GEST September : Group Preview
This weekend's Gigabyte E-Sports Tournament (GEST) will be the eight leg of this prestigious WC3 DotA event, and the teams are as eager as ever to win the crown. 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 DotA editor Ren "Pacific.Ren" Vitug go through the groups.
After a brutally wrong prediction last month, I tried really hard not to shoot myself in the foot. If nothing else though, it was amazing to see how all these teams are so competitive that they continually strive for improvements. This fact ensures us that the level of play would still continue to evolve and improve, and that every competition is a toss-up. I don't have a Crystal Ball (yet) though, so I would try to balance previous achievements and recent streak to provide a hopefully not-so-off prediction this month.
|September GEST / Group A|
| MSIEvo GT|
|Ren predicts: Neolution would try to improve their Runner-up finish 2 months ago, whereas Mineski and MSIEvoGT would try to replicate their Championship that they earned a few months back. Skynet went winless last month, and this month may not be that much better for them. If for a bright spot, they have managed to beat Mineski on the GEST Group Stage 2 months ago, and this month may see either a revenge or a repetition of that feat.|
Alive.Alacrity proved to be one of the better qualifying teams by advancing through the PlayCyberGames qualifier, but their resume is still pretty much blank. They will definitely receive well-valued experience on this tournament, but I don't think they can receive wins yet.
I would have to put Mineski ahead of MSIEvoGT and Neolution this month though. The former have been playing together a lot lately, and they have shown that they still have it by taking rank 3 last month.
|September GEST / Group B|
|Ren predicts: The fated Group of the top 2 teams last month - iZone and iDeal. iZone, of course, finally broke through the "curse", winning it all after being the runner-up for so long. iDeal, on the other hand, used a strong Group Stage and an even stronger playoff push to reach the Finals. Their Finals match was awesome, and this Group-Stage Finals rematch would probably be one of the highlight on Day 1 of September GEST. |
G7 has been improving a lot - and this month they'll have a good chance of improving their Top 8 finish last month. Group B has 2 qualifiers in the form of Thai team BBDota and Indonesian Team IGT, as Ritter-ART (no-show last month) disbanded.
iZone and iDeal should be able to take the top 2 slots, but I'm favoring iZone since they never fail to have a strong performance on GEST. G7 would be taking the last playoff slot on the group unless the 2 qualifying teams (who actually lost to to Alive.Alacrity and BauCat respectively on the PCG tournament) surprise us with solid performances.
|September GEST / Group C|
|Ren predicts: In my opinion, this is easily the strongest group on this month's GEST. Though the 2-time Champion eMaxx had a disappointing run last month, I still find them a strong favorite on this group. Dreamz.SS always has this strong Group Stage performance, but never can they really get their momentum going on the Playoffs. While it can be argued that the returning Orange had spent the blunt of their recent time playing Dota 2, it will be still be hard to find a team that has been as coherent and practicing together as much as them at this point.|
What makes this group even stronger are the two other teams on the Group. PokerStar, who replaced Starsboba, finished on a gallant Top 8 position when they last joined the competition back at July. eNcy, on the other hand, just barely missed the Playoffs last month.
While I would think that the 2 Filipino teams would get the Top 2 slot, I have to admit that it is hard to picture Orange not being up there. After all, this team have proven to be able to win over the Philippine teams. If I would give a bold prediction though, I have to favor Pacific.eMaxx to take the top slot due to their strong performance on the recent GMPGL and the fact that Orange had been playing more Dota 2 recently. Expect to see some upsets made by the other 2 teams though.
UPDATE: Filipino team NeoES.PH|DotA is replacing Orange on this group. While the team is fairly known among local Filipino players, they are still rather unknown and unproven on the International scene. In fact, they fared 0-4 on their appearance on GEST last June. Will they be able to redeem themselves this time?
|September GEST / Group D|
| Invasion ReD|
|Ren predicts: Lots of love between Pacific.Palit and Invasion ReD - this has been their third straight month being grouped together! No one seems to have the number of each other though, since it is still the match is still anything but decided every time they match up. Meanwhile, Cambodian team SVR_Es would try to provide excitement again. They fared decent last month, but they failed to advance on the playoffs after losing their Tiebreaker match.|
Speaking of a team which just barely missed the playoffs, Vietnamese team BauCat once again won over the PlayCyberGames qualifier to earn a slot on this month's competition. Ironically, their conqueror on last month's tiebraker, deperruku, is also on this group.
I would give a slight edge on Pacific.Palit over the Malaysian team this time around, but I won't take anything from Invasion ReD's capacity to win this group. And don't we all love how SVR_Es wreaks upsets all over? But I don't see any single team dominating this group, so expect a bunch of tiebreaks especially on the Third playoff slot.
Will Orange be able to bring in their strong Dota 2 play into the WC3 Dota Scene? Will we see another Champion? Or will iZone continue to prove that they are GEST's team-to-beat? Stay tuned on GosuGamers for more updates.