Welcome back to Day 3 of the One Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore playoffs!
After a series of intense and grueling Playoffs, the day of the Grand Finals has dawned at last, and all eyes were fixed on the two finalists as they duked it out on the battlefield. But before we take a look at our combatants for today, here are the other results from yesterday and earlier this morning.
Alliance vs. Virtus Pro: Alliance wins 2-1
Team Secret vs. Vici Gaming: VG wins 2-1
Alliance vs. Vici Gaming: VG wins 2-0
Gambit Esports vs. Vici Gaming: VG wins 2-0 (Lower Bracket Finals)
Okay, let's take a look at the Grand Finals proper. Starting in the Dire corner, we have Evil Geniuses, an aggressive team whose unrelenting offense and lane dominance has led them to a flawless win streak over the course of the Playoffs.
Meanwhile, representing the Radiant side are their opponents, the ever-unshakable Vici Gaming. Their progress in the tournament was fraught with many close calls, but they've pushed past all of those obstacles, returning to each fight stronger than ever before.
However, there could only ever be one victor. So, as the dust settles on the final game, the one team that remains standing amidst the ashes of the other's Ancient is...Vici Gaming! Congratulations!
Of course, Vici's 3-0 victory over Evil Geniuses wasn't bought over the counter, especially when you consider that EG has been bulldozing most of their competition so far. Credit should always be given where it is due, and EG did put up an amazing fight in the third and final game. Let's check out what happened!
At this point, EG was already losing to VG 0-2, and most opponents might have already thrown in the towel, playing the third game just for the sake of it. However, EG was not one of those who cracked under pressure. They still put up a decent fight, even if it didn't turn out in their favour.
What was odd going into the third game was EG's reluctance to change their opening strategy. The past two games saw them focus heavily on early game lane dominance, and their early engagements were usually punished by VG accordingly. Granted, they were slightly more cautious in Game 3, but all it did was motivate the latter to carry on with their "wait-and-see" approach. After realising that not engaging would just be playing into VG's mid-to-late-game focused lineup, EG opted to return to their usual aggressive strategy - which was just what Vici wanted.
To their credit, EG still managed to eke out 5 kills against VG, but that security soon turned into complacency, as they started picking fights that had little to offer. After a bunch of small engagements, things soon became dicey for EG, as they realised Eurus' Slark had already begun to ramp up his damage and gold. At that point, Game 3 threatened to be a repeat of Game 1, which saw Eurus' Magnus eventually become a near-unstoppable opponent for EG. Meanwhile, VG had continued to pursue map objectives, an approach that won them a small, but consistent gold lead.
Although VG were pretty ahead of EG here, Arteezy's Faceless Void was still making big dents in their team during every engagement, so at least it wasn't as one-sided as the previous two games. It was concerning, but fortune smiled on them after EG won a teamfight on the backs of a well-timed Chronosphere into Black Hole. As people say, "once bitten, twice shy" - so did VG account for EG's gimmicky combo after losing three members to it the first time. The latter tried the same trick again, but this time VG was prepared, managing to reverse the tide with a single buyback.
Their combo broken, EG has no choice but to play on the back foot, much to Eurus' glee. Vici manages to corner EG in their own base, and any stragglers who sneak out are easily dealt with by Slark. However, Eurus gets a little too cocky for his own good here, and a bunch of unnecessary deaths on his part allow EG to recoup some of their losses.
Attempting to build on Eurus' supposed complacency, EG initiated a teamfight, which quickly proved to be the decisive one. At first, it appeared to be a toss-up between both teams, but Eurus's early death in the fight was seemingly a ruse. Upon buying back, his Slark tore into his opponents, who had already been weakened by his team, allowing him to mop up the scraps with ease. With 3 members of EG out of commission, VG unleashed a final assault on EG's Ancient. At that point, seeing no way to deal with the immensely bulky Omniknight and a monstrous Slark, EG surrendered the game and the championship to VG 3-0.
Although Evil Geniuses were somewhat careless going up against Vici Gaming, at the end of the day we still applaud them for their sportsmanship and for putting up a spectacular performance for us to enjoy. They may not have won the grand prize, but they're still walking away with an impressive amount of money and our respect.
Meanwhile, on Vici Gaming's side, we have nothing but praise for them as well. It's pretty impressive how they climbed back to the top all the way from the losers' bracket. So, once again, congratulations to them for winning the Singapore Invitational, and at the same time, we'd like to thank all our participants, and the event organisers for their impeccable professionalism. I'd say we've had a great first run thus far, and we certainly are looking forward to the upcoming Singapore Major in June 2020.
Good game and well played all!
Images: ONE Esports, HardwareZone