Summit 8 SEA Qualifier
The SEA qualifier for The Summit 8 concluded with Fnatic claiming the qualifier spot 3-2 over Mineski. The win comes shortly after the addition of Abed who replaced Xcalibur as the mid-laner for Fnatic on the 8th of November. Abed is one of the youngest professional Dota 2 players at the age of 17, but he is also one of the most talented. He broke into the scene in SEA on Execration but travelled to North America for a short stint on Team Onyx and Digital Chaos before joining Fnatic. The impact of Abed (Dota 2’s first 10,000 MMR player) could immediately be seen in Fnatic’s journey through The Summit 8 qualifier with his Invoker, Queen of Pain and Tinker all being instrumental in Fnatic’s wins.
The qualifier began with Fnatic taking on Entity. While the two games Fnatic won were straight forward, game 2 was worth watching if you missed it. The game was an 80 minute back and forth struggle that featured one of the most creative Legion Commander builds you may ever see. Fnatic continued on to play against Execration and swept the series 2-0 in 23 and 24 minute games—the strength of the new roster in full display. The next match against TnC went similarly as Fnatic took a 2-0 win while controlling every part of the game.
With Fnatic in good form they went into the finals against Mineski. The last time the two teams faced off, it was in the finals of the Dota Pit qualifier. Mineski came out on top 3-2 during that occasion, and things looked like they might go similarly for Fnatic as Mineski took a quick 2 game lead. With no more room for error Fnatic fought their way back into the series and punched their tickets to The Summit 8 in California as they beat Mineski 3-2.
DreamLeague NA Qualifier
In North America, EG proved that they still stand tall above their local opposition. While some teams may be able to take games off the star-studded roster of Arteezy, Sumail, Universe, Cr1t, and Fear, EG will almost always close out the series in the remaining two games. What we saw from EG in the NA DreamLeague qualifier was nothing short of domination. EG took down DC 2-0, and then beat Complexity twice, 2-0ing them in the finals as well. EG seems to have found some comfort picks in the new patch, picking up Tiny, Rubick, Ogre, Puck, and Tidehunter multiple times with great success.
The versatility from EG’s lineup was in full effect as we saw Universe and Sumail play Puck throughout the qualifier. Both led the charge to some of EG’s quickest wins while Arteezy’s Tiny swatted heroes out of his way like flies as they marched towards the enemy fountain.
While the qualifiers seemed simple for EG the true test now stands before them. EG is already on the board for DPC (Dota Pro Circuit) points. They sit on the very edge, tied with fellow NA teams Complexity and Immortals for 8th place. A strong showing at DreamLeague would not only move them ahead of their countrymen, it would allow them to catch up with the rest of the competition on the global stage. EG has been one of the most consistent teams in the history of Dota 2, and we expect them to win qualifier after qualifier. It is likely that it is only a matter of time before they make an assault on the top of the leaderboard.
Dota 2 Professional League
It was a busy week for the Vici Gaming organization as they earned a pair of podium finishes in the 4th season of DPL in Fuzhou, China. VGJ.Thunder took 3rd place, and right behind them was Vici Gaming in 4th. This was a tremendous showing in a league which usually establishes which teams will be top contenders in China in the months to come. VGJ.Thunder performed extremely well throughout the league, finishing 2nd in the group stage ahead of Newbee, VG, IG and LGD. VG wasn’t far behind though, only two points back in 4th place securing their spot in the LAN play-offs as well.
Due to VGJ.Thunder’s 2nd place finish in the groups they started in the 2nd round awaiting their opponent while VG had to take on IG in an elimination match. Fenrir’s wyvern made some clutch saves in both games which allowed Paparazi and Ori to turn teamfights to VG’s advantage. Unfortunately for both VGJ.Thunder and VG they both lost their next series, to Newbee and LFY respectively, which pit them against each other in the lower bracket. VGJ.Thunder came out victorious 2-1 and secured a top 3 finish at the event.
The competition at the highest level of Chinese Dota is fierce but both VG and VGJ.Thunder have proven time and time again that they are among the very best players, not only in China, but in the world.
ESL PL NA
The regular season of the 6th season of ESL Pro League has finally come to an end, and with the finals only a month away, it’s time to recap the past week’s Counter-Strike action. North America’s top six teams have locked their slots for the upcoming finals, and the $750,000 prize pool that goes with it.
OpTic extended their victorious ways, just as the previous weeks had showcased, finishing in first place with an overall record of 20-6. SK Gaming and Team Liquid following close behind respectively. OpTic managed to finish week seven flawlessly, going 2-0 across games played, alongside two separate victories forfeited by SK. It should be noted however, that with SK’s two forfeits, their present 18-8 record once had the potential to challenge OpTic for first place—a would-be triumph for the once major champions.
Liquid split their last 3 series of the season against Renegades, Cloud 9, and Immortals, but it was enough to cement their spot at the LAN finals. Big defeats against C9 and RNG in their first maps, 2-16 and 4-16 respectively, put them in peril, but Liquid bounced back in the second maps to maintain their Top 3 finish.
CLG’s inconsistency issues remained clear during the last week's set of series, steering them to a week-long collapse. In the end they would be shutout of their Season 6 playoff dreams. Though locked in to ESL’s 7th season of ProLeague Counter-Strike, both CLG and Cloud 9 fell out of playoff contention by one loss — making the moral defeat that much more painful. Both teams will be disappointed to miss out on the Top 6, but surprise packages Misfits and NRG will be buoyed by their advancement.
The playoffs begin on December 5th, extending until the much anticipated grand final, which is set to take off on the 10th. OpTic, SK, Team Liquid, NRG, Misfits, and Luminosity Gaming will represent North America and compete in the upcoming finals, with the ultimate goal of becoming ESL ProLeague Champions.
ESL PL EU
On the other side of the Atlantic, Europe also finished their final week of games to determine the lineup for the LAN Season 6 Finals in Odense next month. The teams that have a shot at the crown include Fnatic, North, FaZe Clan, Astralis, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and HellRaisers.
Swedish team Fnatic prevailed over the old continent, boasting a 18-8 record, and finishing in the first seed in the highly competitive European Counter-Strike division. The Swedes took a stumble during weeks 5 and 6, losing 0-2 against NiP and North, but they rallied in week 7 to keep hold of their top spot. Despite their guaranteed seed, Fnatic dispatched of FaZe and G2 to show that they had not grown complacent.
Perhaps one of the more interesting events in the final week was the struggle between HellRaisers and G2 Esports. Only one of the teams could advance, and Fnatic’s two matches with G2 this week were the absolute decisive factors over whom would claim the 6th seed for the upcoming finals. Fnatic’s unsurprising victory over G2 put them at 39 points — a shade below their Ukrainian counterparts at 41. Not far behind was one of last season’s quarterfinalists, EnVyUs, who were unable to mount a comeback as they fell short by 1 victory and 4 points. A win against BIG to start the week gave them some hope, but split series against Astralis and NiP squandered their chance to reach Odense.
Another team that has kept Europe’s attention is the young Danish roster, North. The lineup yielded a 4-0 record in week 7, solidifying themselves as a danger team and demonstrating their previous inconsistencies are no longer an issue.
Unlike the highly unpredictable North American scene, European Counter-Strike provided very few shocks in its Top 6. G2 and EnVyUs may feel aggrieved to have missed out in lieu of HellRaisers, but the multinational squad proved its worth throughout the season. The league continued its streak of unparalleled entertainment and stability, and their representatives will soon face off against the best that North America has to offer. With the absence of any major upsets, this week takes us one step closer to the Premier finals from December 5th to the 10th in Odense, Sweden.