[Update] Manila Major – Final Day Recap | manila major bracket – Vietnamnhanvan

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Manila Major – Final Day Recap

June 12th, 2016 13:15 GMT

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The

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Return of the Kings

Looking back on the Manila Major I don’t think there can be any doubt, the right team won the tournament. After getting knocked down by Newbee in the groups OG has just become better and better with every game, culminating in a dominating performance in the grand finals versus Team Liquid. With this win OG, not only become ~$1,1 million richer, they also become the first team to have won two official Valve tournaments, a feat that only grows when you consider the problems the team suffered after their Frankfurt win, a months-long slump. Even though as a true Liquid fan, it stings to say, it has to be said, “Congratulations OG, you were the better team this tournament.”

Lower Bracket Finals

In the lower bracket finals, we saw Team Liquid go up against another Chinese opponent, NewBee, after defeating LGD yesterday. TL could not have gotten a worse start to the last day of the tournament as Newbee managed to sneak in a surprise Winter Wyvern pick, that completely nullified Liquid’s strat. But that was not everything Newbee did right. Thanks to positional mistakes from Liquid before the runespawn Newbee managed to pick up 2x kills and thus got to start the game with a huge advantage. As the game progressed that gap was never even closed to getting closed, and once kpii managed to pick up a blink dagger on slardar after just 8½ minutes, the game was all but over.

Liquid now found themselves in a situation they had not been in before. They were one loss away from being eliminated, but as they walked out of the booth Kuroky seemed confident and had this smile on his face that showed Liquid’s determination. And that determination would bring Liquid back in this series. In game 2, it was their turn to show Newbee that they could control a game. Thanks to an aggressive early game Mind_Control went out of control on his weaver in lane, and even though Newbee looked hot in the middle game, much thanks to the tankability of kpii’s Bristleback, Liquid managed to fairly safely control the game, forcing a deciding game 3.

While Liquid had previously always picked up a Lycan for Matumbaman and heavily favored the Dragon Knight for FATA, all that went out the window in game 3. Liquid showed off a pocked strat with a safelane Drow and a midlane Medusa, an incredibly greedy but potentially very strong draft. The game went pretty much how you’d expect it to go, when a team with a greedy lineup manages to win. Newbee did pull ahead in the early and early-mid game, before Liquid could get the right items on their heroes. Once that timing hit though, there was nothing Newbee could do, as their lead simply wasn’t big enough. Liquid takes out Newbee 2-1 and advance to play OG in the grand finals.

Grand Finals

Right off the bat in the grand finals Kuroky and co. showed that they did not fear OG, no matter how impressive their run in the upper bracket had been. In the draft of game 1 they gave OG the Lifestealer and then instantly, and we mean seconds after Naix pick, locked in Slardar and Riki. It was clear that OG had gone into Liquid’s trap, and Kuroky had OG exactly where he wanted them. Liquids lineup perfectly countered everything OG tried to do and in combination with absolutely brilliant play from every member of Liquid, Liquid easily won the first game.

But OG adapted and how they adapted. Games 2 and 3, grouped together because they were basically the same game, OG showed that not only could they outdraft Liquid, they could use the heroes Liquid had relied on the entire tournament to beat them, as they picked up a Phoenix for themselves early in every draft. In games 2 and 3, the name of the game was Void – Phoenix, an incredibly potent combination when executed correctly, as OG did. It did not matter who played the heroes on OG’s side, they actually switched Void from Notail to Moonmeander from game 2 to 3, it seemed like Liquid had no response to this strategy. This could, in part, be attributed to Fly’s great drafting, where he exploited strategies from Liquid which focused too heavily on melee heroes. It was giving OG the opening for some great Chronosphere’s, and it was also aided by the fact that positioning of Liquid was sometimes off. Instead of spreading out allowing OG to catch 1-2 heroes in the bubble, there were too many times where Liquid got caught out of position.

So came game number 4. Liquid had lost two games with some of their most played heroes and the confidence Liquid exuded during game 1 was lost. On the other side of the stage was OG who, understandably, looked like a million bucks. They had unlocked the secret to beating Liquid somehow, and things needed to be shook up if they were going to lose this opportunity. Liquid did their best in the draft, picking up a safelane Weaver and a mid Lone Druid. At first, it looked like this would be enough to shake OG who countered with an Elder Titan, Wraith King, and Templar Assassin. This paired with a Phoenix and a Batrider game, saw OG field almost the same lineup as they used in their dominating deathless shutout of a performance against MVP Phoenix earlier in the brackets. The result is known now, but as it was being played out, this game was a close call for OG. For roughly the first 30 minutes the game swung back and forth between the two teams, and for a while it looked like Liquid would be able to force yet another deciding game. Unfortunately, for Liquid fans, that was not the case. After Miracle and Notail hit some critical item timings they, together with the ET aura, just melted Liquid and for the last 15 minutes of the game even Moonmeanders sister could probably tell that her brother had won another major.

