Table of Contents
A Breath of Fresh Air
We Got You Covered
How DC Took The Title
More on Liquipedia
ESL One Genting is a perfect example of why unique tournament formats can bring a breath of fresh air every now and then. On a new patch with countless changes we saw teams experiment and - for most of them - get their first true feel of the new patch. From W33ha’s Vanguard Invoker to Blink showcasing the new Necrophos and many teams trying out Underlord for the first time, we were introduced to 7.00’s competitive environment with a bang. While it was clear that teams were still working out the kinks, we witnessed a fast-paced, team-fight oriented, lane-focused drafting style shown by nearly every team in Genting. In a clash of East vs West in the finals we saw Digital Chaos coming out victorious against Newbee, but both played exceptionally well over the course of the event. DC have the honor of being crowned the first champions of 2017 and they have most certainly earned it at ESL One Genting
Meepo, Pudge, Centaur, and even a Sniper were seen during the group stage. Group A was a race to the top for VP and Newbee as they both easily dispatched Fnatic and NP respectively. The winners’ match that took place between the two saw Newbee unafraid to reveal some of their strategies already in the group stage: They took out a page of VP’s book in game 1, picking up a support Weaver for Kaka and running a core Drow with it to great success. In game 3 Newbee drafted the exact same lineup they used to crush NP earlier in their bo1; using a Centaur, PotM and Shadow Demon lane to take over their offlane while trading farm in their safe and mid lanes. Newbee was able to gain an even larger advantage over VP than they did against NP and almost effortlessly advanced to the semi-finals.
Fnatic’s new roster struggled to get things going and looked like an uncoordinated mess to put things kindly: They went up against Team NP and - while they looked like they had a lead in game 2 - some very poor decisions and avoidable mistakes had them leave the tournament without winning a single game. While the team was just newly formed and had Yamateh standing in as a temporary support, this tournament highlighted some problems that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. NP then went on to face VP to determine who would make it out of group A in second place. VP once again put a strong focus on their lanes as they had already tried to do against Newbee and Fnatic, punishing EE mid with a Sniper pick to match against his PotM. Ramzes was able to find free farm in his safelane on Ursa due to the pressure on mid, which eventually resulted in a 16-4-9 performance with a seemingly unkillable Fuzzy Wuzzy. VP went on to 2-0 Team NP and secure themselves the second spot in the semi-finals.
In the other group, we saw DC, Wings, Execration and Warriors Gaming Unity fighting for their two slots to the playoffs. DC started off by giving Execration a taste of their own medicine in the bo1 game: They picked Meepo for W33ha, who got - along with Resolution’s Luna becoming too strong - too fast for Execration to handle. The other game was much closer than one might expect: WG Unity had a solid lead against Wings in the early stages of the game and AhJit’s Morphling managed to pick up a Linkens and Ethereal Blade by 22 minutes. While things initially looked good for the team that had already given Wings a fight at the Boston Major, the Chinese’s perseverance paid off and they managed to win the bo1.
This set up a rematch of the TI finals with DC vs Wings, living up to expectations. DC once again gave W33ha Meepo only to have Wings pick up Wyvern for Iceice in response. Game 1 was all Wings with Iceice going 7-2-25 on his Wyvern, stopping W33ha from having much impact during the fights. DC rallied back with a Naga in game 2 and a Pudge pick for Misery in game 3 that devastated Wings’ early game. Resolution, W33ha, and Saksa all had ways to hold Wings’ heroes in place for Misery to land hooks, making Wings look almost helpless. To wrap up the group, Execration pulled out their own Meepo in game 3 against WG.Unity but picked a Silencer along with it to counter WG.U’s Winter Wyvern. Execration went on the face Wings for the final spot in the semi-finals, but the TI champions proved to be too much for them: A Centaur pick by y` saw Faith_Bian getting a 9 minute blink dagger and Wings forced Execration to concede with only a single kill to their name. With that, the final four teams were set as DC, VP, Wings and Newbee made it out of their groups into the playoffs.
The semi-finals started off with DC vs VP. During the draft in game 1, Misery came out ahead with much stronger lanes than VP’s lineup, which was meant to 5-man at a very early stage. The advantage DC got from winning all three lanes was just barely enough to counteract the strength of VP’s teamplay and secured a one-game advantage in the series. Game two had Misery pick up a Chaos Knight for Resolut1on and Invoker for W33ha, however both of them decided to go for item builds that were unconventional, to say the least. While Resolut1on’s build allowed his main hero to tank up with a Echo Sabre, Lothar’s, BKB, and a Reaver, W33ha’s Invoker was something we had never seen before: In a move which saved him multiple times in the early game, W33ha picked up a quick Vanguard on Invoker; he followed that up with a Mjollnir, Dragon Lance, and eventually a BKB turning himself into an even stronger ranged dps source than Invoker usually is. Multiple times VP tried to kill him during a fight only to have him survive on about 100 hp, resulting in all of VP’s heroes being slain around him. DC managed to take the series 2-0 and secure their place in the finals.
The first game of Newbee vs Wings was pretty one-sided right from the start: Newbee took over Wings’ safe lane as they ran yet another trilane, this time comprising Slardar, Dazzle, and Winter Wyvern. They used a Drow mid to supplement the support’s damage in lane. Before Wings were able to fully understand the danger they were in, they found themselves at the mercy of Newbee’s lanes. Newbee only gave up 4 kills before Wings tapped out of game 1. With Wings on the ropes, Newbee tried to finish them off using Kaka’s support Weaver with Drow for the second time of the tournament. Although Newbee took a strong early lead, Blink and Shadow were able to maintain their farm on Necrophos and Morphling respectively while Faith_Bians Centaur played the role as a sacrificial initiator, holding on to force a game 3. Wings caught Newbee off-guard in game 3 when y` drafted Broodmother for Faith_Bian. For the third time in a row, Newbee ran a Drow strat, this time with a Medusa. After a few poor fights Newbee were forced into a defensive position struggling to keep control of their own jungle. Nonetheless, a terrific high-ground defense kept Newbee in the game and they were able to outlast Wings’ lineup, defeating the TI champions 2-1.
DC vs Newbee was a back and forth slugfest where players took turns showcasing their skill from both sides. It exemplified the potential this new patch has to develop, and - while there were some moments where mistakes were made - the creativity in item, skill, and talent builds were worth seeing. Newbee started strong with Sccc’s Obsidian Destroyer making short work of W33ha and DC to start the finals. W33ha replied in kind in game 2 with his Ursa, as Misery made sure he had a winning matchup. Together with Resolut1on’s Naga Siren, they secured the late game. Newbee had some fantastic coordination in game 2 but the lead DC had managed to acquire was too much and the series was tied at one a piece.
Games 3 and 4 were equally one-sided affairs for the two finalists as Newbee swept game 3 cleanly with Sccc once again taking control, this time on Shadow Fiend. In turn Resolut1on flaunted his Slark in game 4, constantly picking off the supports on Newbee until the Chinese were unable to even think about fighting outside of their base. The series culminated in a final game 5, in which DC went for more early aggression, using what Newbee had been successful with earlier in the tournament: Shadow Demon, PotM and an offlane Centaur. With rotations from Misery and Saksa, W33ha’s Queen of Pain had an excellent start and Resolut1on had free farm on his Na’ix. Combined with MoonMeander getting farm on Centaur, Newbee couldn’t seem to find a way to fight into all of DC’s cores, leading to Digital Chaos claiming their very first championship with a final score of 3-2.