Table of Contents
G-1 Asian Qual Group Recap
Decider Bracket Recap
G-1 Western Qual Preview
A Chat with Kabu
Check out G-1 on
Turn off Focus Mode [x]
G-1 Asian Qual Group Recap
Decider Bracket Recap
G-1 Western Qual Preview
A Chat with Kabu
Check out G-1 on
Turn off Focus Mode [x]
We enter the final stage of G-1 Qualifiers this week, with the entire Western world fighting it out for just two slots in the LAN tournament. The G-1 NA/EU qualifier comes hot on the heels of the Asian Qualifier, which saw iG, Orange, LGD and DK qualify for the offline finals.
We cover both in this G-1 Update from TL Dota 2 coverage. First off, we have an Asian Qualifier group recap for you. Then, TanGeng takes you through the fiercely fought out Decider Bracket, giving you a game by game breakdown of what went down. Thereafter, kupon3ss previews the Western Qualifier for you, looking at all the teams and giving you a quick summary of what you can expect from them.
Finally, we have an interview with Rattlesnake frontman Kabu. Though Rattlesnake did not qualify for G-1, they did make quite a splash in the Asian qualifier. Here, kupon3ss translates an interview with Kabu, who among other things, is famous for his YOLO Clockwerk play. Want more interviews from the quals? G-1 has conducted a lot of English interviews for its Western audience. Go G-1!
G-1 is the biggest tournament of the year so far, and you can be sure that TL will be here to take you through these qualifier and beyond. Round 1 games start on Sunday, Apr 14 8:00am UTC (GMT+00:00), so don't miss them! Be sure to get on the official stream and then join us in the live report thread on game day.
While you wait, you will also want to enter our G-1 Ticket Giveaway to win one of five free G-1 in game tickets so you can watch the entire tournament from within your Dota 2 client. Good times, DotA, fans. Good times!
G-1 Asian Qualifier Group Recap
Group A: Gladiatorial Circus
Four evenly matched teams duked it out in one-on-one gladiatorial combat in Group A, and similar to their G-League situation, LGD and LGD.int once again found themselves among teams all square at 1-1, heading into the last match with only a set of tiebreakers to separate them. Going into the final two games of the group, every single team had a chance to finish first, second, third, or fourth, depending on how the results turned out. It was a high stakes game for Rattlesnake in particular, as they faced automatic qualification or automatic elimination going into the last match. In the end, Orange took the automatic qualification, LGD took second, LGD.int took third, and Rattlesnake was eliminated after ending up in fourth place.
LGD 2-1 LGD.int
The match that brought together the fraternal teams turned out to be a close contest. LGD.int won the first game, but LGD held it together to take the second and third game. In both of these games, the two teams played conservatively and took it late, and in both games the late game experience of LGD showed.
Rattlesnake 2-0 Orange
Rattlesnake pulled an opening victory over SEA powerhouse, Orange. In the first game, Kabu once again displayed his trademark Clockwerk, and in the second, Rattlesnake picked PL and started the hero in the middle lane, proceeding to gank around the map early, driving Orange crazy.
Rattlesnake 1-2 LGD.int
Rattlesnake tried to pull off some special tactics against LGD.int, but LGD.int's well practiced strategy won out in the end. However, Rattlesnake showed a bit of potential in taking one game off LGD.int.
LGD 0-2 Orange
Orange dominated LGD in this, the first series they played with LongDD in the support role, and indeed, LongDD's imperfect play showed in the first game. In the second, Orange introduced Bane to Chinese Dota and demonstrated exactly what it could do to a four-protect-one, as Sylar's Antimage could barely hit as hard as a lane creep under the withering effects of enfeeble.
LGD.int 1-2 Orange
The Orange and LGD.int series was a trio of of long, drawn out games between two teams not particularly known for their lategame. LGD.int's customary early game aggression proved ineffective as Orange came out ahead during each of the laning phases, leading to long struggles from LGD.int's more teamfight heavy lineups to even the scales. While successful in the second game, Orange's early game advantage proved too difficult to overcome in the first and third games of the series.