Final Bracket

Recommended Games

Looking back on the Manila Major I don’t think there can be any doubt, the right team won the tournament. After getting knocked down by Newbee in the groups OG has just become better and better with every game, culminating in a dominating performance in the grand finals versus Team Liquid. With this win OG, not only become ~$1,1 million richer, they also become the first team to have won two official Valve tournaments, a feat that only grows when you consider the problems the team suffered after their Frankfurt win, a months-long slump. Even though as a true Liquid fan, it stings to say, it has to be said, “Congratulations OG, you were the better team this tournament.”In the lower bracket finals, we saw Team Liquid go up against another Chinese opponent, NewBee, after defeating LGD yesterday. TL could not have gotten a worse start to the last day of the tournament as Newbee managed to sneak in a surprise Winter Wyvern pick, that completely nullified Liquid’s strat. But that was not everything Newbee did right. Thanks to positional mistakes from Liquid before the runespawn Newbee managed to pick up 2x kills and thus got to start the game with a huge advantage. As the game progressed that gap was never even closed to getting closed, and once kpii managed to pick up a blink dagger on slardar after just 8½ minutes, the game was all but over.Liquid now found themselves in a situation they had not been in before. They were one loss away from being eliminated, but as they walked out of the booth Kuroky seemed confident and had this smile on his face that showed Liquid’s determination. And that determination would bring Liquid back in this series. In game 2, it was their turn to show Newbee that they could control a game. Thanks to an aggressive early game Mind_Control went out of control on his weaver in lane, and even though Newbee looked hot in the middle game, much thanks to the tankability of kpii’s Bristleback, Liquid managed to fairly safely control the game, forcing a deciding game 3.While Liquid had previously always picked up a Lycan for Matumbaman and heavily favored the Dragon Knight for FATA, all that went out the window in game 3. Liquid showed off a pocked strat with a safelane Drow and a midlane Medusa, an incredibly greedy but potentially very strong draft. The game went pretty much how you’d expect it to go, when a team with a greedy lineup manages to win. Newbee did pull ahead in the early and early-mid game, before Liquid could get the right items on their heroes. Once that timing hit though, there was nothing Newbee could do, as their lead simply wasn’t big enough. Liquid takes out Newbee 2-1 and advance to play OG in the grand finals.Right off the bat in the grand finals Kuroky and co. showed that they did not fear OG, no matter how impressive their run in the upper bracket had been. In the draft of game 1 they gave OG the Lifestealer and then instantly, and we mean seconds after Naix pick, locked in Slardar and Riki. It was clear that OG had gone into Liquid’s trap, and Kuroky had OG exactly where he wanted them. Liquids lineup perfectly countered everything OG tried to do and in combination with absolutely brilliant play from every member of Liquid, Liquid easily won the first game.But OG adapted and how they adapted. Games 2 and 3, grouped together because they were basically the same game, OG showed that not only could they outdraft Liquid, they could use the heroes Liquid had relied on the entire tournament to beat them, as they picked up a Phoenix for themselves early in every draft. In games 2 and 3, the name of the game was Void – Phoenix, an incredibly potent combination when executed correctly, as OG did. It did not matter who played the heroes on OG’s side, they actually switched Void from Notail to Moonmeander from game 2 to 3, it seemed like Liquid had no response to this strategy. This could, in part, be attributed to Fly’s great drafting, where he exploited strategies from Liquid which focused too heavily on melee heroes. It was giving OG the opening for some great Chronosphere’s, and it was also aided by the fact that positioning of Liquid was sometimes off. Instead of spreading out allowing OG to catch 1-2 heroes in the bubble, there were too many times where Liquid got caught out of position.So came game number 4. Liquid had lost two games with some of their most played heroes and the confidence Liquid exuded during game 1 was lost. On the other side of the stage was OG who, understandably, looked like a million bucks. They had unlocked the secret to beating Liquid somehow, and things needed to be shook up if they were going to lose this opportunity. Liquid did their best in the draft, picking up a safelane Weaver and a mid Lone Druid. At first, it looked like this would be enough to shake OG who countered with an Elder Titan, Wraith King, and Templar Assassin. This paired with a Phoenix and a Batrider game, saw OG field almost the same lineup as they used in their dominating deathless shutout of a performance against MVP Phoenix earlier in the brackets. The result is known now, but as it was being played out, this game was a close call for OG. For roughly the first 30 minutes the game swung back and forth between the two teams, and for a while it looked like Liquid would be able to force yet another deciding game. Unfortunately, for Liquid fans, that was not the case. After Miracle and Notail hit some critical item timings they, together with the ET aura, just melted Liquid and for the last 15 minutes of the game even Moonmeanders sister could probably tell that her brother had won another major.


