.
MUFC vs Flash, Nov 5, 2100 KST
In a battle between a pair of teams with similar playstyles, it's important to factor in simple individual skill. MUFC has shown that they can keep up individually with LGD while Flash looked absolutely silly against both Orange and DK. Though the inherent inconsistencies in their gank-oriented styles might lead to an upset, MUFC has the sure edge here.
TongFu vs EG, Nov 6, 2100 KST
A close match to call. These two teams have both had their share of rough patches, but always seemed to keep themselves from falling into the abyss. TongFu's performance against Orange showed that their lineup still has a lot of untapped potential. On the other hand, EG's team seemed to be literally falling apart during their last series.
Winner Match 1 vs Winner Match 3, Nov 7, 2100 KST
Better known as Orange vs Inferior SEA team. For the same reason that I gave MUFC the edge over Flash, Orange should have an easy time against whichever team limps into this matchup, as they are likely to be steamed after their defeat at the hand of iG.
Winner Match 2 vs Winner Match 4, Nov 8, 2100 KST
Which ever of the more consistent of the Chinese teams fall down here will have an easy time against the weaker team below. The standard play from DK and LGD are both forces to be reckoned with and either EG or TongFU will likely have exhausted their respective bags of tricks against each other.
Lan bracket predictions iG vs LGD DK vs Orange
Games of the Week
This week we have seen almost only one-sided games, but with game 1 of Tonfgu vs Orange we had what was the only good/close game of the week. Tongfu, with a great lineup of Bounty Hunter, Queen of Pain, Jakiro, Night Stalker, and Tidehunter, show us that they are still capable of upsetting the top teams in their group.
In game 1 between N9 and Orange this week, we saw iceiceice fill in for one of the absences on Orange's roster. This ended up being a very good choice for Orange, as iceiceice played Naga Siren extremely well, leading them to a very convincing win over N9. All this happened in a fairly slow game, but the trolling and great plays by iceiceice in the last 10-15 minutes completely makes up for it.
Not Very Patient
iG further solidifies their utter dominance over the other teams in group A with this 13 minute win. Even though it was only 13 minutes, we had a lot of action, with iG diving towers left and right looking for any kill they could find. Zhou and Ferrari showed us master level play with Night Stalker and Sniper, picking up 18 of the teams kills by themselves. This is definitely the funniest, and probably the most embarrassing game of the week.
Eternal Blaze: Burning, Zhou and the Art of Hero Farming
Just as the spirit of western DotA lies with players like Vigoss, Loda, Kuroky, and now Dendi; the flashy mid players who dazzle the scene with their brilliance and bloodshed, the soul of Chinese DotA lie in its carries. From its birth, growth, and utter dominance over the world stage, a pair of players have shouldered the weight of China upon their shoulders, striding ever towards victory.
Zhou is a transliteration of "舟", which means a small boat, often the traditional Chinese "junk" type of craft. If there is one word to describe Zhou's style of DotA, I would choose Burning. From the player once protected above all to the jokingly named 4th position, Zhou has always been the consummate carry; the carry most able to aid the team, the carry most able to fight. In many games, he is often not the brightest, not the one to kill the most, but the one most vital to the team. Burning himself to illuminate his teammates, Zhou is that ETERNAL BLAZE, the engine so full of fire that drives the team ever forward.
Burning is Zhou's DotA style!
If there is one word to describe Burning's style of DotA, I would choose Zhou From the player who played the best Chen in China to the jokingly named Best Cary in the Universe, what has Burning's dota always impressed upon viewers; sometimes he's not the one to farm the fastest, not the most ferocious in battle, but always the most consistent. The kind of boat that can keep its compass no matter how fierce the storm, passing through hurricanes and tsunamis to stay the course. Be it collapsing sky or sundering earth, to be unflinchingly resolute and steer on through precipitous weather.
Duels of destiny are often as inevitable, and we may well see one in this G-1.
The duo have clashed countless times, one count puts the championships of Burning at 25 through teams like 7L, EHome and DK and Zhou at 22, with his wins distributed amongst CD, Nirvana.cn, CCM, and iG. Pioneering, along with ZSMJ, the 4-protect-1 style that has so dominated modern DotA; Burning and Zhou have brought to the forefront heroes like Necrolyte, Lone Druid, Morphling, and Antimage and heroes that exemplify the concept of carrying. Battling each other every step of the way to reach the pinnacles of farm speed, consistency, damage output and surivivabilty.
"A carry is someone who can bring victory to teammates and not someone who just farms." - 2009
Their last meeting in the old 4-1 wars of .74 came in WCG, in which morphling overcame antimage time and time again as Zhou came back 2-1 to take the finals after losing both in the group stages and the first game of the finals. The finals sounded out as an ode to an age that was ending - the age of DotA 1, the age of the hard 4-1.
As the versions of DotA change as invariably as the seasons, the pair have adapted. Gone is the majesty of pure 4 - 1 carries saving the world, and passed are the halcyon days of heroes like morphling and antimage carrying their teams on their shoulders via insane farm. But the more things change, the more they remain the same, and carries, as we all know, are as important as ever. As captains of their respective teams, Burning and Zhou are the anchors of their battleships, the weights that hold their teams in place in the choppy, unfamiliar waters of the new aggressive hero-farming Chinese Metagame.
That is many gold, yes? (live life of lively thx 2 dota-academy)
8-0 and iG and 7-1 for DK, the pair of carries have led their teams to absolutely insane numbers across the board. Burning is merely responsible for 26.5% of the 2054 team GPM of DK while Zhou is only 25.8 % of iG's 2140. In teams with over 400 average GPM, the carries are only hovering at about 550. It has come full circle. Four-protect-one has become one-protect-four, as the carry is embodied more and more by heroes like Sven, who lead the team in headlong midgame clashes and utilize overwhelming strength to bring early game farm to bear on and then break the enemy.
And so, G-1 moves into the elimination stage, with these two at its helm. Burning and Zhou may once again meet on the familiar battlefield in yet another fated finals. A fanboy can only dream, right?
This news update was brought to you by TL's G-1 Champions League coverage team - heyoka, riptide, HawaiianPig, kupon3ss and TheEmulator.
Last edit: 2012-11-03 11:59:15
RIP BROODWAR 1999 - 2012 | @riptideTL
rotegirte Germany. November 03 2012 04:40. Posts 1819