LGD 2-0 RattleSnake
RattleSnake staked its playoff bid on some strange lineups that proved too complicated to work as intended. In the first game, LGD stretched a kill lead to 11-0 before Rattlesnake typed out because of the hopelessness of the situation. In the second game, Rattlesnake played a more common lineup but once again succumbed to a more experienced LGD.
Group B: The Invincible
Majestic iG once again showed its Midas touch by easily securing the number one spot out of group stages with three straight victories. The only blemish was one map loss to Zenith where Iceiceice did not ban any heroes in the ban/pick phase. Once again, iG dominated its groups and looked like it could do no wrong as every hero composition, every tactic, and every daring play of theirs seemed to succeed. Meanwhile DK continued its bid to get out of the weak plane. The team was mistake-prone against Zenith, and while they got better later on, iG overran them after several minutes of non-stop pressure. They however were able to defeat Chains Stack to get a shot at qualification.
iG 2-0 Chains Stack
Chains Stack posed no problem for iG as they played a pocket strategy of five Intelligence heroes in the first game. The Chinese giants brushed the strategy aside and took the game. Then Chain Stack played mainstream Dota2 and iG once again took home a very straightforward victory.
Zenith showed off a multi-core composition that BurNing can't out carry. The overall strategy by DK appeared dead on arrival against properly executed Zenith play.
Zenith vs Chains 2-0
Chains' two standins betrayed a lack of teamwork that is easily disassembled by Zenith. Zenith appeared to be unstoppable and the match up with iG was hotly anticipated.
iG 2-0 DK
Though iG aggressively pressured DK with roaming supports early in the game, DK held out well against this pressure early on. However, slowly but surely, iG exploit their little weaknesses and eventually take the game. In these games, iG majestically maintains initiative all over the map, and even direct the flow of play in situations where they are significantly behind DK.
DK 2-0 Chains
Chains Stack once again show weakness, and DK finally get their act together for the team's first victory of the G-1 Group Stages. Chains, however, are eliminated, having picked up zero wins against the three big clubs Asian Dota2.
iG 2-1 Zenith
iG utterly dominates Game 1 but fall to Zenith's clowny no-ban BP session in Game 2. In the final game, iG once again stakes out a massive lead and then go for a revenge kill with all five players acquiring Dagons at the 23rd minute.
G-1 Decider Bracket Recap
LGD Gaming vs Zenith
The second place match pitted LGD Gaming against Zenith. LGD came into the game on the heels of a business-like dismantling of RattleSnake and a surprise switch of DDC into middle lane solo role. Zenith, on the other hand, played a comical series against iG that featured no bans and lots of Dagons. But with the playoff's first ticket at stake, the games could only be serious, daring, and determined, and the two teams did not disappoint in their performances.
Rockets, Zombies, and Faerie Dragons
Zenith picked up an early-middle game team fight lineup that featured a massive AoE combination of Puck Dream Coil, Gyrocopter Calldown, and Undying Tombstone. During the laning phase, LGD staked out a sizable advantage from kills, towers, and creeps, but their composition lacked the hard control required to deal with enemy initiation and lacked the tankiness to survive the Zenith combo. Once Zenith picked up double blink daggers, they went on the warpath in search of team fights, and then won them. LGD attempted to find more spell-caster control by getting an Orchid but expended it to turn back the harass of the Batrider instead of preventing the initiation from the Puck. After being on the receiving end of Zenith combos and losing team fights in rapid succession, LGD tapped out of the first game.
This way! No, That way!
In one of the more schizophrenic picking rounds of G-1 Champions League games, Zenith showed a sustained pushing core of Lone Druid and Juggernaut and LGD opened with middle game team fight in Brewmaster and Naix. Yet, as if growing a second head, Zenith headed in a completely different direction and added two heroes out of ganking and initiation strategies. At the same time, LGD eventually morphed its lineup into a KotL-PL combination. On the LGD end, depending on the development of the KotL-PL combo, the PL could be set to farm for late game, could be recalled to help in middle game team fights with Brewmaster and Naix, or could build for push with the Shadow Shaman. But unfortunately for Zenith, their Storm Spirit and Mirana had little to no synergy with the pushing heroes, such that their lineup in theory could both push and gank and was in reality terrible at both. The game quickly tilted in LGD's favor when Brewmaster solo killed Storm Spirit in the one lane that Zenith could build a clear advantage and Phantom Lancer free farmed and took towers. By the 23rd minute, LGD was pushing high ground with a radiance carrying illusion army in the lead, and Zenith crumbled to the assault for the GG.
