VS Gaming (ex-DGL) Masters LAN Cup | Preview

VS Gaming Presents… The Masters DotA2 LAN Cup 1 | Preview

19 – 21 May 2017

The month of May is packed with local competitive DotA2 action, with both the Mega8 Winter Cup and the VS Masters DotA2 Cup taking place. Both events have the eight best teams in the country competing for a fairly decent chunk of change. For the VS Masters cup specifically, the total prize pool is R110,000 (up 10% from last year).

The VS Masters cup this year took a slightly different qualification format than last year, with six direct invites from the Masters Leg 1 top placed seeds and two wildcard spots available to all South African teams through a complicated Wildcard qualification process. We’ve covered these extensively here at Zombiegamer, so we won’t go into much detail again.

So your eight competing teams are:

  • White Rabbit Gaming
  • eXdee Gaming
  • xTc Gaming
  • Aperture Gaming
  • Energy eSports
  • Pulse Gaming
  • Veneration Esports (Wildcard)
  • Mythic Gaming (Wildcard)

Mythic Gaming, in particular, are the very first non-Masters team to qualify for a Telkom VS Gaming (ex-DGL) Masters event. There was some disagreement between the internet and VS Gaming recently about Mythic Gaming not receiving any support to get to the event, which our friends over at Good Luck Have Fun have covered fairly well. If you’re interested, I would suggest you head over here to have a read.

The Swiss Romance

The VS Gaming Masters LAN doesn’t follow local and international conventions with adhering to the Swiss style/format, instead opting to follow the tried and tested double elimination standard that has worked so well before. The tournament bracketand info can be found here, while you can head over to YouTube or Twitch to start watching the matches. The opening fixture, between WRG and Mythic Gaming, starts at 9am this morning. So you better ditch work! You know you want to.

VS Gaming Masters LAN Cup 1 Predictions (w/ @SargonDotA2 and Kaameel Chicktay DotA)

We recently got together with a fairly new, up and coming, local caster called Kaameel Chicktay to get his thoughts on this local event. You may recognize his name (or his voice) from a ton of local fixtures that have been played of late. He makes a few fairly insightful observations and I am certainly a fan. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on his very own website.

@SargonDotA2: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

KC: I’m Kaameel Chicktay. I’m a long time DotA2 player, going on about 4 or 5 years now. Not a very serious player, just some casual DGL. My brother is TKCDota and he plays for xD. I’ve spent a lot of time in the game and I’ve spent a lot of time watching DotA (and reading about DotA). My knowledge is not the best, but it’s not the worst either. This year I wanted to get more into the SA DotA scene because it really interests me. The first thing that came to mind was casting, since I talk so much nonsense all the time anyway. So, I cut my teeth on Ballistix this year, since no one else was really doing it. I’d like to add that conversations I have with my brother, TKCDota, gives me so much insight into the game and helps me understand the game at a higher level. It gives me great respect for the Masters players and helped show me how much I don’t know (and can still learn from) about the South African scene.

Let’s talk about your bottom four predictions. 5th to 8th. I’ll make it easy for you. Last place I think will go to Mythic Gaming.

You guys have a lack of experience, but seeing the run of form that some of the lower Masters teams have had recently I would say Mythic could beat the likes of Veneration and Pulse. But considering the bracket, I agree that they’re probably going to come last here. In terms of pure form, I think Mythic is in better shape than some of the others.

Good point. Next?

Pulse, they’re a good team. They have a lot of good players. They’ve been in and around Masters for a bit now, but they’re not in a great run of form at the moment.

Deathy was a great addition, so hopefully that pans out for them. Who else you have?

Veneration. I think they’re a great team. Muzzy is a really good player and stuff, but they seem to not really be in it at the moment. In the Mega8 qualifiers Mythic beat them in the final round as well.

Who do you have rounding out the bottom four along with these three teams then?

eXdee Gaming have struggled a bit recently. Before this new patch hit they were in a really good run of form. They beat a lot of good teams and they were playing some really good DotA. They have a chance to beat some top teams, besides WRG, but I don’t think they’re favourites going into this tournament. I would like to put them at 4th, but between 4th and 5th. Probably 5th, actually.

So 4th place goes to? For me it is ApG.

I agree 100% with you. I’ve been questioning ApG thus far this year, even though they have the talent to beat teams like eN and xTc when we are talking pure talent. They’ve had some really shaky results so far in the DGL. But they’ve also done really well recently in Mega8, especially by beating Bravado Gaming. They ultimately finished 3 – 1 in the Mega8 qualifiers, so a really strong showing there. They have a strong core duo with PSL and acg that can make things happen, they’re exceptional players. I just don’t think they’re going to make it through the upper brackets against eN. Then anything can happen in the lower bracket. So 5th place is between ApG and xD. Imagine if xD and ApG meetup? That’d be a tough series.

