2016 World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) | DotA2

World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) | DotA2 Grand Finals

12 – 15 January 2017 | Changzhou, China

The 2016 annual DotA2 World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) Grand Finals are the culmination of the regional WESG DotA2 qualifiers held around the world in late 2016. The tournament boasts 24 teams from around the world and the format is split into two sections: Group Stages and the Playoffs.

In the group stage there are four groups in total, each consisting of six teams. These teams then play each other (Round-Robin style), after which the top three teams from each group move to the next stage. The bottom three teams in each group will, unfortunately, be eliminated from the competition at this point. The second section, now consisting of 12 remaining teams, is the Playoffs. This is a single elimination and Bo3 series tournament structure that we in South Africa are very used to by now (thanks Telkom Masters). The Grand Final prize pool is a cool $1 500 000 split between the top 8 finishers. Coming 8th nets a decent $10 000 (or R140 000 +-) while 1st place picks up a casual $800 000 (or R11 200 000 +-).

Bravado Gaming | Taking Oducation Global

Why do we even care, you ask? Because if there is one thing South Africans are particularly good at (besides beating Australians at cricket) it’s supporting our athletes in their overseas ventures. Especially when they’re representing all of us! And thanks to a particularly hard fought 3rd place finish at the Middle East & Africa Finals Qualifier at the end of August 2016, Bravado Gaming clinched a spot in these finals! So, to put that in perspective, Bravado Gaming have the potential to win R11 200 000 if they keep up that pesky track record of winning almost every tournament they enter! But, to be fair, these are larger waters and they’re no longer the biggest and baddest shark stalking the murky depths.

Yet, having said that, the optimist in me believes that bvd can give a few of these teams an Oducation when they slug it out with the very best South African esports athletes! No matter the result here, we have to applaud the heights Bravado Gaming has achieved in taking a small South African DotA2 esports scene (they have done this with CS:GO as well, much to their credit) to the global stage and the global audience. Well played, lads.

Bravado Gaming | The Players

In an article published on Bravado Gaming’s webpage, dated the 25th of November 2016, it was announced that their DotA2 lineup was going to undergo some changes over the coming New Year holiday period which would affect their roster at the WESG Grand Finals. Of the original five players who placed third at the Dubai qualifiers in August 2016 only three players will be in attendance: Donio “Doni” Teixeira, Wesley “Odu” Rose, and Leon “Flarez” Wong. This means that Wasim “Seem” Lorgat and Abdur “Habibi” Kamdar will not be available for the WESG Grand Finals. For Seem, this appears to be a move into permanent retirement, while Habibi’s future is uncertain at this moment in time.

Either way, that still leaves Bravado Gaming two players short of the five required in order to compete and they’ve chosen to fill those slots with two White Rabbit Gaming players: Travis “Castaway” Waters and Nicholas “Schlinks” Dammert. The addition of Anthony “Scant” Hodgson as a coach in the run up to the event was also announced in that article. This may prove a huge boon to the team and their chances of bringing home some of that prize money. Although we have heard that Scant is currently not feeling well and as such has not been able to play as big a role in coaching the team as initially hoped.

One could still argue that this Bravado Gaming DotA2 squad is stronger than any RSA team before it with these additions. Either way, this should be an event to watch and we hope all South Africans who play DotA2 or watch #esports get behind Bravado Gaming for this event!

The Participating Teams

Bravado Gaming have been placed in Group A alongside the following teams: To.Be.Or.Not.To.Be (China), T Show (Brazil), Horde (Sweden), Team DileCom (Peru), and NoLifer5.Reborn (Kyrgyzstan). The most notable of these are To.Be.Or.Not.To.Be who won the Asia Pacific qualifiers and Horde who were the European qualifiers runner up. Horde look to be particularly threatening, as their roster includes Xcalibur, Pablo, and Akke (names you may instantly recognise) and seem intent on taking down Alliance at this event. That isn’t to say that any of the teams in this group are a walkover; Bravado Gaming have their work cut out for them if they want to progress from Group A to the Playoffs. 

Our WESG DotA2 Predictions (w/ Adam “Adastam” Moore)

I got together with Adam “Adastam” Moore to put together our predictions for the upcoming 2016 World Electronic Sports Games DotA2 Grand Finals below.

@SargonDotA2: First off, as this tournament takes place so soon since the launch of patch 7.00, how much does that change the preparation of teams leading up to this event?

Adastam: Well, 7.0.0 is a massive change to the game. The new meta is still being discovered and as such I feel like anything can happen at the moment. It also introduces the chance of randomness.

