After an underwhelming show in the group stage, ViCi Gaming resurged and went the distance at ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore where they swept Gambit and Evil Geniuses en route to claiming their first tournament title of 2019/20 season and US $200,000 in prize money.
ViCi vs Gambit
The Chinese juggernauts entered the lower bracket finals in hot form, following a dominant display on Saturday when they edged past Team Secret (2-1) and decimated Alliance (2-0). Having defeated two of the strongest teams in the scene, ViCi were now faced with Gambit Esports, who shocked the world by coming so far, and were now ready to take one step further. Despite their high ambitions, however, Gambit were not able to deliver as they kneeled to ViCi in two swift rounds.
All eyes were set on Zhang “Paparazi” Chengjun in map one of the series, who got a chance to play his signature Leshrac and did not fail to amaze everyone. Paparazi took over the laning phase from minute one, and did not hesitate to make his presence know all over the map. Gambit made their best attempts to respond, but they could not find an answer for Paparazi's Leshrac who played a pivotal role in ViCi's commanding win in map one.
Having lost map one, Gambit were put in a do-or-die position as they needed to reclaim the series in a bid to complete their upset tournament run. Knowing well they need to pull out something remarkable, Gambit opted to draft Puck, hoping the aggressive playstyle would help them turn the series around. ViCi on the other side opted for an intriguing Night Stalker pick, which has recently received significant nerf due to the massive impact it can have in the pro scene.
What seemed like a questionable pick from ViCi proved to be a genius decision from Zhou “Yang” Haiyang, who with his performance made many questions whether Night Stalker is due to another nerf. While Yang had some trouble in the laning phase, he took full advantage of Night Stalker's abilities later on to win ViCi several crucial teamfights.
ViCi ended up winning the match in just over 50 minutes, which was slightly longer than what most had expected after their dominant show in map one. Nonetheless, the Chinese were the stronger team throughout and held the reins of the match in their hands firmly since the 15-minute mark.
By keeping their momentum going, ViCi secured yet another clean sweep and were now heading into the grand finals, where they were to reunite with Evil Geniuses.
Gambit Esports, on the other side will be left heartbroken as they failed to jump over one last obstacle on their way to the finals. Nonetheless, the Russian team went over and beyond all expectations with what they have shown and with that made sure they will be noticed by other teams in 2019/20 DPC.
ViCi Gaming vs Evil Geniuses
Shortly after a dominant win against Gambit Esports, ViCi headed into the grand finals, where they met with Evil Geniuses, the only undefeated team of the tournament, having played only one stalemate against Gambit in the group stage en route to the grand finals.
ViCi entered the grand finals as underdogs and from the start, it seemed like EG will have a fairly easy time derailing their Chinese counterparts, however, ViCi refused to give up and did not need long to take over the match. Much of their success came down to another phenomenal display from Paparazi and Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang who were terrorizing EG with their Magnus and Viper.
ViCI regained control of the match at 15-minute mark and from there onwards it was smooth sailing for the Chinese team who snowballed into a commanding lead, which did not leave much room for discussion about which team will triumph. ViCi needed exactly 49 minutes and 35 seconds to seal the deal and claimed the win.
Evil Geniuses got off to a flying start on map two, and with the help of their early pressure managed to secure a 10k gold lead 30 minutes into the match. Unfortunately, it all came crashing down for EG after they lost a decisive team fight, which took place at around the 34-minute mark. After winning the teamfight, ViCi took out two of EG's cores, and needed only five more minutes to seal the deal and secure a 2-0 series lead.
Game three looked almost identical to game two in terms of what the two teams produced. EG once again took an early lead thanks to Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnare who was pressuring ViCi into making a few too many mistakes in the early game. EG took advantage of ViCi's mishaps and got themselves in an excellent position win their first map of the series. That being said, RAMZES666 and his squad took too long with their execution, which gave ViCi a chance to come back.
Paparazi once more played a pivotal role in ViCi's comeback with his Slark, laying waste on EG's team with his long-range Pounces that helped him pick up EG's members one by one. Despite their best efforts, EG failed to find a response for ViCi's aggression and had to bow out of the tournament, claiming an underwhelming second place.