The Fun Ends Now
In the decisive third set, Magnus made it through the first set of bans and LGD immediately first picked it, showing how much they valued it. The two teams then drew out a four-protect-one verse a dual core line up. In the early stages, LGD took advantage of positional mistakes by Iceiceice and Yamateh to completely dominate the lanes. Seeing themselves fall further and further behind, Zenith smoked up for a team fight 20 minutes in and found the engagement that they sought. Two key mistakes in the battle, an early Beastmaster Roar on a Nyx and a crooked Icepath, wasted a near-perfect three man RP on the two carries of Zenith. Zenith took advantage of the mistakes to get three kills on LGD and steal a gem. Immedaiately afterwards, Zenith regained control of the map and scored multiple kills on the LGD supports. At 30 minutes, LGD found the team fight that they needed and showed just what makes Magnus first pick material. He blinked in for a two-man RP that scored a crucial kill on a BKB'd Dragon Knight. A pair of fruitless buybacks by the two Zenith carries gave Antimage a massive lead over his rivals.
Zenith put up a valiant fight as they stared down a charging Antimage that was by then hitting for over 400 damage with Empower and Inner Beast buffs. Zenith nervily traded one set of Barracks with LGD but was unable to fight back when the aegis-augmented Antimage returned to life and tore apart a second set. The exciting game reached a fitting conclusion after Zenith charged into the LGD base for a failed all-in initiation on the enemy AntiMage and exposed their final set of Barracks for LGD to easily demolish.
LGD.int vs DK
Two fallen stars, LGD International and Team DK, met in the third place match for an elimination battle. After their second place finish in G-League, the LGD International squad has fallen into a period of weakness and lost a majority of their games against top opponents. Likewise, Team DK suffered an ignominious elimination from the G-League groups and were soundly defeated by Zenith and iG. Their only chance at redemption in G-1 came via a victory over Group B's Chains Stack. Thus, it was clear that both teams would be looking to rediscover some old magic and create a new formula for success.
The Mandate of Heaven
Even before the battle commenced, given normal early game development, the lineups appeared to favor LGD International in the mid game. In the end, not only did LGD International get a good early game, but they also caught out RotK's QoP to completely demolish a lane and thus prevented DK from providing BurNinG a safe farming environment. By the 23rd minute, LGD International had taken out all of DK's outer towers. Then, with a 5k economy lead and an Aegis in hand, they were ready to go high ground. However, despite being at such a severe disadvantage, DK found its former magic here and flipped the game on its head.
As if the heavens were in fact smiling upon them, the defending champions stalled out LGD Int via split pushes and pick offs near its towers and delayed the first push to the 26th minute. Then, DK easily repelled the first attack, popped the Aegis and sniped the Puck to delay the next LGD high ground attempt. As LGD saw DK's excellent defense, they appeared to contract tunnel vision in the next battle and neglect farming sheep sticks. During this period, they smoked up and camped in the Dire jungle in hopes of catching DK outside their base. However, DK played conservatively and the test of patience delayed the second high ground attempt to the 34th minute. A brilliantly timed Beastmaster Roar in the battle allowed the Alchemist to take on the dual carries of LGD Int one at a time and repel the second high ground attempt without taking any losses. As DK supports caught up and passed their LGD Int counterparts and the Alchemist farmed up all six slots, it was obvious that DK were catching up. They completed the comeback by cleaning up the LGD Int heroes while the carries were away taking out Roshan for an Aegis.
A Broken Team
In the second game, LGD Int picked a strange lineup of fragile carries in Tinker, Mirana, and Shadow Fiend. The tankier heroes of DK took first blood, the lead, and then never looked back. LGD Int looked poor in this game. They were behind early and fell behind even more as the game progressed. Furthermore, they never looked particularly interested in forcing the issue and getting back into the game. DK played conservatively and LGD Int did not play riskily either. Both sides farmed in relative peace for around 40 minutes. The first LGD Int barracks fell when Mirana got picked off and LGD Int declined to defend the ensuing push. The second barracks fell when LGD Int heroes were caught out pushing middle and didn't carry teleport scrolls. The last barracks fell after DK turned around an LGD Int initiation to pick off a couple of key heroes, and LGD Int once again declined to defend. What a game!
