Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) | DotA2 Emerald Genesis Qualifier Preview

Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) | DotA2 Emerald Genesis Qualifier

16 – 22 January 2017 | Emerald Genesis Proving Grounds Qualifier

At the beginning of 2017 Telkom announced massive changes to the South African esports scene in the form of their new qualifiers structure. These series of convoluted tournaments massively impact which teams will be attending DGL Masters Cups (of which there are two) and the annual DGL Championships this year. If you aren’t yet fully aware of just how the heck these qualifiers work or affect your team, please hit up our article here. We try our best to help analyze the many upcoming qualifier tournaments with as much clarity as possible so your team has the best chance at success in 2017. I’ll assume at this point that you’ve read that article and are fully up to speed. Now we can get stuck into the first Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) DotA2 Qualifier of 2017: Emerald Genesis Proving Grounds.

The closing date for registrations was on the 15th of January 2017 for all titles. The qualifiers start on the 16th and culminate in the finals on Sunday the 22nd of January 2017. For DotA2, this tournament is a Best of 3 (Bo3) Single Elimination event. Of the 128 available spots in the DotA2 Emerald Genesis Qualifier, only 25 teams managed to sign up. Considering that the entire DotA2 roster of teams in the Ladder Division alone stands at 229 when I checked today it’s more than a little worrying more teams didn’t sign up. But with registration already closed and 8 of these 25 teams advancing to the next stage (Emerald Showdown), things are looking good if you’re in one of the teams below.

Emerald Genesis Proving Grounds | The Teams

As we’ve already said, only 25/128 teams registered to participate in the inaugural Telkom DGL Emerald Genesis qualifier. Eight of these teams will advance to the Emerald Showdown and thus be one step closer to earning a DGL Masters Cup seed. The 25 teams that have registered are from across the entirety of the Telkom DGL DotA2 divisions; from the rough and tumble Ladder all the way up to Premier Division. The 25 competing teams are as follows:

  • Pulse Gaming Salt (DGL Premier Div.)
  • TopKek (DGL Premier Div.)
  • Such DotA! (DGL Premier Div.)
  • DUC! (DGL Premier Div.)
  • HiVe Gaming Entropy (DGL First Div.)
  • Ventus Green (DGL First Div.)
  • Constant (DGL First Div.)
  • Mythic Gaming (DGL Second Div.)
  • PSi Gaming (DGL Second Div.)
  • PotM Bottom (DGL Second Div.)
  • Sini5ter Cloud’s End (DGL Second Div.)
  • Sini5ter Valhalla (DGL Second Div.)
  • ComeBack Players (DGL Ladder)
  • Team Salt (DGL Ladder)
  • Spartan eSports DotA2 (DGL Ladder)
  • Valk Magni (DGL Ladder)
  • TERA Anti-Heroes (DGL Ladder)
  • TERA Team Perfect Synergy (DGL Ladder)
  • ALG Vintage (DGL Ladder)
  • Objective Gaming AE (DGL Ladder)
  • Vz (DGL Ladder)
  • Vindictus Esports (DGL Ladder)
  • Armageddon (DGL Ladder)
  • No Name Gaming (DGL Ladder)
  • Carpe Noctem Red (DGL Ladder)

Emerald Genesis Proving Grounds | Predictions

Of the participating 25 teams only 12 are from Second, First, or Premier Division. This means that the remaining 13 teams (>50% of participating teams) are Ladder Division teams. It’s been a fair while since I have seen many of these teams in action, but going on what I know from past performances (Telkom DGL Leg 4 and DGC 2016) I suspect the higher division teams will dominate here. I predict the top 8 are going to be as follows:

1st: Pulse Gaming Salt

I played for puLse.Salt in 2016 between Leg 1 and 3. So I know the majority of these guys. Suffice to say, they’re a very strong squad. They’re easily one of the strongest teams signed up to play in this tournament and should do extremely well. They’re obviously significantly stronger now that they’ve shed the problematic Muzzy from the team and I’ve heard they’ve replaced him with Vusy. However, with so many changes since 2016 there might be trouble in paradise as their poor DGC run attests to. This will not be the easiest tournament for them, but they have the mechanical skills and DotA knowledge to easily take this if they can just pull together as a team. Watch out for Fenner and Deathy in particular, as those two are both runaway trains if they’re not controlled early. Their biggest weakness is still their support duo, so it will be interesting to see what they do in this regard.

2nd: Sini5ter Valhalla

I’ve seen these guys charging up the DGL DotA2 Ladder leaderboards since late 2016. They’ve also beaten out some very stiff competition in the various Telkom Battle of the Clans (BotC) cups held over Nov/Dec 2016. F3arBender, in particular, is always a solid performer and has built a decent team around himself. They could easily despatch the various weaker Prem Div. teams, as long as Sin5 Valhalla are in form. Teams like TopKek, DUC!, and Such DotA! may be in higher divisions but Sin5.Valhalla just play such aggressive DotA that I see them causing a fair few upsets here. In addition, Sin5 Valhalla just look hungry to be in the highest DotA2 leagues, something many other teams simply lack.

3rd: Mythic Gaming

This squad has just been announced and I expect big things from them. With undeniable talent in many core positions and some young talent elsewhere in the squad, they have huge potential to do well here. However, as they’re a brand new team they’ll need to keep their cool during times of difficulty. Communication is going to be key, as these players already have considerable mechanical skill. Precious Petunia and Kuhnchun in particular are massive players that can both put in consistent game winning performances. Kuhnchun is widely known as the “Man Who Beat Castaway Mid” and we can expect big performances from him here. Levi is a particularly solid player as well, one that is singularly team focused. If things break down, however, I fear they may not have the team synergy yet to be able to pull themselves out of dark holes.

4th – 8th: TopKek, Such DotA!, Ventus Green, DUC!, and HiVe Gaming Entropy

Many of these teams are now stable performers at the top of Division 1 and the bottom of Premier Division. While they’re all undeniably talented, they often just don’t have that extra something that makes them stand out. However, if there is any year to prove me wrong, it’s 2017! I hope all of you do well and upset my predictions. Drinks are on me for the first team to knock out my 1st place prediction!

TL;DR Telkom DGL Emerald Genesis Proving Ground kicks off 16 January 2017 and ends 22 January 2017. We predict our Top 8 (with our usual inaccuracy) where we charge Pulse Gaming Salt to win it all.


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Abigail “Tenshimon” Kwan

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Allan “Pariah” Levitt


Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL)

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About Sargon

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