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I’m dancing in the moonlight

[Update] The Manila Major: Dendi to the Filipinos | manila major bracket – Vietnamnhanvan

Manila, Philippines is a place that exists in many different time bubbles. Here, high-rise buildings coexist with 300-year old Spanish-influenced architecture. The latest car models share the road with rickety, WW-II era discarded American jeeps-turned-public-transport. Life finds a way to continue in an atonal blend of tradition and the latest trends. There’s a feeling of low-level ennui here; a feeling that blurs sensation, save for the bright spots and moments that break through the bubble.

Even for fans of Dota 2, the country’s number one eSport obsession, time has stood still to a little slice of 2013 when the likes of Alliance and Na’Vi ruled at the top of the roost as the best teams in the world. To this day, the Philippines is enamored with Na’Vi and its poster child, Danil “Dendi” Ishutin. Virtually no other upcoming talent can match the draw power of Na’Vi’s midlaner, even in 2016 when other stars have arrived and have, on occasion, outshone him.

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Here, where Dendi’s cult of personality exists stuck in time, fans revere him like a well-preserved stained glass mosaic. His The International 1 game-winning Puck a pristine and untouched memory in their minds.

To say that Dendi’s fans are spread out wide in the Philippines is not an exaggeration. At a Starbucks in Quezon City, a city 10-kilometers away from the Mall of Asia Arena where the Manila Major main event will be held, I met barista Lyca Masaba. Upon seeing my lanyard that read “the Manila Major” she asked if I was working at the event. She told me she was a fan of Dendi, of Na’Vi, and that she followed only his story-line to the exclusion of all other teams.

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I asked her if she followed the other teams competing at the Major a mere 30-40 minute drive (traffic permitting) away. She said she only really followed Dendi as she was a Pudge player herself. Her friends had shared Dendi’s Pudge videos and his antics with the Chen + Pudge combination that destroyed Tong Fu at The International 3.

“Plus I loved his story from Free to Play,” she told me. “It was very relatable. He’s the only pro player I follow.”

On June 7, at the Mall of Asia Arena, Na’Vi will play in the second match of the day against the top 3 team in the world, OG. While the Philippines has shown that they can appreciate great Dota 2 no matter who is playing, there’s an electricity in the air for what would be Dendi’s first ever LAN match in front of local fans. The church has been built in Manila, and the congregation of the faithful is eager to watch him perform.

The Church of Dendi

When Valve announced that Na’Vi would be directly invited to the Major, pundits, analysts and redditors took to their platform of choice to discuss the merits of allowing the team to bypass the European qualifiers which, at the time, was one of the most cutthroat among all the regions. Ad Finem, Team Empire, even Troel “Synderen” Nielsen’s No Diggity! all performed well in the lead-up and during the qualifiers. Had Na’Vi been forced to partake in the qualifier, it would have been unclear whether they would be here in Manila at all.

With invites traditionally capped at eight per event, justifying Na’Vi’s inclusion over the top teams post-Shanghai became difficult. Team Empire mirrored them closely in results by March and heading into May, as Na’Vi had handily defeated every other CIS team, including Virtus Pro, at the time.

But luck broke their way when Valve expanded the invites to 12 teams. The moment the team announcements came on April 26, the Filipino Dota 2 communities almost became unhinged.

Facebook groups, the preferred forum of choice for local Dota 2 fans, were set on fire. Fans began to scramble for tickets. The figurehead of the cult of Na’Vi was arriving, and his name was Dendi. While tickets were already bought up by the bushels and were already being sold out at twice the cost, the announcement that Na’Vi and Dendi were playing at the Major saw prices triple and quadruple. A P50 ticket now costs P400 to P500.

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The folks at ESL ONE Manila saw how much love the crowd poured into every single appearance by Kuro “Kuroky” Takhasomi and Clement “Puppey” Ivanov. To a novice, it would have seemed like the crowds were responding to a high-stakes finals match. In truth, they were just chanting at crowd-favorites, both of which were Na’Vi alumni. They didn’t have to play a finals game to receive the adulation of the Philippine fans.

But now Dendi was in town. What’s more: he is on a hot-streak with Na’Vi. If Kuro and Puppey could command such praise, what more from Dendi himself?

Faith Rewarded

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Dendi is no longer the best midlane player in the world.