DK vs Zenith
For a long time, DK had stared into the abyss of elimination while Zenith had stood on the cusp of qualification. In the days prior to this game, DK survived two successive elimination matches against Chains Stack and LGD.int, and Zenith was turned back twice by iG and LGD. The final playoff match of the G-1 Champions League Asian Qualifier offered both these teams something new. For DK, it would be the first chance at qualification for the LAN finals and in that sense was the light at end of a long tunnel. For Zenith, it represented the first high pressure, win-or-go-home match that they knew was coming their way. In this high stakes game of winner-take-all, it would be the older, more experienced Team DK that would take home the honors.
In the Twilight Zone
Game one followed a traditional SEA vs China Dota script - a four-protect-one farm heavy style against a three core lineup. The only difference was that it was DK running the three semi-carries and it was Zenith, a SEA team, that was effectively playing a four-protect-one. Strangest of all, perhaps, was that BurNinG was the poorest carry on DK and had started out on the offlane. It was surreal.
Analyzing the picks, it actually appeared that Zenith might field three cores as well, but DK pressured the DK and Batrider to the degree that Zenith's play eventually revolved solely around the Morphling as any of the other four would get killed if they wandered off alone. Just like against LGD Int, DK played this game conservatively, and did not feel the need to force a high ground push. They farmed for 40 minutes. At the 45th minute mark, DK unwisely took a battle but was unable to kill the Morphling that was almost exclusively building survivability items, something that would factor heavily into Zenith's defeat later on. A team fight around the Roshan Pit at the 51st minute finally decided the game in favour of DK. Had the Morphling built one DPS for his last slot, Zenith would have had a chance in that battle.
P.S. - BurNinG would like to remind everyone that despite his slow farming, early, middle, and late game, it was his Weaver was the most farmed hero at the end of the game. You can take BurNinG out of the farm, but you can't take the farm out of BurNinG.
Return of the King
When DK took the Radiant and pulled out the signature four-protect-one lineup revolving around Antimage, Zenith showed a prepared strategy of an offensive trilane featuring Chen, Axe, and Warlock that promised to dominate the Radiant jungle. Unfortunately for Zenith, Nyx Assassin camped the jungle steps and killed Chen for first blood. This in turn would delay the arrival of the offensive trilane until the second minute. Yet, the trilane still flexed its muscle and lured lane creeps into jungle for both jungle camp and lane experience. By the tenth minute, Zenith held an economic and experience lead over DK despite giving up three kills, and this, if anything, shows us the true potential of a well executed offensive trilane.
Soon, the game once again progressed into a familiar four-protect-one against three core script. BurNinG's farming speed would not be matched, and once he farmed up a heart by the 28th minute, the Antimage became just about unkillable for Zenith. 10 minutes later, DK took out two lanes of Rax and Zenith tapped out to give DK the victory.
G-1 Western Qualifier Preview
The Rest of the West - The invited seeds of Na`Vi, Alliance (Nth), Fnatic and Liquid, along with VP, are undoubtedly the favorites going into the Western Qualifiers with our power rankings providing a good summary of what it's like at the top. While the top teams seem pretty set in stone, where the other teams in the scene stand is up for debate.
6. Dignitas - With a constant, meticulous style with the occasional burst flair in the form of unconventional heroes, Dignitas has been a top contender for quite a while. Having overcome VP more often than not in their recent meetings while winning the Ritmix League and only narrowing losing to Liquid in a nail-biting conclusion to the D2L, they are the favorites in their upcoming matchup. The addition of Sn3yking seems to have brought an X-factor to the lineup and the team looks stronger than ever.
Once the top dog in Europe, Empire has fallen far from its glory days since the departure of Funn1k and the overall improvement of other teams. The new chapter in the Legend of Vigoss has been off to a fairly rocky state fraught with inconsistency, but with top4 finishes all-around and their recent victory at techlabs, Empire is still not a team to be underestimated. Will they be able to pursue Na`Vi to China and make their announcement video a reality?