What do you mean by that?

Since things aren’t really established at the moment, past results and pedigree might not mean as much in these matchups. The teams which adapt the best, or the quickest, are going to be the strongest. So we may see results or drafts we’re not expecting.

Good point. I agree with that sentiment. So keeping that in mind and looking at Bravado Gaming in Group A, what do we expect to happen here? If you had to lay these teams out, who finishes where?

1. Horde

Horde will probably top this group. Just look at the players in the team; with that quality alone I don’t know how they don’t finish, at least, in the top two. 

You’re talking about Akke, Xcalibur, Pablo, et cetera?

Yes. These are all players who play a really high level of DotA consistently. When you look at the other teams, although some have players with high MMR, they aren’t making the same mark in tournaments consistently. On the basis of the players in the roster alone, Horde should do really well here.

They also appear to be on a mission.

Horde vs Alliance. Hahaha.

2. To.be.or.not.to.be

You have To.be.or.not.to.be in 2nd, while I had them finishing 1st and Horde coming in 2nd. I think it’s clear that these two teams will be battling it out for top spot, but why do you have these guys in 2nd and not finishing top?

They do have a proven track record, winning the WESG Asia Pacific qualifier to get them here. So they’re clearly a solid team. Their track record also appears to be relatively good, with some high place finishes this year. But I don’t recognise these players. They’re not playing at the level that Horde players are on a consistent basis. 

But they still appear to be a strong team, topping the Asian qualifiers to get here. Asian DotA best DotA?

Asian DotA is strong DotA. 

3. Bravado Gaming

I think it’s important to have Bravado Gaming in 3rd, even though this is one heck of a tough group for them. Primarily because we believe. What are your thoughts here?

I agree that we believe in Bravado. I hope they do well, as do most people in South Africa. Realistically though it’s going to be really tough for them to finish third.

It’s a rough group for them.

Yes, the teams here look really strong right? But it is a new patch, so if they’ve prepared better than other teams Bravado can still do well. Plus if we’re talking about a proven track record, Bravado looks really good on paper in the South African competitive team. But that doesn’t always translate well into international success, as we’ve seen in the past. I hope they do well, but they have their work cut out for them.

What do you make of the changes to the team? Good or bad?

Well, in losing Seem you’d think it would be anything but good for your team. Luckily with the addition of Castaway there is some saving grace. Shlinks will also provide some powerhouse top tier support plays. Although Bravado lost two exceptional players, they are in luck with the WRG super subs. The overall changes are yet to be seen in action, but I hope for nothing less than Ar1se Magnus plays 😛

4 – 6. NoLifer5.Reborn, T Show, Team DileCom. Do you mind briefly outlining why we’ve put these teams in this order here?

NoLifer5.Reborn has done really well so far and look to be a formidable team. One of their players is Baykt “Zayac” Emilzhanov, and since Baykt rhymes with blyat, this team will emerge victorious. 

Hahaha, okay. I’ll allow it. The last two teams?

T Show and then Team DileCom. T Show has a solid track record, but in a group this strong it isn’t enough. Team DileCom, on the other hand, appear to have the least going for them and should finish last.

Team DileCom feed?

Hahaha.

WESG Grand Finals Top 3

Alright. Let’s briefly touch on our top 3 for the entire tournament. Any hope of Bravado Gaming making it in these top spots?

We all want them to do well. We really do.

But they’re going to get dumpstered?

Probably. But if there is any moment to do the impossible, it’s right now. After patch 7.0.0.

And we’re behind them the whole way.

We’re behind Dendi the whole way.

That’s true! Team Ukraine to win it?

Of course! What kind of question is that? I believe!

1st place Team Ukraine. I believe.

2nd place will go to Horde and 3rd place will be To.be.or.not.to.be.

Wait, so two of the top 3 in the entire tournament are from Bravado’s group?

Yep. It’s not looking good.

RIP. Any closing comments?

Sargon 1st place in our hearts!

Hahaha… I hate you.

TL;DR Bravado Gaming fighting for a share of WESG DotA2 $1 500 000 prize pool, Adam “Adastam” Moore helps us predict finishing places by using the ancient art of Russian DotA2, Castaway and Shlinks join as super subs, and we predict Dendi will win the entire WESG tournament 1v9. GGEZ.


@SargonDotA2

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Abigail “Tenshimon” Kwan

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Adam “Adastam” Moore

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World Electronic Sports Games

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Bravado Gaming

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About Sargon

Christopher House is an ex-DotA2 competitive player who works as an independent esports writer.