Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) | Masters DotA2

06 February – 12 February 2017 | Round 3 Results

On Sunday evening (12 February 2017) the final three fixtures of the third round of the Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) DotA2 Masters took place concurrently. With the conclusion of these Round 3 fixtures, we are now a third of the way through Leg 1. Thus we are well on our way to establishing who the new hegemonic forces in the local DotA2 landscape are. This position has been vacant ever since Bravado Gaming stepped down as the dominant force in South African DotA2.

Telkom DGL Masters DotA2 Round 3 Results:

Aperture Gaming (ApG) and Energy eSports (eN) faced off in a match with some pretty well known RSA DotA2 faces on either side. While we expected some quality matches, I doubt anyone thought we’d be in for as tight a first match as we got. Lasting over 75 minutes and encompassing 53 kills, ApG and eN clashed in an epic match that really could have gone either way at various stages. eN looked particularly menacing in this fixture, with ChoseN on Lone Druid hitting like an absolute truck from ranges that beggars belief. While on the side of ApG, Adastam on Sniper spent 75 minutes just doing #sniperthings. What are #sniperthings, I hear you ask? Annoyingly destroying the entire enemy team from thirty seven kilometres away, that’s what. Ending on 11/2/13, Adastam played Sniper perfectly and ultimately became impossible to deal with. ApG barely edged out the valiant eN in Game 1.

In Game 2, it appeared as if eN had run out of steam and were finished before they even started. ApG managed to pick up Slardar for Filthy Frank, Rubick for Bob Euls, Centaur for OMalley, Shadow Fiend for acg, and the broken Vengeful Spirit on Adastam. This lineup looked unstoppable from start to finish, with ApG wrapping up the series win in just 22 minutes. At this point, Vengeful Spirit has been a core pick for ApG in at least one of each of their 3 series they’ve played thus far in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters. ApG ultimately win the series 2 – 0 against eN.

Elsewhere xTc Gaming (xTc) looked to build on some positive performances and pick up 3 points against struggling Ventus Gaming (Ventus). xTc emerge victorious with a 2 – 0 victory over Ventus in this Bo3 series. Each game lasted around the 30 minute mark and were fairly straightforward victories for xTc. In Game 1 Ventus attempted to replicate the ApG Vengeful Spirit strat, which would unfortunately backfire. In Game 2, they had more success with Nightwraith on Lifestealer. In the end xTc simply played a better, more aggressive, game in the early stages of these games. From these commanding early game leads, xTc were the ones who needed to drop the ball and they simply made few mistakes. There was little Ventus could do to get back into either fixture.

White Rabbit Gaming (WRG) easily managed a 2 – 0  drubbing of Flipsid3 Tactics South Africa (F3) in Round 3 of the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters. Both of these matches took a mere 28 minutes. WRG, for the majority of these games, appeared to toy with F3 before putting them out of their misery. Interestingly, WRG took an unusual approach to this fixture against F3. They banned out most of Muzzy’s hero pool, leaving F3 with little to work with. This proved to be an invaluable strategy, as Muzzy didn’t have the tools required to make the space his team so badly needed. Both games were honestly over long before the final gg was called. WRG earned themselves huge early game advantages in both games, while F3 had no real way of responding to this. In particular, WRG focused on making 1337’s life absolute hell in Game 1 when he played Morphling.

eXdee Gaming (xD) spent just 21 and 18 minutes to vanquish Damage Control (DC) to the void in their Leg 3 clash. xD did not appear challenged in the slightest, earning a fairly easy 2 – 0 victory over DC. xD, in both games, favoured the Drow Ranger pickup on RDK. DC were unable to respond to this xD push heavy lineup in any meaningful manner. DC desperately need to turn their fortunes around with a victory somewhere, but sadly this was not the case against xD.

The final match of the Round 3 batch of fixtures was between Pulse Gaming (PLT) and Veneration Esports (VnR). To be very honest, I didn’t peg this fixture to go the way it did. Pulse Gaming recorded a massive victory here with a 2 – 0 result over the star studded lineup of VnR. This is, truth be told, a huge result for PLT and one they’re going to be absolutely chuffed with. VnR have been showing glimpses of quality so far in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters, but this result really goes to show how much they’ve still got to grow as a team. Sadly the match was not streamed (that I know of), so I can only tell you what I know from the screenshots.

