Telkom DGL | DotA2: Prem Div. Leg 4 Results

The final week of scheduled matches for Prem Div. Leg 4 (and the Telkom DGL 2016 calendar league year in general) in the 2016 Telkom DGL – DotA2 League were concluded on Sunday the 4th of September. The DGL DotA2 League continues to grow, with a staggering 220 active DotA2 teams currently registered and competing. While the majority of these teams compete in the Ladder, the top eight teams from the DGL Prem Div. as well as the top eight teams from the DGL First Div. earn an invite to compete at the annual Do Gaming Championship @rAge 2016 held in Johannesburg between 7 – 9 October 2016. This means that the 2016 Telkom DGC for DotA2 @rAge 2016 comprises the top 16 placed DotA2 League teams at the start of Leg 4. As Leg 4 is the final league component of the 2016 calendar year, promotions and relegations will only take effect for the beginning of Leg 1 in the 2017 season.

Telkom DGL | DotA2 Wrap up

Premier Division: Leg 4 Results (08 August – 04 September 2016)

1. eXdee Gaming “xD.eVo”

eXdee Gaming is the relatively new organisation created by, or largely put together under the influence of, former Energy eSports DotA2 team eN.eVo. The squad is primarily unchanged from the usual suspects. RDK and 225 both return to the team after brief outings with Masters teams in order to capitalise on potential earnings during a Telkom run Masters Cup held in JHB recently (during the latter portion of Prem Div. Leg 3). Fon Fon and Wz make way for the returning xD.eVo regulars and are relegated to the reserve bench. Thus this team returns to its former strength and is expected to be an unstoppable force during DGL Prem Div. Leg 4 and DGC @rAge 2016. However, there are some small cracks that start to show during Leg 4 as this exceptional team only narrowly beats vA.Pink (2 – 1) and puLse.Reborn (2 – 1), games that in Leg 1 and Leg 2 would have been significantly more emphatic victories. Over Leg 4 they end on 21 points (7 – 7 – 0) with a 87.5% win rate. xD.eVo summarily dispatches all the other teams they play in Leg 4 with relative ease and goes into DGC as firm and undisputed favourites. The only question worth asking of this team is if puLse.Reborn can somehow cause a huge upset and unseat xD.eVo? One would still hedge their bets on the ex-Energy eSports team, but I suspect it’s always possible that a central figure like ImpacKt or RDK can make some disastrous calls that lets another team in to cause a major upset. The 2016 season has been particularly successful for xD.eVo, as they pick up three first place finishes out of a possible four legs. An exemplary record that remains unblemished, with not a single actual series defeat recorded against them throughout the 2016 DGL season.

2. Pulse Gaming Reborn “puLse.Reborn”

Pulse Gaming recently picked up another DotA 2 Prem Div. squad that was unattached throughout 2016, Team Immersion Reborn (now puLse.Reborn). This team has, throughout 2016, performed very well and maintained top finishes in each of the DGL Prem Div. Legs. In Leg 4 their only major losses come against position 1 xD.eVo (1 – 2) and (surprisingly) they also drop a series against position 7 Reversal FoJ (1 – 2). Other than these two series, puLse.Reborn have managed to circumnavigate the Prem Div. schedule with aplomb, accruing victories with relative ease elsewhere ending on 17 points (7 – 5 – 2) with a 66.66% win rate. They’ve also managed back to back victories over their sibling Pulse Gaming team, puLse.Salt (2 – 0 in Leg 3 and Leg 4), placing them firmly in the driving seat as the more successful Pulse Gaming DotA2 squad. It’ll be interesting to see how both teams go forward, but I suspect it’ll all be on puLse.Salt to make some big plays, or fold their hand and cede that top spot in Pulse Gaming to puLse.Reborn.

3. Ventus Academy Pink vA.Pink”

Ventus Academy Pink found themselves top of the First Division at the end of Leg 3, with a record of 7 – 7 – 0 and a 100% win rate. Their swift routing of the other First Div. sides sent a clear message to Prem Div. that come Leg 4, vA.Pink meant business. It is with little surprise that such an aggressive and dedicated team would ultimately finish third on 15 points at the end of Leg 4, with a record of 7 – 4 – 3 and a win rate of 58.82%. vA.Pink only lost to the two teams above them, getting comprehensively beaten by puLse.Reborn (0 – 2), narrowly losing to a strengthened xD.eVo team (1 – 2), and finally dropping a surprise series to Sing.VH (1 – 2). The surprise loss to Singularity notwithstanding, vA.Pink made a pretty resounding entrance to Prem Div. and certainly looked the stronger of the two Ventus Gaming DotA2 teams. This is especially supported by their relatively strong performance against the main side when vA.Pink swept aside Ventus DotA (2 – 0) early in Leg 4.

4. Ventus DotA “Ventus DotA”

Ventus DotA topped the Prem Div. DotA 2 league after Leg 3, the first team to take the honour away from xD.eVo in 2016. Ventus DotA made one heck of a splash in their return to Prem Div. putting down almost all of the teams that came against them. In Leg 4 they needed to reestablish the form that saw them top the log in the previous leg, or suffer the same fate as many other teams and slowly fade away. Ventus DotA would do neither, carefully crafting a mid-table finish with some relatively decent performances. While failing to wow, they managed to grind out victories to ensure they’d remain well placed to make another charge for the top prize during DGC @rAge 2016. At the end of Leg 4 they end on 15 points (7 – 4 – 3) with a 52.94% win rate, netting comprehensive victories again Sing.VH (2 – 0), puLse.Salt (2 – 1), Reversal FoJ (2 – 1), and TopKek (2 – 0). The loss against vA.Pink, however, is one they’ll want to quickly avenge in order to maintain their position as the main Ventus Gaming team. If nothing else, all of this internal competition will quickly help build Ventus Gaming into a household DotA name in the local scene once again.