I agree with you so far, I think you’re on the money. Based on the entire year’s results, I’m certain these are solid predictions so far. Let’s move on to 3rd place.

In terms of pure talent I think xTc just edge out ApG player for player. They are also just a heck of alot more consistent at the moment. Adastam, after RDK and Welp, is probably the most stable carry in the South African scene.

When you talk about my boy Adastam like that, I get goose bumps. I expect big things from him this weekend!

Haha. In pure talent xTc have a lot going for them. They get the benefit of the doubt from me here ahead of ApG.

Who do you have for 2nd place?

eN are in a great great space right now. Chelsea and Chosen 1 are just so solid. Filthy Frank has been a great addition to them. Of course, Odu brings a wealth of experience from that 2016 Bravado team (Eds; We hear he also plays Juggernaut well) that is worth a lot. Then Strike has been solid all round. I think eN are probably the 2nd best team in South Africa, for sure.

Alright. Alright. I don’t disagree with anything here. Again, you’re on the money as this is exactly what I would say, although I think xTc could take eN.

Yeah. I guess Adastam plays Juggernaut every game basically. xTc is a similar story, they are really strong. But I also feel they have their own inconsistency as well. Could go either way, it is tough to predict.

Let’s talk top spot, it’s obviously WRG. Why?

Do I have to elaborate on that or does that go without saying?

Haha. I think the answer is that it goes without saying, but let’s elaborate. This is a WRG tournament, no doubt.

I don’t think anybody in South Africa is going to dispute this, am I right?

I personally think probably Mythic Gaming would disagree with you. They’re going in to win it. I have it on good authority they have something planned, straight from South African pubs.

Haha. That’s so good! Look, this is a team that took down Bravado Gaming. WRG started as a team of rejects and they have been snowballing ever since those early days, ultimately displacing Bravado Gaming last year. The addition of Welp pushed them over the edge. At the moment, they have really high calibre skilled players and the way they function as a team is just crazy. The way they transition from the lane phase to roaming around the map and destroying everything is just crazy. It’s a night and day switch. You think you’re breaking even with WRG in the lane phase, you think the game is going alright. Then it hits the 10 minute mark and then Santo and Schlinks start rotating with Chidowi and start diving tier 3. It’s crazy. Then, of course, there’s Castaway. Say no more.

How do you beat that, right? For me the reason they’re going to stay there isn’t just individual skill. For me what separates them from teams like xTc and eN right now is their dedication to working as a team, as a unit, and remain the very best in the country.

I’m actually so glad you touched on that. I agree 100%. You can see they’re not going to stop. They want to be the best, and stay at the top. They practice like crazy. Not to mention your last article where Schlinks told us how much they practice in EU. Its why they play at that high level.

Alright. My last curveball to discuss. WTF is up with this patch? And how does it destroy our predictions?

This is a good one. Let’s discuss an international result that just went down, TNC just beat iG.

That’s huge.

iG are a really strong team coming out of the last patch, with OG. This patch has changed things completely. It’s such a big patch. In the 7x era up, 7.06 that just landed is the biggest change that we’ve had. Jungle camps are back. Sven is back. There feels like there is infinite farm on the map. There’s an extra creep in the middle lane as well. Crazy. Will we see more dual lanes mid?

Hello Io?

Haha. Exactly. Wisp is probably going to be a Dark Horse hero pick. But yes, the biggest defining at this LAN is going to be which team is going to figure out this patch the fastest. WRG would have done it, I think. And they can draft from all the heroes, as they have such a huge variety. Other times will need to step up to make or break their chances at this event.

I generally agree with that. This patch is actually insane. Let’s have a bit of fun with a few more predictions. Give me your most picked and most banned heroes. I think Rubick for most picked and Sven for most banned.

That’s a tough one! Most picked hero Crystal Maiden and Warlock or Legion Commander as the most banned hero. I agree with yours too though. They’re good. But I’ll pick mine over yours!

Who is your Dark Horse team pick for the tournament?

It might be a little bias here, but I think xD gaming.

Ill allow it! Thanks for taking out the time to do some predictions with me!

No, thank you! Good luck to all the teams at the Mega8 tournament and the VS Masters LAN.

TL;DR Fake News strikes again!


About Sargon

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