While the aggressive, high-tempo style that he has come to embody all throughout his career has come back into vogue, the demands on modern Dota 2 have shifted. Today, midlaners are expected to also provide a strong macro-economic game. One that allows a mid player to shift roles into a position 1 carry when needed.

Dendi’s days of out-playing opponents in the lane, grabbing a kill while sustaining a small creep score deficit, is no longer enough. In an age that’s being constantly rewritten first by Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and now by OG’s Amer “Miracle-” al-Barqawi, midlane players are expected to also top the networth charts consistently and on occasion, at a moment’s notice.

Dendi hates that. In countless interviews, he has repeatedly said that he hates farming; he would rather farm heroes. Dendi hates applying pressure to lanes to force rotations off the map; he would rather hunt through forest paths and assassinate.

But the group stages of the major saw a seemingly rejuvenated Dendi. Dendi, whose mid skills have not been the subject of high praise for almost two years now, was suddenly at the forefront on the back of a perfect group stage. Against Team Secret, Dendi scored the first rampage of the tournament as they dispatched the Shanghai Major champions cleanly in two games. The decision by Na’Vi to play around Dendi could not have come at a better time, or a better theater. In Manila, against former compatriot Puppey, Dendi put on a show straight out of 2013.

But to put context into the victory: their win against Secret was also against a super team that has not yet figured out how to play as a unit. The Team Secret Na’Vi dispatched in that first game of the first day of the group stages operated as four farm-heavy players scrambling for resources among themselves…easy pickings for Na’Vi and Dendi’s aggressive play. In a match-up where the enemy team was already choking each other out of gold, all Dendi needed was to apply the right amount weight on the scales to tip it over.

But the faithful did not need context. After the win, social media flooded with “Na’Vi is back!” posts. The Na’Vi fans had come out of the woodwork and they would not be ignored.

Perhaps Na’Vi and Dendi’s first true test came in the form of an unlikely contender: Digital Chaos and their roster of hungry talent, led by North American rising star David “Moo” Hull and ex-Team Secret players Aliwi “w33” Omar and captain Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen. Na’Vi won the first game quickly on the back of General’s masterful Beastmaster play, but DC brought the thunder in game two, leading in kills 3:1 as they leaned on the same offlaner that gave them so much trouble in game one.

But Dendi showed up. As Tinker, Dendi kept the game going long enough in engagements and created enough space for Ditya.Ra’s Lone Druid to find the economy to close the game out.

After 90 minutes of back and forth non-stop action, Na’Vi ended Digital Chaos with a nine slotted Tinker and Lone Druid teleporting directly into an exposed Ancient. All the makings of a TI-level game on the first day of the group stages.

If there were still any doubts that Na’Vi belonged to the major in Manila, their hour and a half long battle dispelled it. The faithful were quick to chastise the unbelievers. The unbelievers were happy to witness great Dota 2. The games coincided with the NBA finals that day.

There was an electric pulse in conversations, even outside the digital space. “Have you heard? Na’Vi won! Na’Vi is back!

To the Main Event

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Parables and legends often begin with a seemingly insurmountable task being overcome in one of two ways: a completely humble solution or an impressive spectacle, almost cinematic in scope.

It is fitting, then, that Na’Vi’s first battle at the main event is against the third best team in the world, who is also equipped with the best player in the world: OG and their ace carry Miracle-.

In truth, my personal feelings, analysis and observations so far could not construct a plausible scenario where Na’Vi bests OG in a best-of-three series. OG have made their way back to the top after a short lull post-Frankfurt thanks to an ability to distribute resources cleanly across their core players. And when push comes to shove, the team always has Miracle-‘s sheer efficiency and brutality in teamfights to fall back on.

But what I can characterize is what will happen tomorrow once Na’Vi takes a series off of OG: the stadium inside the Mall of Asia Arena might just concave. Each victory, each dispatched opponent will bring more and more of the Na’Vi faithful to the nexus of power that is Dendi.

Na’Vi failing and being relegated to a lower bracket showdown with either Alliance or local bets Mineski will be equally as awe-inspiring, if not more so. No matter where the chips fall for Na’Vi in Manila, they will always find a home with the Filipino fans who have followed the story of Dendi.

The Manila Major, for all its pomp and grandeur, will serve less as the marketing stop on the way to The International that cynics have come to characterize the major system of Dota 2 and more as a cathedral for a country who has resisted the allure of League of Legends and its bid to supplant Dota 2 in the Philippines.

But more importantly, it will serve as a Mecca for a fan-base — a nation of followers — who have yearned to watch Dendi in action, in the flesh, since the very beginning of competitive Dota 2.

For more coverage on the Manila Major and Dota 2, stay tuned on eSports by Inquirer.net.

All photos, including the cover, belong to the Natus Vincere Facebook page.

 

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