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The Curious Case of Complexity
What about the other teams?
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Newbee stood at the forefront of the chinese teams tackling the challengers from abroad gathering in Shanghai and have shown us again that they are far from a force that can be trifled with. Unfazed by a string of disappointing Top 4 results in prior tournaments since the start of the new Dota Pro Circuit Newbee have returned to top form just in time to make sure that the first Chinese Minor would be theirs. Making their way from the Winner’s Bracket they also made sure to hand out a clean sweep in a Bo5 finals, dispatching Vici Gaming in style.
But Newbee were not the only Chinese team showing up in front of the home crowd. With Vici Gaming coming (yet again) second and LFY taking third, the Chinese scene made sure to leave only scraps for complexity to pick up as they locked in 3 of the Top 4, almost monopolising the DCP points of this Minor in their home region.
A very important victory for a region that had always prided itself on being at the helm of the dota world as recently there had been a distinct lack of gold medals for them. But as great as the results are for the Chinese region, for the teams themselves it was more varied. Newbee certainly have nothing to complain about as they finally took another title, while maybe also dispelling the trauma from the trashing they got in Seattle. Led by Sccc’s outstanding performances during the tournament, they are looking to be in top form going into the upcoming Dreamhack finals. For the other finalist Vici Gaming, Shanghai has been a much more sober experience. While taking the second silver within a month is by no means a bad result it simply is not winning the event. And by now it must be difficult to shake off the feeling of falling just short yet again. Unfortunately for them they will have to wait until the Captain’s Draft Finals in January before they can play again on the international stage.
While talking about the troubles of qualifying out of the Chinese region for obviously should not leave out LFY. After TI concluded they had been hit the hardest by the new changes to the Dota Pro Circuit as “second best Chinese team” usually was not enough to secure them an invite over Newbee. With their time to shine finally arriving LFY did not hesitate and made it all the way to a Top3 finish, showing us again their impressive level of play and making us bemoan the difficulties of qualifying out of China. Besides these impressive Top 3 there was however another team that failed to make the cut. LGD bombed out and got eliminated in groups. Just how much that was owed to one group seemingly being more stacked than the other remains to be seen, but for a team that has taken second place in Bucharest just a month ago, that is certainly too little in terms of results. It might just also be a freak incident (caused by rampaging penguins), but it is a worrying sign for their fans as LGD have their work cut out for them if they want to show good results in the upcoming MDL Macau and The Summit 8 tournaments.
Besides the strong Chinese performance there is obviously one team that made the biggest splash in Shanghai: Team Kinguin.
Who are these players? While their performance at the Perfect World Masters was probably the first time many viewers ever heard of them, the majority of the team (nisha, Exotic_Deer and eL lisasH) have played together since 2014. Stuck for the longest while in the tier 2 quagmire of Europe they stuck together through changing sponsorships(ALTERNATE aTTaX, Singularity) and invested into the long term with resounding success. Coming into Shanghai no one was expecting them to make it through the groups, let alone the Top6 spot they ended their run on. Having finally broken into the international stage and taking games off of names like Newbee, LGD and Mineski while also defeating Secret is quite the breakout performance by the Poles. We might have all just witnessed the watershed moment of a team truly breaking through into the top if Kinguin can keep up their play at The Summit 8.
How good is compLexity actually? A difficult question to answer. Just looking at tournament finishes for DPC points you could be tempted to see them on top of the NA region but their repeat Top 4 performance at a minor is not that easily judged. Inspecting the results at the Perfect World Masters more closely you can see why. With a game record of 7-10 across the entirety of the tournament it gets a bit weird to say they deserved their points more than Kinguin, who went 8-8. All in all their run must have been among the easiest routes to a Top 4 finish (most certainly easier than their Top4 at Starladder). However to dismiss them based on that would be just as wrong as lauding them to the heavens. They performed quite well in their games and it is clear that this iteration of complexity has quite a lot of potential. Just how far they can go is a different question best answered by themselves in their upcoming matches at The Summit 8 and Captain’s Draft. If complexity can improve further and keep their momentum up there is nothing that stand in their way to seize the reins of a NA dota scene in disarray since the post-TI shuffle.
The Curious Case of Complexity
For SG esports and Vega this tournament has unfortunately not given them what they were searching for, the international breakthrough that Kinguin showed them firsthand. Although flashes of brilliance were shown, it was not enough and it is back to the drawing board for those two teams, who took quite a lot of effort to make it out of their regions to play. For Mineski and Secret the Perfect World Masters has been a warning: Success is always a fleeting thing that has to be chased again and again as their performances during the minor were lacking compared to what they had shown at prior tournaments. In Secret’s case we obviously have to also consider that MidOne was unable to attend and they had to play with Cty instead. While Cty clearly does not lack in skill (His TA casually carrying Secret in their second game against Mineski during the groups come to mind) communication must have been an issue and I’d imagine that Secret’s more subdued performance was influenced by that. Mineski however has to start watching their back nervously right now. Just a month prior declared Kings of SEA, it seems like their throne is already shaking from the footsteps of challengers. With a strengthened Fnatic on their heels in the home region, this tournament should have been the stage for them to perform, but they fell short. Is this already the beginning of the end for them? That would be too early to declare but they look a lot more vulnerable now than before.
What about the other teams?
Current DPC rankings can be seen here
Grand Finals Newbee vs Vici Gaming Game 3
Grand Finals Newbee vs Vici Gaming Game 2
Group Stage Secret vs Mineski game 2