Telkom Digital Gaming League (DGL) | DotA2 Sapphire Showdown

14 March 2017 | Round 3 Results

A quick look at the new Telkom DGL DotA2 infographic below clearly reveals just how far we are in terms of qualifiers for the first 2017 Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters LAN Cup (18-22 May 2017). With 8 teams now qualified for the Community Shield 1 event (3-16 April 2017) we only await the bottom four Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters teams to be decided (which will round out the total number of teams in the Community Shield to 12). The Top 4 from the Sapphire Showdown met last night in an epic clash to reduce four teams to just two finalists. These teams will meet in the Sapphire Showdown Grand Final tonight. The winner takes how a higher seed going into the Community Shield, as well as bragging rights over the rest of the teams.

Sini5ter already have one team through to the Community Shield (Sin5 Valhalla), and now their second Sini5ter team has also advanced through to the Community Shield. In their run in the Showdown they’ve vanquished Ventus Green and Hive Gaming. On the other hand the Aperture Gaming academy team (you’ll probably notice Phalanx in this team) defeated Reversal Full on Jukes and Such DotA! on their path to the Top 4.

ApG Academy would have undoubtadly fancied their chances of beating the Sin5 Phamily line up. But over the last two nights this lineup has been bolstered by the addition of current and active Sin5 Valhalla players F3arbender and Reapo. Both players are part of the team that has already qualified for the Community Shield and it’s unclear at this time how these players were allowed to actively participate in a qualification series they’re already participating in. In any regard, with their lineup artificially bolstered Sin5 managed a cheap 2 – 0 victory over ApG Academy. No doubt Phalanx and his team will be pretty bleak with this result. Perhaps before the Community Shield they should look at getting their entire Telkom DGL Masters team to standin for them and secure the LAN seed. It’s pretty much the same move Sin5 just pulled to secure two of their teams spots at the Community Shield.

Elsewhere Pulse Reborn and Ventus Red met in their Top 4 clash on the other side of the bracket. Ventus Red had beaten Die Bokke and Garbage Disposal Unit to get this far, while Pulse Reborn had vanquished the White Rabbit Gaming Academy team as well as OoD Wolves. Pulse Reborn are looking pretty strong again with the addition of Cloud in mid lane, while Ventus Red will be glad they made it significantly further than Ventus Green (this time).

Ultimately Pulse Reborn were too strong for the Ventus Red team, putting in a comprehensive display to walk away with a 2 – 0 series victory. Pulse Reborn (the old Pulse Salt team) have looked a little shaky this year, but their recent displays might just put them back on the map in terms of how dangerous this squad could potentially be.

Community Shield | 8/12 Teams Qualified So Far

So at this point there are 8 teams that have qualified for the Telkom DGL DotA2 Community Shield. They are:

  • Sin5 Valhalla
  • ApG Academy
  • Ventus Red
  • ArmaGeddon
  • Mythic Gaming
  • Sin5 Phamily
  • Pulse Reborn
  • Constant

A few notable problems are starting to crop up at this point. First, the entire Constant squad has been picked up by eXdee Gaming in Masters. So at this point in time their seed still sits with the team, but they don’t have any players in the squad to compete yet. The same is true for ArmaGeddon (the majority of these players joined Ventus Black). Without players, these two teams could just forfeit. This could change, obviously, with either team bringing in new players (I don’t see why Bravado Gaming don’t just “use” these teams seeds). But it’ll be interesting to see how this turns out in time.

Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters | The Bottom Four?

At this point it isn’t clear which Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters teams will be joining the 8 teams already qualified. The log currently has Ventus in last place (P7, W0, L7, 7 points), Damage Control in 9th place (P6, W1, L5, 8 points), Veneration Esports in 8th place (P7, W1, L6, 8 points), and Flipsid3 Tactics South Africa in 7th place (P7, W2, L5, 11 points). It’s hard to see any of the bottom three managing to turn things around this late in Leg 1, so they’re pretty sure bets to be in the Community Shield. F3 could join them, but they’re the most likely to be able to squeeze out of the bottom 4 if the next few matches swing their way. That could see either Pulse Gaming or Energy eSports (both on 13 points) sink into the bottom 4 if these teams aren’t careful.

With the competition ramping up in the Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters, the fight for spots has never been as important. The teams at the bottom of the log come the end of Leg 1 already have 8 very hungry teams waiting for them. With only 2 Telkom DGL DotA2 Masters Cup seeds up for grabs, the Community Shield is shaping up to be a pretty intense event!

TL;DR Sin5 questionable roster changes ensure the weaker team prevails. Pulse Reborn, Sin5 Phamily, Ventus Red, and ApG Academy your Sapphire Showdown Top 4. Which 4 Masters teams will end bottom of the log to join these 8 teams in the Community Shield?