I have decided to do a blog about the latest VSGgaming DOTA2 event @EGE. I don’t really have a reason for this blog I just want to share my thoughts from a player’s perspective to whoever wants to read this. I will be covering a few different topics and if I flame people please don’t get offended I mean no harm. I will be discussing my team’s performance along with my opinions about the event.
Firstly, I would like to cover the organization of the tournament and something that a lot of people don’t understand or know. There seems to be a lack of organization from the VSGaming side in terms of advertising these events and releasing information. What most people don’t understand is that Telkom is severely understaffed. A handful of people are trying to do an immense amount of work and quite simply cannot keep up. I suppose esports in SA is still in the development phase and running at a loss so from Telkoms perspective what’s the point of expending more money to hire people? From a business perspective, it makes no sense. That being said, I think we need to be extremely grateful for the work Rob and his team do.
Onto the event itself. The setup of the stage and everything was obviously pogchamp. The chairs in the booths were comfortable and added that additional professionalism (Shoutout to Evetech). Downside was of course the backstage area where sound coming from the main stage made it almost unplayable. This was a really big issue and I’m not sure how it wasn’t identified. This was kind of an issue in the booths as well as we could sometimes hear casters. A simple solution could’ve been to provide inners for the players. This was something experienced at a previous LAN in the cinema last year and to make the same mistake twice is very foolish. It also hinders the performance of the casters who tried to be as respectful as possible regarding this matter.
The panel did as good of a job as they could. I really enjoyed Snares insights, Wilson’s hosting skills and flow of discussion was good. It would’ve been nice if they could’ve mixed it up a bit. I think having the same people on over and over becomes slightly boring. The international scene does this and its cool to hear different voices every now and then. The additional of Kameel and Profeci would’ve been nice. Everyone is obviously a big fan of Kameel someone just needs to put some trust into the guy and let him cast at a LAN. The casting was ok. I didn’t really enjoy the casting duo of Jubba and Skaapie. I think Skaapie is probably the best play by play caster in SA and having him with Jubba just didn’t quite work too well. Skaapie strength isn’t portraying game analysis so he was already not showing off his true potential or strength. Shoutout must go to Gareth Woods who did a great job with the interviews after games. His questions were very relevant and made the player feel relaxed and able to talk freely and not just going with the generic “what went wrong?”. Can’t believe I’m saying this but Sargon also did a great job on the stats. He became very useful on many occasions and his stats were on point, a great addition (what did I just do).
The hotel was great even though I had to share a double bed with acg (no homo). I guess I start discussing the team’s performances. Our first game was against Pulse who we thought were the weakest team in the tournament. I think if we beat them in round 1 they would’ve been knocked out by sin5. So obviously we lost vs Pulse. We had a few issues with the draft but it was a winnable game. Unfortunately, we lost two key team fights. We a bit of a breakdown in communication which led to bad engagements but we addressed it afterwards and sorted it out. The loss to Pulse wasn’t as devasting as I thought it would be on the morale of the team. Memes were made with we lose to Deathy we would insta disband. We got knocked to the lower bracket vs Sin5 who we previously lost 7 scrims in a row to. We lost game 1 with a somewhat pocket strat of ours which we felt was really strong. Game 2&3 we focused on trying to make them react to us by split pushing heavily and moving them around the map and taking good engagments.We did a good job of this and managed to pull off a comfortable victory in the end. At this point Exdee and sin5 were knocked out the tournament. I thought sin5 deserved to be higher and Exdee just have Hunter (LUL). We faced off against BVD in the next lower bracket round. I didn’t feel too confident going into it but woke up with a good feeling the next day. Game 1 was a bit of an outdraft. We picked anti-mage and pressured RDK in lane. We identified if they don’t end the game by around 30min we would pretty much autowin. Game 2 was an utter 4Head draft where we thought if we picked Viper their midlaner would have nothing left to play. Then we had a warlock earthshaker support and RDK just went ham. Highlight of that game was Filthy Frank killing acg in fountain. Game 3 we picked normal heroes again. BVD opted for a drow strat and we decided to put pressure on RDK again. We managed to stall enough of the push to eventually beat them. It’s always a feelsgood beating BVD. Drow line-ups are hard to execute. I don’t think SA teams can correctly execute the draft. It’s quite hard to pinpoint but the team with drow generally lacks team fight and we had loads of team fight. We lost the first rax that game but it didn’t really mean much as we had pretty much won every team fight and continued to from thereon.
