Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) | Masters DotA2

13 February – 20 February 2017 | Round 4 Results

Last night (Monday 20 February 2017) the final fixtures of Round 4 of the Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) DotA2 Masters took place. This week was really significant as the top 2 MGOs in the country finally clashed in what many expected to be a tight affair that either side could potentially win. We are almost at the half way point in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters league, with future fixtures promising to only get even more intense. Only the top 6 (out of the 10 Masters MGOs) teams at the end of this leg will earn a direct seed at the upcoming Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters LAN. The bottom 4 teams will have to take part in a grueling Wildcard event where they (and teams that have successfully made it through qualifiers) will fight it out for just 2 spots! You can read about these 2017 changes in one of articles here.

Telkom DGL Masters DotA2 Round 4 Results:

Round 4 will probably be remembered more for what happened outside of the DotA2 client, rather than the fixtures played in it. Aperture Gaming (ApG) supporters were rocked by the news that Adam “Adastam” Moore was no longer playing for the team. Uncertain as to the exact circumstances surrounding this change, many voices queried the timing of the move. With the transfer window locked until the competition of Leg 1, ApG would need to rely upon the services of their sub Michael “Hurley” Pearson for the remainder of the leg. We recently reported that Adastam had consistently had the highest KDA Ratio through most of the current leg, so it came as a shock when ApG decided to part ways with him.

On the eve of this news ApG had to face the fiercest opponents in the entire country, White Rabbit Gaming (WRG). While we expected a clash of titans at the top of the log (as both teams were unbeaten to this point), such a significant roster change put ApG at a huge disadvantage. It was unsurprising then that WRG vanquished ApG 2 – 0 in a fairly one sided contest. While ApG showed flashes of resistance, they were nowhere near as strong as they were just last week.

WRG effortlessly breezed past ApG, spending a considerable amount of time in Game 1 fountain diving their opposition. This wasn’t the match we were promised, that much was quickly evident. ApG looked, for most of the series, like they were floundering in deep water. Gone were the considered strategies used before. ApG instead opting to lift the Pudge/Rubick combo that has worked so well for xD thus far. WRG looked a little vulnerable in the early stages, but managed to keep ApG focused on fighting rather than taking objectives. At 9 minutes into Game 1, ApG were in the lead 11 – 5. Yet all this advantage would count for little, as all the while Michael “Santo” Myburgh on Anti Mage free farmed. Santo was very quickly the only player in Game 1 that mattered. ApG certainly gave it their all, but they just had no answer for the WRG draft after the 20 minute mark.

In Game 2 ApG looked like they were going to bounce back, picking up their favored Vengeful Spirit. But instead of the hero being played in carry as they have successfully done in the past, they opted to run the hero as a support. From the earliest stages ApG didn’t seem to have an answer for the WRG lineup. The star of Game 2 must was Santo, who landed some pretty mesmerizing RPs on his now legendary Magnus. Hopefully ApG will quickly be able to adjust to life without Adastam, in whatever new and fresh plans they no doubt have in mind. But supporters will no doubt wonder if this was the moment that the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters became a two horse race. Only time will tell.

The other Round 4 fixtures were all fairly decisive 2 – 0 results. In the battle between Energy eSports (eN) and eXdee Gaming (xD), it was xD who emerged victorious. xD would beat their old MGO eN in a 2 – 0 series where their Rubick/Pudge combo caused absolute mayhem all over the map and completely undid any coherent strategy eN may have had planned. Game 1 lasted 35 minutes, of which xD were in control for the majority. Game 2 only lasted 27 minutes and was a very one sided affair. Rynhardt “RDK” de Kock picked up his signature hero, Morphling in this game and was absolutely devastating in every stage of the match.

Pulse Gaming (PLT) continue their really impressive run of form, picking up a 2 – 0 victory over Flipsid3 Tactics South Africa (F3). In Game 1 Tristan “Aghanim” Kiefer went supermassive on his Lifestealer, finishing 17-1-10 in just 26 minutes. Where Game 1 was a bit of a stomp, Game 2 appeared to be a significantly closer affair. F3 managed to hold out for 67 minutes before ultimately being put to the sword by PLT, in a match where PLT had such a huge gold advantage that you’d have expected F3 to succumb much earlier. PLT have managed a good string of victories over the last few weeks and their team appears to be going from strength to strength.

Elsewhere, xTc Gaming (xTc) earned a thoroughly deserved 2 – 0 victory over star studded Veneration Esports (VnR) lineup in a very close and exciting series. Standout performances by Aidan “ddd” Marshall in Game 1, and Dennis “DotA and Die” Connellan in Game 2 went a long way towards securing the series for xTc. For some reason, it seems that VnR are just unable to grind out the sort of performances we would expect from players of their caliber. It’s going to be interesting to see how they bounce back from these defeats. I’m fairly sure that VnR didn’t expect to be in this position after Round 4 of the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters.

