The Dota 2 Asia Championships concluded Monday with Invictus Gaming taking home first place and $244,590 after an upset victory over tournament favorite OG. The day began with a best-of-three lower bracket finals between Invictus Gaming and Newbee and culminated with a shocking grand final rematch between OG and Invictus Gaming.
Lower Bracket Finals: Invictus Gaming Dominates
Having finished the previous day by defeating Invictus Gaming's secondary squad, Newbee hoped to continue its impressive winning streak Monday and earn a slot in the grand finals. Invictus Gaming would give no quarter to the younger Chinese squad, though, and swiftly swept Newbee 2-0. Newbee never led past the 10-minute mark in either game and looked out of its league as a bloodthirsty Invictus Gaming bulldozed its way into the grand finals for a much-anticipated rematch with OG.
Grand Finals: Shanghai is BurNIng; OG flames out
With the memory of defeat at the hands of OG fresh in mind, Invictus Gaming steeled itself for a second round against the best team in the tournament.
Invictus Gaming had obviously done its homework after the first tussle with OG and shook OG to its core in Game 1 by besting team green in an hour-long slugfest despite OG drafted almost everything it wanted. Although OG made a late-game surge in an attempt to steal the victory, a standout performance by Xu "BurNIing" Zhilei helped fend off OG and seal the Game 1 victory.
Every draft phase in the coming games was nearly perfect for Invictus Gaming, which denied OG its preferred heroes of Alchemist or Naga Siren in Games 2 and 3 and pushed OG to play consistently outside of its comfort zone. OG had no answers for Invictus Gaming, and for the first time since the Boston Major looked overmatched.
Invictus Gaming raced forward and ended both Games 2 and 3 in less than 40 minutes each. In Game 3, OG was scraping the bottom of the barrel for strategic innovation. Its final draft looked desperate as it tried to pull together a cohesive lineup of unused heroes that could still enact its tried and true strategy.
Nobody summed up OG's loss better than Peter "PPD" Dager, DAC analyst and Evil Geniuses CEO, when he pointed out on the game's live stream that "the grand finals is not the time you want [your strategy] to be found out." By discovering and shutting down OG's seemingly only winning formula, Invictus Gaming took its revenge in style, sweeping OG 3-0, much to the enjoyment of the home crowd.
Looking as though it had stolen OG's very essence, Invictus Gaming put on a dominant display against a team that previously looked unbeatable and reclaimed its place as the de facto champion of Chinese Dota.