The Dota 2 Asia Championship 2018 has come to an end and we have a winner. Mineski is the first Southeast Asian team to win a Dota 2 Major. They have broken the stranglehold on Dota 2 Majors held by OG, VP, and Secret. The Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 had a prize pool of $1,000,000 and had several top teams in attendance. The finalists were not really the teams that one would have expected, but it only led to a very exciting and close finish.
Mineski and LGD matched off in the Grand finals. The match went down to the wire with a really exciting Game 5 deciding the ultimate winner. We present to you an overview of the teams’ paths to the finals.
Different Paths to the Playoffs
The ten-day tournament saw LGD and Mineski go through several top teams en route to the Grand finals. The two teams were in different Groups during the initial part of the tournament. While Mineski had a very comfortable route to the Playoffs. Their only loss during the Group stage came against Virtus Pro, the only team already qualified to TI8. Mineski displayed excellent hero drafts which gave them a clear direction in their games.
LGD, on the other hand, has put up with a very tenuous process through the Group Stage. Being in a group which had five teams tied for the top position, LGD had to play the tiebreaker matches. The Chinese team eventually managed just enough to qualify through to the Playoffs on the main stage. They were one of the few Chinese teams to potentially have a chance of winning a Major.
The two teams obviously had a very different approach towards the playoffs. While Mineski were dominant in their group stage matches, with Virtus pro being the only team to defeat them. But LGD started off really slow, probably not as good as the rest of the Chinese teams in action. However, through the past few days we saw the team improve drastically. The team’s synergy has improved a lot.
The Main Stage
The two teams had a very similar path in the Playoffs. Mineski and LGD Gaming zoomed past their opponents, with LGD losing their first match in the playoffs to Mineski. The teams met once again in the Grand finals, which was one of the best series in a long time.
The two teams went back and forth with their drafts and the way they were battling against each other. The first map saw Mineski pick up the two new heroes introduced into Captains Mode. Pangolier and Dark Willow have seen a decent pick rate at DAC 2018, but this was a rare sight to see both the heroes being picked up by a team. Mineski needed a strong early game, which unfortunately for them was not the case.
The early game advantage for LGD continued through the game as their lineup reached its potential in the latter stages of the game. Once Phantom Assassin got the BKB, there was really no answer from Mineski. The game turned out to be a really weak opening game for the Grand Finals
What counters BKB? It’s Magnus!
Mineski went into Game two with a singular focus. They wanted to counter the BKB carriers on LGD and force LGD to play a style different than their own. So when LGD had two BKB cores on their roster, we saw Mineski play the Magnus. The Magnus ultimate was able to disable the LGD cores through their BKBs. This provided enough time for the Mineski cores to deal damage and win team fights easily.
This match was quite the opposite to Game 1 and we saw Mineski take Game 2 with ease. It was the masterful draft which propelled them to a victory here. The fans at the Shanghai Oriental Sports center sat in silence as their favorite team looked on vulnerable.
Game 3 saw a similar routine as Game 1
The third game saw quite a similar playstyle from both the teams as in Game 1. Mineski went for the Broodmother in this game.
Broodmother presents a very heavy early game lineup which can potentially end the game by Minute 40. However, if the game drags on later, Brood’s efficiency sees a sharp drop-off.
However, this game’s outcome was probably decided by the item choices by IceIceIce who went for the Battlefury build. The lack of tower pressure on the mid lane definitely hurt Mineski who could not build on their lineup core strengths. With LGD being ahead in the early-mid game, they cemented their position with faster items and more objectives.
While this game was a good contest between the teams, the LGD lineup simply scaled better into the late game as compared to Mineski.
The Championship Game
The series came down to the wire with Game 5 between the two teams being a decisive game. The teams had studied each other really well over the course of the BO5 and you could see the mind games developing in the draft.
Mineski were ready with the Magnus yet again to disable the BKB heroes on LGD. But LGD went a step ahead and picked up Anti Mage, a hero that traditionally does not build into the BKB. However, they did run into several counters for the Anti Mage including a Naga Siren, a disruptor. The Mineski lineup stuck together while LGD split up the map to farm. However, the lockdown from Mineski meant that even Anti Mage was not safe while trying to split push.
Often times, he would be glimpsed back into a Static Storm and then five heroes would collapse on him. In the later stages of the game, it was the Song of the Siren into a perfect Static storm which did the trick for Mineski. LGD could have probably done much better in the grand finals with slightly better positioning. LGD got caught off one by one and eventually dug themselves a huge backlog in terms of items and levels.
Mineski and LGD reaching the Grand finals definitely upset the Dota Pro Circuit Leaderboards. The two teams moved up several places in the DPC standings and managed to push out Na’Vi and EG from the Top Eight.
The top Eight teams from the standings receive a direct invite to TI8. The International will be held in Vancouver for this year as the Keyarena in Seattle is undergoing renovations.
The current Top Eight teams are:
- Virtus Pro – 7872 Points
- Team Liquid – 4734 Points
- Secret – 4710 Points
- Mineski – 3150 Points
- Newbee – 2200 Points
- Vici Gaming – 2160 Points
- LGD – 1821 Points
- VG.Thunder – 1665 Points
Mineski is the first team to win a Major outside of OG, Secret and Virtus Pro. These three teams have won the all the Previous Majors, not including The Internationals. Will the likes of Mineski and LGD still prove to be strong in the upcoming Majors? The next DPC event is the Starladder I League Season 5 which is a Minor in the circuit. It has 300 DPC points on offer. It is the penultimate Minor before the International.