In the battle at the bottom of the log, Damage Control (DG) and Ventus Gaming (Ventus) faced off. Both teams had yet to win a single game, let alone a series, in Leg 1 so far. As such, both teams were absolutely desperate to pick up a win and get some much needed points on the board to make the top 6 spots by the end of the leg. It was ultimately DC who emerged victorious in a 2 – 0 series over Ventus. One of the two matches lasted only 22 minutes, and appears to have been a remarkably one sided drubbing. But the second match was a much longer and tighter fixture, with Ventus clearly throwing everything they had at DC to try and force the series to 3 games. Sadly, after 58 minutes, Ventus were vanquished by DC.

Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters Leg 1 Round 4 | Log

At the time we went live with this article, the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters Log had not been updated to reflect WRG victory over ApG. As such, WRG actually top the log after last night (12 points, 100% win rate) while ApG are currently 3rd (10 points, 75% win rate). Between them lies the silently industrious xD in 2nd place (12 points, 88.88% win rate). Just outside the top 3, in 4th place, are xTc (10 points, 70% win rate). 5th and 6th are made up of PLT (8 points, 55.55% win rate) and F3 (6 points, 33.33% win rate) respectively.

Just below the top 6 are eN (6 points, 30% win rate), DC (6 points, 25% win rate), VnR (6 points, 22.22% win rate), and Ventus (4 points, 0% win rate). These are currently the 4 teams who potentially will need to fight through the Wildcard event in order to attend the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters LAN should they be unable to reverse their fortunes before Leg 1 ends.

As you can no doubt tell, it’s a fairly tight race at the moment. Yet, having said that, we can realistically expect the gap at the top to continue to widen as the top teams pull away from the rest of the pack. Before last night this meant WRG, xD, ApG, and xTc. But with so much uncertainty around ApG’s recent roster changes and last nights performance, teams in the middle of the table must fancy their chances to topple the giants. With so few points separating the teams, it’s unclear at this point which teams will be forced through the Wildcard qualifier. Even Ventus, who languish in last place, could elevate their position significantly should they go on a winning spree over the next few rounds of fixtures.

Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters Leg 1 | The Shadow Fiend Rises… and Axe is Axe! Stats.

Nearing the completion of round 4 of the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters Leg 1, 44 individual matches have so far been played. There have been 440 hero picks, and 440 hero bans, over the course of these matches. As Leg 1 progresses, the statistics for both players and hero picks/bans start to normalize. Yet South African DotA2 appears to value certain heroes above all others (although this is pretty much in keeping with trends internationally for the most part).

While Shadow Fiend and Axe stand out as the most picked/banned duo in Round 4 (a new trend perhaps), the most hotly contested heroes at the top level of RSA DotA2 remains Slardar, Lone Druid, Underlord, Shadow Demon, and Rubick. With over 70% pick/ban rate for these 5 heroes (but variable win rates) it’s clear teams still prioritize these picks/bans above all else.

Underlord still remains the most banned hero (n=29), Rubick likewise remains the most picked hero (n=27). A comment needs to be made about Slardar’s great win rate. The hero has been picked 26 times so far in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters 1st leg, and teams have enjoyed great success with him. The most successful support pick remains Rubick, who enjoys a 62.96% win rate overall.

Since Adastam wasn’t part of the ApG side that got absolutely hammered by WRG last night, his pristine stats will probably be cemented as the best in Leg 1 of the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters. Since he is no longer actively playing for ApG, his stats will be frozen at these levels. As such we’ve included the three players who currently sit underneath him in 2nd – 4th place. RDK leapfrogs Travis “Castaway” Waters and takes 2nd place with a KDA Ratio of 10 on the dot. Castaway slips down to 3rd overall, with a KDA Ratio of 9.22 after 8 matches. Rounding out the top 4 is Nicholas “Schlinks” Dammert, who is still unable to crack the top 3. Schlinks has an impressive KDA Ratio of 8.67, the highest support value so far in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters. We suspect he’ll spam some more Rubick to finally edge out Castaway or RDK next week. We believe, fam. We believe!

Other interesting stats are:

  • DotA and Die (xTc) currently has the most hero kills (93 supports who never saw him coming)
  • 3 (Ventus) has died the most (73 times; it’s hard being a support in Masters)
  • Bluecat (xTc) has the most assists in Masters so far (with 127 counts of aggravated assault)

Please note that these stats were taken from the main table at the time of writing the article over a two day period, thus they’re not representative of the final values at the end of Round 4.

TL;DR ApG say goodbye to Adam “Adastam” Moore and their unbeaten record in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters. WRG simply the best, although xD might have something to say about that. In the battle of the bottom, DC finally earn a win, but at the expense of Ventus. Elsewhere, Sauber Mercedes is unable to lead VnR to victory from the midlane in their clash against xTc.