Reviewing another week of top-level Dota 2 DPC action from the underdog region.
Dota 2, and indeed Dota itself, has long had a hold on the South-East Asian region. It boasts some of the highest player bases and most fervent fans of the game and its pro teams of any part of the world. Although its own teams have often lacked the resourcefulness and nerves to make it all the way at the game’s flagship event, they hold their own against any world-class opposition from any other part of the world. The new season of the Dota Pro Circuit has taken the region by storm over the last two weeks, and here’s an overview of the second of those.
South-East Asia DPC Tour 1 Table 21/1/23
After another nine matches having taken place, the table doesn’t look much different from when we last took a glance, but there have certainly been changes. Geek Slate and Execration are currently at the top, but the latter has lost a series while the former is yet to face such a result. Next in line are last week’s table-topper Blacklist International, who have three wins and a loss, and Bleed Esports, who have three wins to show for their two defeats.
Talon Esports brings up 5th place with an even 2-2 spread of wins and losses, while BOOM Esports and Team SMG follow with just one win each — though the latter has had three losses to the former’s four. Last and unfortunately least, Fnatic are yet to win a single game in arguably their worst performance in the history of the DPC so far.
Once again, we’ll be dividing the matches in terms of when they were played.
Both games of Execration vs BOOM were absolutely scintillating, but Game 1 was far more convoluted. Things were pretty much even until the late-mid game, when BOOM took a strong advantage. This advantage stayed for a while and it looked as though they’d be able to close it out, but Execration held on, took over the advantage, and showed BOOM how it’s done. Game 2 wasn’t as close as Game 1, but it also involved Execration coming back after BOOM holding the lead for a long time — almost the entire game.
The trend of comebacks continued as Talon put up a strong performance against Blacklist in the first game between the two. Blacklist had a pretty strong start and kept an advantage till the mid-game, but once Talon took over it was all them. Game 2 was all Blacklist, with its superstars combining to put up a dominant performance. The deciding game was a topsy-turvy mess of power spikes. Despite Blacklist having an XP advantage for most of the game, the Net Worth swung quite a bit until they were finally able to take a decisive teamfight and win the game.
Fnatic vs SMG was two okay games sandwiching a Mega Creeps comeback + base race. Game 1 was pretty much a slow but steady, mostly one-sided ride to victory for SMG, but Game 2 blew everyone out of the water. Fnatic were off to a decent start, but they fell behind down the line and the disadvantage ballooned until SMG got Megas. However, they overextended at this crucial juncture, and suddenly found themselves mostly without buyback. Fnatic took no prisoners, and 58 minutes in. Unfortunately for them, Game 3 was much like Game 1.
A battle between two teams at the top of the table is usually expected to be a close affair, but Geek vs Execration was far from that. Geek absolutely stomped their opponents across both games, hardly giving them any breathing room as they slowly and methodically took ground from Execration until there was none left for the latter to stand on. It was a statement sweep for a team few had sky-high expectations from.
Talon vs SMG was another highly-anticipated matchup that most expected to be close but was a landslide. There were moments in the early-game phase of Game 1 that at least made SMG look like they hardly belonged in Division 1, but after that and throughout the second game, it was just Talon Esports all the way. To put things into perspective, over the 79 or so minutes the two games cumulatively lasted, SMG picked up 27 kills to Talon’s murderous 90.
Game 1 of BOOM vs Bleed was pretty balanced before BOOm started to gain traction, and once they were in the lead they never really gave Bleed any room to come back. After a few more teamfights, it was all over. In Game 2, however, it was all Bleed as they bled BOOM dry over 41 painstaking minutes. The deciding game was a game of two halves, with BOOM leading slightly for the first 20-odd minutes and Bleed simply taking over for the rest of the match.
Heading into the final day of the last week, Execration vs Blacklist was a matchup that delivered two brilliant games. The first saw the teams wrestle for control without any clear victor until Execration just ransacked their opponents for almost 10 straight minutes to win it out. The second game ran even closer, with the teams neck-and-neck until as late as the 43rd minute before, once Execration repeated their feat from Game 1.
In the second series of the day, Geek Slate continued their winning ways with a 2-0 triumph over Bleed. The latter actually led Game 1 until the mid-game, but once Geek gained control, they weren’t one to relinquish it, and it was a deliberate but smooth ride to success. The second game was dead-even until the 30-minute mark, and this time, even a massive, ludicrous Net Worth advantage didn’t allow Geek to finish things up before the 58th minute.
Fnatic’s rotten form continued in their most recent series, where BOOM managed to pick up an important win. Game 1 was arguably the most intense match of the entire DPC so far, with both sides gaining and losing leads many times until BOOM were finally able to conquer their opponents a little over an hour in. Fnatic came back to dominate Game 2, which was a pretty straightforward triumph for them, but Game 3 was another crazy affair with teams gaining and losing advantages well into the late game, and BOOM just about being able to win it in the end.
Join us again for the final week’s recap in a few days’ time, and feel free to check out our selection of other Dota literature.