With the DGL Dota 2 Master’s Cup just a few days from kicking off, teams are gearing up for the first official Masters LAN event of the 2017 season! The event, which starts this Friday, 19 May 2017, will see teams competing for their share of the R110,000 prize pool but will also be an important milestone on the way to the Masters Finale as teams will finally meet on the LAN playing field for the first time in the DGL season.
A LAN environment is always a tricky one to predict, especially in the Dota 2 scene, as tournaments tend to form their own meta-game over the course of the tournament, which often sees some unexpected teams doing well (Ad Finem at the Boston Major is a great example of this).
Being a double-elimination format also plays a factor, as teams have one extra-life to adapt to the changes happening, which may be exactly the time they need to cause an upset.
Whatever the case, there are eight teams heading into the Dota 2 Cup so, without further ado, here are my predictions for what is going to go down this weekend at the DGL Studios in Mirand.
PLEASE NOTE: For ease of reading, I will be going in reverse-order, so I will be starting with teams I suspect will fall towards the beginning of the tournament and working my way towards who I think will win.
Eighth Place: Mythic Gaming
- Kuhnchun (Timothy Kühn) (Captain)
- PreciousPetunia (Pierre Van Rensburg)
- Sargon (Christopher House)
- Levi (Alexander Burger)
- A_Monster (Gerhard van der Linde)
Thoughts: This is the dark horse heading into the DGL Master’s Cup, and a team that has visibly gone from strength to strength over the course of its DGL career. With some impressive results to qualify in the first place, and having recently done well in other local qualifiers, this may be the team capable of causing a few upsets this weekend.
Seventh Place: eXDee Dota 2
- Fury (Anton de Villiers)
- TKC~ (Tameer Chicktay)
- Hunter (Daniel de Villiers)
- Jappa (Claus von Thelemann)
- Rock Lee (Damian Dangubic)
Thoughts: Although the former Constant Gaming have definitely shown they are capable of hanging around in the Master’s bracket, it is clear there is still a somewhat lack of experience, especially when it comes to a LAN environment, which is why I have put eXDee so low on my list.
They have shown that they can definitely fight for the middle ground, having taken down Pulse Gaming recently in Leg Two of the DGL Masters, but I feel is still a small step away from being able to compete with the podium contenders.
Sixth Place: Veneration Esports
- Muzzy- (Charl Edward Steyn)(Captain)
- panda737 (Juandre van Niekerk)
- wazoo (Daniel Stephen)
- CottA (Corvin Nicholls)
- 1337 (Mikhail Nicholls)
Thoughts: This team is definitely beginning to show signs of something special, although it feels like they still haven’t quite found their style completely yet. There is definitely potential in this side however, and despite being new to the Master’s and inexperienced in that regard, these are no strangers to the local Dota 2 scene.
Being the only Master’s team to make it out alive from the Wildcard Qualifiers will no doubt have given the team a confidence boost heading onto LAN, and their opening match against eXDee Gaming will see them face a team they have beaten recently, in the open weeks of Leg Two, so things are definitely looking up for Veneration Esports.
Fifth Place: Pulse Gaming
- Doppl3R (Neeran Motheeram)(Captain)
- Phadey (Dylan Cyster)
- Aghanim (Tristan Kiefer)
- SmacKa (Wazeer Kamdar)
- Deathy (Richard Ware)
Thoughts: Pulse Gaming had a slight bump in the road with a roster change in the early stages of Leg Two, switching out Robert “rAgebos” Huckle for Richard “Deathy” Ware but, for the most part, this looks like it is actually working in favour of the team, with the side having managed to take down Veneration just yesterday evening.
There is a tonne of LAN experience and knowledge in this side, which is why I have put them at fifth, although I feel like consistency is a serious problem for this side so I feel like they may fall short to the tougher sides in longer series.
Fourth Place: Aperture Gaming
- acg (Chad Simpson)(Captain)
- OMalley (Phillip Swanepoel)
- Bob Euls (Bob Yuill)
- Phalanx (Rowan Budhai)
- PSL (Liam Berrill)
Thoughts: A side that has also been struggling to adapt to its own roster changes, Aperture has had a bit of an up-and-down run so far in Leg Two of the DGL Masters and, by the looks of things, has only really begun to play to a style that suits them over the past few weeks.
Whether this has been enough time to develop that style remains to be seen, but Aperture are more than capable of getting onto the podium when performing well. However, the three sides currently placed above them are all performing extremely well at the moment, so it will be an uphill climb for sure.
Third Place: Energy Esports
- Chelsea ) (Darron Reinhardt)(Captain)
- XBFH (Nicholas Cheng)
- choseN (Andrew Ferguson)
- momo (Wesley Rose)
- Pottikins (Mark Lehle)
Thoughts: I have been saying for ages that the Energy Esports side on paper is a powerhouse side although, up until recently, their performance has not been reflecting that fact, managing just fifth place in Leg One.
Leg Two has seen a revitalised side that have taken down the likes of xTc and Pulse the opening weeks, and are continuing to find strength, which make them strong contenders for a podium finish this weekend, as this is a team that is clearly on form at present.
Second Place: xTc Gaming
- _DotA-and-Die_ (Dennis Connellan)(Captain)
- Adastam (Adam Moore)
- skynet)( (Dirk van Velden)
- bluecat (teddy wang)
- Depi (Aidan Marshall)
- DOOMbunni (Caleb Semple)
Thoughts: xTc Gaming, despite some surprise twists so far in Leg Two of the DGL (like a game-loss to Damage Control and a match loss to Energy eSports), still look to be one of the two big contenders heading into the weekend, as the team has clearly been working hard to iron out the kinks of its current roster.
The side’s aggressive play-style often leaves people caught perhaps slightly unawares and, although this can back-fire on them from time to time, more often than not, it works out in their favour. However, the biggest question for xTc Gaming will no doubt be asking themselves this weekend is: “Do that have what it takes to take down WRG?”
First Place: White Rabbit Gaming
- ChiDoWi (Ryan Lancaster)(Captain)
- Santo (Michael Myburgh)
- Castaway (Travis Waters)
- schlinks (Nicholas Dammert)
- Welp (Charl Geldenhuys)
Thoughts: Since the demise and retirement of the previous Bravado Gaming side, White Rabbit Gaming has quickly cemented themselves as the pinnacle of South African Dota, and currently the team to beat if you want to get a first place spot.
Posting a nearly flawless run here in the DGL so far, the team seems determined as ever to keep their top spot in the local scene, and are very much the firm favourites to take home the trophy by the end of this weekend.
If you would like to find out more about the Dota 2 Masters Cup, simply click here to find out all the information you will need heading into this weekend. Here is the prize breakdown:
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