Despite having more or less dropped off of the face of the planet in the last month, EG remains one of the top Western teams on talent and history alone. Having been the only team to have fought the Chinese in the past 6 months, they came off stronger after the last G-1 League, and this is their chance to boldly proclaim their presence now that Maelk has returned from his vacation. It may also be that team's switchup might have brought a revitalized spirit to the lineup. A flash of their potential was seen at the last Dreamhack. Will the G-1 Western Qualifier allow them to realize their deferred dreams from the last G-1 League?
A perennial fan favorite, the team combines unique players hailing from diverse backgrounds, who also have vastly different styles and personalities. They appear to have a burning desire for self-improvement and sure to make a last minute dash towards TI3. While their results so far have not been exceptional, they've shown plenty of chutzpah and potential in the short weeks since coming into the scene. This is their chance to prove that they're a top tier team that has what it takes to compete on an International level.
While Kuroky's departure has left a lasting wound that's slow to heal, the team is nonetheless slowly picking up the pieces. Black is still possibly the best carry in the Western scene and the team is becoming more mature while persevering through tough times. Fata and Pas can compete with the best of Europe when they're on their game and the team's dynamic is slowly coming together again in a nice 4-1 not unlike that of the traditional Chinese powerhouses like DK. Will they recover from their heartbreak or will they fade into a distant memory as a second tier team? Only time will tell.
A decidedly second tier team with mediocre showings throughout the last few months, Kaipi have improved significantly with the addition of EternalEnvy as carry. They are slowly but surely shrugging off the past, and they just may be the team that causes an upset or two. However, few think they have the chance to go all the way.
The repackaged European AL was not long ago the subject of "you lost to AL?" flames by certain prominent NA players who would later fall prey to the very team they had disparaged. While it's a long shot that they will in fact make it to China, AL's certainly shown that they're not a joke.
A Chat with Kabu
Hi Kabu, thank you for being here. Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi everybody, I'm Kabu from rattlesnake.
RattleSnake has got to G-1's Phase 3 after only meeting up offline for a few days. Things are coming along quickly! Are you satisfied with your recent results?
It's mainly due to the extensive training. We're also getting along well, the team is full of experienced players.
You guys will switch up roles and positions based on heroes and lanes every game. How did you arrive at that rather unique strategy?
We assign players based on heroes. The positions aren't set in stone. People will play what they're good at. We all feel that it is stronger way of doing things.
In addition to your unique style, RattleSnake is also very entertaining, Is this a chemical reaction because you are the "new team of veterans"?
Because we have Director Luo, our lineups are very unique. We honestly don't completely understand them ourselves at times.
Haha! Your Clockwerk is both very consistent and exciting. Do you have any insights to offer us on this hero?
YOLO.(translator's note: T_T)
You've already defeated MUFC and Orange, 2 of the top 3 SEA teams. How do you feel against LGD.int? Do you think you will advance?
LGD is a very strong and experienced team, but we're confident in our ability to advance!
After G-1 comes ACE and then it won't be long until Seattle. Do you think you'll make it again?
We will treat every tournament seriously and strive for a spot at TI3!
The LAN stage of G-1 will have two Western teams. Do you have any predictions of your own regarding western tournaments and teams?
No, we're more focused on advancing in the groups.
What is your impression of Western teams from TI2?
Navi is very strong. Western teams' styles and strategies are often quite advanced and are definitely worth studying.
The Chinese Dota 2 servers will open in beta shortly. Are you looking forward to it?
Yes, I'm really looking forward to it! This way, more Chinese players will be able to play Dota 2.
Thanks again, Kabu, for accepting our interview request. Is there anything you want to say to your overseas fans?
(Translator's note: the following was said in English.)
I'm here on behalf of Rattlesnake Gaming. Thank you for everyone's support! I hope we could create more exciting matches for all DotA fans! cheers!!!!
Thank you and looking forward to your next performances!
Gfx: Hawaiianpig, Heyoka
Editors: riptide, TheEmulator, Kupon3ss