GEST August: MSIEvoGT, iZONE share group - Preview
This weekend will be the seventh leg of the tournament, and the teams are more than anxious to bring home the bacon. Now, as in the previous months, GosuGamers brings you a group stage preview of the coming GIGABYTE E-Sports Tournament International DotA Cup. Sit back as our new DotA South East Asia expert Ren "Pacific.Ren" Vitug go through the groups.
|August GEST / Group A|
| Ritter ART|
| Invasion ReD|
|Ren predicts: Everyone is talking about Group D (which we’ll talk about later), but I think you guys are overlooking this group right here. Pacific.Palit and Invasion ReD are both constant strong performers on GEST, and Neolution came from a strong runner-up finish on last month's playday. Also, Ritter-ART, coming from a one month break (reached Top 8 last June), is looking to pick up where they left off. |
This is personally the hardest group to predict, given the similar skill level and give-and-take win records of these teams. If Neolution will play with their whole roster (they placed 3rd on the recent Thai ESports league with a line-up with subs), it definitely won't be farfetched for them to top this group. In whichever case though, Invasion Red and Pacific.Palit will definitely have more than a fighting chance to take the top slot.
|August GEST / Group B|
|Ren predicts: iDeal played well last month (a 3-1 group stage record) before fading in the playoffs. Dreamz, on the other hand, is apparently struggling on online tournaments. However, they have been really amazing on LAN lately – something of which I think they can carry over nicely to this month’s GEST. They should be able to take the lead on the group, followed by iDeal.|
Of course, Skynet will try to cause upsets yet again (defeated Mineski last month on the Group Stage), but I have no reason to think that they will get anything higher than Rank 3. I think eNcy is on a tough task to advance from this group, but it would be a pleasant surprise if they did.
|August GEST / Group C|
|Ren predicts: If you think A and B groups are toss-ups, this one should suit you much better. While other groups carry the hype, this group is the most proven one – holding the highest total number of podium finishes. We have the two-time champion, MSIEvoGT, looking for their third one. iZone, on the other hand, is always the bridesmaid and never the bride: they have managed to rack-up nothing less than a third place finish on the past five legs of GEST, but never did they end up as the champion.|
StarsBoba has been performing less than stellar recently, but let us not forget that they have finished as the runner-up just a few months back. deperruku will also try to get back on its winning ways, after being winless in the past 2 playdays. I expect SB to get the 3rd place. However, it is hard to pick among MSI and iZone. You see, their last match was back in May (where MSI won the championship) and they were never really grouped together. However, if I were to place my money on someone, I guess I have to go with the two-time GEST champions.
|August GEST / Group D|
| Hurt Me Not|
|Ren predicts: Ah, the group everyone label as the toughest one this month. Back-to-back champion Pacific.eMaxx will go for a grand slam, while several high caliber teams on this group will try to prevent that from happening. We have Mineski, who despite being a bit inconsistent as of late, has all the right tools and firepower to bag a championship.|
The fairy tale story of the beloved underdog, SVR_Es (who replaced RedSpade), which after defeating eventual champion Pacific.eMaxx upon their entry, was able to get a fourth place finish just one month after. We also have G7 who had their first two non-default wins last month, and it came against MSIEvoGT and SVR_Es. While they have been showing flashes of brilliance, I fear that they are still a tad inconsistent to advance from this group.
I predict Pacific.eMaxx taking the top slot, while I am favoring Mineski over SVR_Es as the second placer due to experience. But as it has over been the past two months, I look forward to the Cambodian team to pull out surprises.
Coming in from the qualifiers, we will have Thai teams Mango.eSport and Hurt me not, as well as the Indonesian group X-Team, and Vietnamese team BauCat. This is Mango.eSport's second straight entry, where they will try to improve their 1-win performance last month. The other teams, despite being new on the International scene, are certainly as hungry to win. They have proven themselves worthy by topping out the qualifiers held on their respective hosts, and it won't be long enough until we see if they can match-up well at this stage. We should never really ignore qualifying teams' potential, as seen last month via Team Pokerstar who was able to reach the quarter finals. At the moment though, they only stand for what they are - Wild Cards.
Will the absence of Orange, who are expected to come back next month, lead to another Pinoy win, or will the other teams step-up and take the championship?
Stay tuned on GosuGamers for more updates.