5. TopKek “TopKek”

TopKek are the second side that were promoted from First Div. at the end of Leg 3. Back then they barely managed to edge out DUC on %win rate difference to end second and secure promotion. As a result many suspected their first spell in the top DotA2 league would be a difficult one, with the very real possibility that TopKek found themselves back in First Div. in 2017. Instead, TopKek would end a respectable fifth with 13 points on a record of 7 – 3 – 4 and a win rate of 25%. While not looking particularly impressive, TopKek managed to win the games that counted in order for them to ensure a return to Prem Div. at the beginning of the 2017 season. The narrow (but well earned) victories against puLse.Salt (2 – 1), Sing.VH (2 – 1), and a positive forfeit against Reversal FoJ are all they needed to guarantee their survival in Prem Div until 2017. As of the 7th of September, Generaal Grootwors joins to bolster the team ahead of DGC @rAge 2016. While these guys might not be a conventional team, they’ve shown that they’re ready to tango with just about anyone in order to claw their way to the top.

6. Pulse Gaming Salt “puLse.Salt”

Pulse Gaming Salt are one of only three DotA teams that has been playing in Prem Div. since the beginning of 2016. They’ve been as high as second place in Leg 2, and as low as sixth place with only 10 points at the end of the current Leg 4 (7 – 2 – 4 with a 40% win rate). They drop games to almost everyone, but do pick up important victories against Sing.VH and Reversal FoJ. These victories are arguably the only difference between puLse.Salt remaining in Prem Div. in 2017 or being relegated to First Div. (where they arguably belong). While both puLse.Salt and Reversal FoJ end on identical points and %win rate, Pulse Gaming Salt should end higher on the log due to their head to head success over Reversal FoJ (2 – 1). This general downhill momentum, from the highs in Leg 1 to the lows currently experienced in Leg 4, have mostly been due to internal instability and a lack of serious leadership. Some of the drafting throughout Leg 4 has been exceptionally greedy and overall the strategies employed have often been questionable. The only possible saving grace I see for puLse.Salt is if somehow the team collectively rallies behind a single shot caller and work as a team rather than individuals. In my opinion the player that has to step up and take charge just has to be Fenner. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see if they manage to conjure up the sort of quality @rAge that eliminated Damage Control from the nAvTV Gigabyte Challenge earlier in the year. Only time will tell.

7. Reversal eSports FoJ “Reversal FoJ”

Reversal FoJ have been courting relegation ever since they were promoted from First Div. in Leg 1. In their very first appearance in Prem Div. during Leg 2 they came 5th, by the end of Leg 3 they were 6th, and at the end of Leg 4 they’ve finally slipped below the safety line to 7th. They end on 10 points (7 – 2 -4) with a 40% win rate, tied with puLse.Salt who have the exact same points and %win rate. The only difference here is the head-to-head result between Reversal FoJ and puLse.Salt, where Reversal FoJ only narrowly lost the series 1 – 2. This should be the fine detail that relegates Reversal FoJ back to First Div. for Leg 1 in 2017.  Reversal FoJ recorded victories against puLse.Reborn (2 – 1) as well as Sing.VH (2 – 0), showing that this team still have one heck of a bite when they’re cornered. I’m not entirely sure if the Telkom DGL rules use the head-to-head formula, but if they go down that path I’m sure Reversal FoJ will be bitterly disappointed (while puLse.Salt will no doubt breath a collective sigh of relief). Reversal FoJ are still capable of potentially eliminating many of the other Prem Div. teams during a knockout tournament like DGC, so teams will need to keep that in mind @rAge! I have little doubt that if this team remains intact through to the start of Leg 1 2017, then Reversal FoJ should make a swift return to Premier Division..

8. Singularity eSports Victis Honor “Sing.VH”

Bottom spot of the DGL Prem Div. Leg 4 goes to Sing.VH, who end on 9 points (7 – 1 -6) with a 18.75% win rate. Truth be told I’m not sure what happened with Sing.VH this leg, as they’ve consistently been in the top half of the table in all three of the previous legs in 2016. In Leg 1 they ended 4th, in Leg 2 they ended 3rd, and in Leg 3 they ended 3rd once again. This was not a side that looked to be in danger of imminent relegation, but at the end of Leg 4 they find themselves beating only a single team – vA.Pink (2 – 1). Sing.VH are one of the few teams that had been in Prem Div. for the entirety of the 2016 season and it is an incredible shock to see them relegated to First Div. at the start of 2017. That they’re still contenders for a top DGC @rAge2016 finish I have no doubt, but this will only come to pass if they can manage to address whatever this bumb in their form was.

TL;DR – The Shorter Headlines

Pulse Gaming pick up a winner in puLse.Reborn, xD.eVo appear to be back at 100%, Reversal FoJ and Sing.VH get relegated, and vA.Pink outshine the main Ventus DotA2 team in their maiden Prem Div. voyage.



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About Sargon

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