Game 1 lasted almost 40 minutes, with PLT getting key pickups in the draft phase and coming into the game from a stronger position. They would pick up Slardar for ragebos, Rubick for Phadey, Lifestealer for Aghanim, Dazzle for Doppl3r, and Shadow Fiend for Smacka. VnR opted for a Wazoo Centaur, Habibi Io, Anthem Disruptor, TKC Ursa, and Storm Spirit for Honda Civic. But for the valiant stand of the Storm Spirit, it seems PLT played a masterclass of a game. Aghanim on Lifestealer in particular shined, going 15/0/9 on Lifestealer (22199 networth). Game 2 between these two teams appeared to be a considerably closer affair. An Axe pickup for ragebos (14/3/19) appears to have been a devastating force this game. The red giant seemingly dragging his team to a 2 – 0 series win over VnR.

Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters Leg 1 Round 3 | Log

ApG and WRG both remain joint top of the table after Leg 3, but expect this to change in just a few days. This is because ApG and WRG both face off against each other in a huge Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters Round 4 clash. The game is going to be streamed and casted (Jubba and Succubus) so be sure you check that out. This game is going to be absolutely huge and is going to really set the tone for the biggest DotA2 rivalry of 2017!

xD follow closely in 3rd, barely off the pace set by the top 2. While they too have 9 points on the log, their win rate isn’t as high since they’ve dropped one game in the three Bo3 fixtures they’ve played thus far. I thoroughly expect them to leapfrog the loser of the ApG and WRG fixture after Round 4. This is because xD play eN this week, who they should be able to secure the victory against.

xTc are in 4th place after Round 3, on 7 points (and a 62.5% win rate). Although they started off slowly, this team has started to bounce back with some pretty solid results and will be looking to put themselves even further ahead of the pack with a victory over VnR in the upcoming Round 4 batch of fixtures. The middle of the table (5th – 8th) is made up of F3, PLT, eN, and VnR all on 5 points (yet all have <50% win rates).

Bringing up the very bottom of the table (joint 9th/10th) are Damage Control and Ventus Gaming, who have both had pretty rough starts to the 2017 Leg 1 season. At least for these two teams some points are finally guaranteed, since they’ll be facing each other in Round 4. Both teams will be desperate for the win here. Both teams will also want to use a victory here to springboard a larger run of wins to change their dismal fortunes they’ve experienced so far.

Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters Leg 1 Round 3 | Stats

With 34 individual matches having been played thus far in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters, we can start to see some fairly interesting trends emerge. Both for teams specifically, but also across all ten Masters MGOs. The most hotly contested heroes, with the highest pick/ban rates, are listed in the spreadsheet image above. You’ll notice that among these are the expected heroes like Slardar, Lone Druid, Underlord, and Shadow Demon.

Rubick is notable for his very high pick rate, which makes up 80% of his pick/ban rate value overall. His win rate was as high as 75%, but it is now starting to normalize. Underlord’s pick/ban rate is made up of >90% bans, and has only been picked 4 times so far. Thus his 25% win rate is because out of those 4 times the hero was picked, only 1 has successfully resulted in a victory.

After 3 rounds we can start to see who the players are with the best stats in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters. Castaway remains in the top spot, with a KDA ratio of 13.33. He is followed up closely by RDK who has a KDA ratio of 11.78 and Adastam who has a KDA ratio of 10.69. Interestingly just outside the top 3 is Schlinks with a KDA ratio of 10.69. His performances thus far have been absolutely phenomenal and worth praise. Round out the top 5 is acg with a KDA Ratio of 8.81.

As you can no doubt tell the top 5 are dominated by 2x ApG, 2x WRG, and 1x xD players. While this is to be expected considering their dominant displays thus far in Leg 1 of the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters, we might expect to see these values change after Round 4. Who do you think will drop out of the top 5 after this week? Who is going to be raised in their stead? Let us know in the comments section below!

TL;DR Aperture Gaming, White Rabbit Gaming, and eXdee Gaming continue their dominant runs. Pulse Gaming surprise Veneration eSports (and us) in Round 3. Castaway still has the highest KDA Ratio in the Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) DotA2 Masters after Round 3.