Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) | Sapphire Genesis and Do-or-Die Qualifiers

Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) | DotA2 Emerald Showdown

3 March 2017 | Community Shield and the upcoming Masters LAN event.

The Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) Sapphire qualifiers series of qualifiers kicked off last week (Monday 20 February 2017), with the final taking place at the start of this week (Monday 27 February 2017). You’ll have to forgive our slack coverage, as we’ve been busy over at Masters and haven’t had time to spare for these all important qualifier series. As of later today (1 March 2017) the Sapphire Do-or-Die Proving Grounds kick off, after which we should have 12 teams booked into the Community Shield (where they all battle for just 2x Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters LAN seeds). Since last we spoke about how all the complex qualifiers tie into each other, Telkom DGL have made some subtle changes (updated 20 January 2017) to the structure of the Telkom DGL Masters LAN event being held soon.

Specifically these changes affect how teams can qualify for the Community Shield. Previously teams were going to be be able to qualify through an unnamed undated community event. As it now stands the top 4 teams from the Emerald Showdown (Mythic Gaming, Sini5ter Valhalla, Constant, and ArmaGeddon), the top 4 from the Sapphire Showdown (this will be resolved in about two weeks), and the bottom 4 teams will have qualified for the Community Shield. As 12 teams is a fairly odd number for a knockout style tournament, I expect something is going to be different about this setup. Either more teams from somewhere, or some interesting style of tournament that’ll be whittled down to 8 prior to the actual Community Shield. As of this moment, Telkom DGL are keeping mum on it all. So all we can is speculate.

Sapphire Genesis Proving Grounds | Tournament Results

The Sapphire Genesis Proving Grounds saw just 24/32 teams register. Teams came from all over the Telkom DGL’s various divisions, although many of the top Premier teams made an appearance as well. Of these 24 teams, only 8 would advance to the Sapphire Showdown in two weeks time. The Grand Final of the Sapphire Genesis qualifier saw Ventus Gaming Red (Ventus Red) face off against Aperture Gaming DotA2 Academy (ApG Academy) in an interesting showdown on  Monday (27 February 2017) evening.To make it to the Grand Finals both teams had to fend off some pretty serious competition. Ventus Red would beat Sin5.Phamily (2 – 0) and Ventus Black (2 – 0). ApG Academy, on the other hand, beat the likes of Reversal eSports FoJ (2 – 0) and HiVe Gaming Entropy (2 – 1).

The series between Ventus Red and ApG Academy was, if I’m honest, an interesting one to look at. It should speak volumes here that out of the three times Centaur was picked up, the hero always managed to end on the winning side. It was also super interesting to see a Disruptor do such solid work in a Telkom DGL match for once, but to be fair ApG Academy did let the hero catch them far too often with long range return blinks. It’s little wonder that Ventus Red kept picking the workhorse. After a grueling 3 game series, Ventus Red would beat ApG Academy 2 – 1.

The top 8 teams from the Sapphire Genesis Proving Grounds (who follow for the Sapphire Showdown) are:

  • Ventus Red
  • ApG Academy
  • HiVe Entropy
  • Ventus Black
  • Reversal FoJ
  • Valk Magni
  • Sin5 Phamily
  • Garbage Disposal Unit

Sapphire Genesis Do-or-Die Proving Grounds | Tournament Preview

The Sapphire Genesis Do-or-Die Proving Grounds are the final chance for teams to enter the wildcard qualifiers for a chance to be one of two teams included at the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters LAN event later in the year. As such, these teams have to perform well here or their dreams of a 5 man RP at TI8 are pretty much dead. There are 28 teams that have registered to take part on this tournament. As such, we’ll hopefully some of the best DotA2 that we’ve seen for some time on display during the week. Our pick of the teams you should keep an eye on are listed below:

  • Pulse Reborn
  • Wicked Gaming Salt
  • Such DotA!
  • DUC
  • Reversal FoJ

Many of the other teams appear to be smaller sides with players I’m not really all that familiar with. While others appear to have too little experience, or too much combined toxicity, to pose much of a serious threat to the DGL Prem Div. teams in this particular tournament. Most of the DotA2 teams that have been upsetting DGL Prem Div. teams of late have already made it through, so we should expect the likes of teams we mentioned above to progress to the Sapphire Showdown.

TL;DR Sapphire Genesis Proving Ground finals won by Ventus Red, who defeated ApG Academy to take the 1st place seed. Sapphire Do-or-Die Proving Grounds underway tonight as another 8 head to the Sapphire Showdowns.

About Sargon

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