We went on to play EN in the next round of the lower bracket. Energy have had our number the entire year (after we kicked Adam feelsbadman). Game 1 seemed to go on forever somehow even though it felt like we were never winning. They insta picpked Riki because they have had lots of success with it in the past against us. It feels entirely like the supports fault when you lose to an invis hero. I bought so many sentries that game and set so many traps but Habibi-God never fell for them. Game 2 may have been a slight draft error where we had a Night Stalker against their KOTL but we didn’t get on top of him. I needed to dictate the pace of the game but had no other hero to really do it with. Odu basically outplayed me with KOTL vs NS (feels5kman). We discussed it afterwards and thought Batrider would’ve been better to keep the pressure up on C1’s antimage (pogchamp). We eventually ended losing pretty hard that game and got knocked out.
We ended up 4th which I think was a good result after everyone’s expectations. A lot of people had us finishing last (can’t really blame them) but anything can happen on LAN. What people don’t really realize is that we played with a carry player who has about one month of comp DOTA experience and to play in the biggest DOTA tournament of the year and perform well is pretty incredible. It’s kind of testament to our attitudes because going into this tournament we didn’t win a scrim or game for about 3 weeks. It really took its toll on some of us and confidence is a big part of DOTA. Since I joined APG we always discussed our losses quite openly trying to figure out what went wrong and why whilst remaining positive. It always seemed to be 4 of us discussing the game but Adam would leave TeamSpeak every time so we were never really on the same page as him. He was quite disconnected from that team but when he got him to listen to us we improved drastically to a point where I think we had the best safe lane last year (Doni wouldn’t come to lane he would just jungle). Of course toxic dual lanes were something else entirely. Nevertheless, the decision was made to kick him because we thought we could never beat WRG with him on our team unless he improved his game which he evidently has (acg was left). Other than that side story, Wille (Con) fitted into that philosophy we have and even adding more to it which I really enjoy.
Onto XTC and WRG. It’s kind of strange that XTC are a team who are potentially disbanding. Dota and Die had an immense tournament and his drafting was really solid. In the finals, I think they outdrafted WRG 3 times. There are a few aspects I look at when deciding who has a better draft. Aside from the obvious hero matchups, it’s the ability to push/clear waves. If your waves are constantly pushing it forces a reaction out of the enemy providing your team with information, time to move around the map and make plays, something which Darron and Charl do well. Another aspect is a team’s ability to take towers. I think it was game 2 where WRG had a Necro, Puck & Batrider core. These heroes really suck at taking towers so XTC could trade and push waves in which resulted in space for Adam to get huge and Depi to make a comeback after the lane phase. The first game their movements were on point to gang Castaway it was just an execution issue. If they had killed Castaway those times slark probably would’ve got out of control. Depi is a really good player and he seems to bring the best out of Adam which we couldn’t quite do in ApG. I also don’t quite get the 1 game advantage in the final. That format is outdated and less hype for the viewers. Anyway, WRG went onto win game 5 which was just a complete outdraft. Wisp lineups are hard to execute and XTC just lost every lane. Congratulations must go to both teams but WRG still prove they are just that much better than any team in SA. I think if any team is going to compete against WRG it needs to be 4 players revolved around Depi. The guy is exceptionally good and once he matures and his attitude improves he will be one to watch. This tournament may have exposed a lot of weaknesses in WRG. To me they are a team who are wanting to compete in the EU scene and if they are struggling to beat SA teams what does that bode for them?
In terms of placement we did worse than last year’s 3rd. The truth is though that last year there were no good teams. It was basically WRG and BVD. This year I think all the teams were good besides Pulse even though they did play well this LAN so credit must be given. Inevitably this leads to a where to next? In terms of roster changes BVD seemed convinced they are getting Depi and rumors are circulating a few ApG players may be joining too. To be honest I don’t know if any of this is going to happen especially after the performance of XTC in that final. If this does happen it will be very interesting to see what will happen to the rest of XTC. As for me, I hope nobody leaves.
If you have gotten this far well done. That’s pretty much all I must say. I would like to discuss or express my opinions on the SA scene and thought about doing it here but let’s see what the feedback is like first.
Shoutout to my teammates, Theuns, MSI, Red Dragon and Mark for being a 6th place player.