DK breaks curse; wins 1,000,000 RMB in WPC-ACE League after coming back from 0-3 deficit vs iG
DK playing vs iG. Photo by Jason Xu.
WPC-ACE League season has been long and hard but after three months of fierce battle, they are ready to crown DK as the champion of their first season after they came back from a three game deficit to beat iG. iG started off great in the grand final, winning their first three games and were on the verge of taking the championship uncontested. That was until the best-of-seven series was paused to give both teams some time for lunch and to collect their thoughts.
After the three hours lunch break, DK came back rejuvenated. Utilizing a cheesy support Kunkka and a push strat featuring Pugna in game five, DK won the next two games and all of the sudden, game seven did not seem too out of reach. iG tried going for DK's Pugna and Dragon Knight strategy in game six but that did not work out due to good movement and rotation from DK. Amazingly, DK came back from a three game deficit to tie the series at 3-3. iG asked for an hour break after they threw their three game lead away.
The deciding game was a fairly close affair up till iG made some crucial mistake in engagements. A quick Blink Dagger on Sand King laid devastation on iG to the point where they could not recover. DK pulled far ahead and after picking off Clockwerk outside iG's base, DK went uphill and the game was suspiciously paused after Zhi Cheng 'Lanm' Zhang disconnected from the game. According to the organizers, Zhang got so happy that he broke his monitor. iG refused to waste anymore time and conceded the game in real life.
Lanm's broken monitor. Photo by Jason Xu.
DK's WPC-ACE League win also means they won the first ever best-of-seven series in Dota 2 and also biggest first prize in the history of Dota outside The International, a whopping $163,000. Runner-up iG walked away with $49,000 while third placer Vici Gaming went home with $16,000.
1. DK - 1,000,000 RMB (~$165,000)
2. iG - 300,000 RMB (~$49,500)
3. Vici Gaming - 100,000 RMB (~$16,500)
Invictus Gaming tried to pull a fast one over DK in the first game of the series by sneaking in for a level one Roshan but the plan was thwarted by DK scouts as they marched in and wiped iG before the creep spawned. DK lead got even bigger when they picked up the First Blood and several other kills while iG failed two of their initial smoke ganks. iG was however, relentless and unwilling to let game one go to DK. They buckled down and played more defensively, waiting for DK to initiate on them with their Lifestealer bomb and that was effective. Fights after fights, DK would overextend and soon enough, they found themselves unable to engage on iG because they are now equal in farm and experience.
Mostly attributed to their Dire side advantage, iG took down the next few Roshans before barreling down middle for the middle barracks. Their second push got iG the bottom barracks and getting wiped once again in their own base, DK surrendered.
Similar to game one, DK took an unorthodox route up the Radiant jungle and got the first and second kills of the game from an unsuspecting Storm Spirit and Rubick, who went into the river to check Roshan. Despite the small lead, iG laned their heroes well and did not give up anymore unnecessary kills until middle game. The game was a little back and forth all throughout 10-20 minutes but it was DK who got the Aegis. With the Aegis in hand, DK went for a push on the middle lane but BurNing dived a little too much and popped his Aegis while Rubick stole his level two Eclipse. Moon beams rain down on the fleeing DK heroes for a full team wipe.
It was all downhill for DK from that fight onwards. The next big fight at the Rosh pit sealed the game for Invictus Gaming as Rubick stole yet another good spell, Doom, and used it on Luna before he used his ultimate. The fight resulted in another team wipe and this time, iG got the Aegis before they push middle. Rubick gave Doom a taste of his own medicine in the final fight as iG took game two.
The early phase of game three was relatively more even for both teams. The score was tied at 11-11, 12 minutes into the game, then the action died. Realizing they needed more farm on their core heroes, iG and DK were more than happy to allow their carries to farm while looking for opportunity. The silence was finally broken at 20 minutes when Storm and Rubick provided decoys for the rest of iG to Rosh. Once the Rosh was down, Bristleback wandered a little too near to the Rosh pit and got burst down in a hurry. This was followed by the death of Leshrac and would have been Spectre if not for a great Shackleshot from Windranger. The engagement was part of a 9-0 run in the minutes to come in which we see a huge upswing towards iG in the gold and experience graph. iG continued to snowball and eventually forced DK to call the "gg" at 28 minutes.
After a three hours break, DK came into game four with a game plan, a rather cheesy strat of Shadow Demon and support Kunkka. Two Smoke of Deceits were bought at level one to make this strategy work but Magnus played by Ferrari was too careful and avoided the gank. However, Elder Titan was not and he moved straight into the trap. While he could have just gotten away after the Disruption, Kunkka and Shadow Demon surrounded him right after to secure the kill. The ganks eventually led to a 5-1 lead for DK after an early engagement broke out on Radiant ancients but iG was quick to get two revenge kills off Mushi's overaggression.
While all that were happening, BurNing, playing the Clinkz, was farming away on the top lane and he was able to buy a 12 minutes Orchid of Malevolence. BurNing immediately went to work with his newly acquired toy, picking off iG's heroes left and right, giving DK a 14-5 kill lead. It is the starvation game for iG from the 13th minute mark onwards as they farmed everywhere on the map and would pick off iG as soon as they step out of their base. DK took down iG's bottom barracks at 37 minutes
In game five, DK picked up Pugna as their last pick and went straight to work as they destroy their first tower three minutes into the game. All four of DK rotated towards middle lane to take the middle tier-one and they picked off two heroes on their rampage. DK did not let go on the accelerator as they moved top for two more towers while iG desperately tried to defend. Pugna's Netherblast did a lot of work for DK and by 10 minutes, DK's lead was too big for iG to step out of their base. DK wasted no time in coming high ground and with another four heroes dead, iG tapped out at 16 minutes.
No kills happened in the first twelve minutes of the game. Despite picking up a pushing-oriented line up, iG failed to push down towers as they only got one middle tier-one while DK split pushed their top and bottom tier-one. iG wasted a lot of time moving as five but their efforts did not pay out due to good movements from DK. Slowly and surely, DK pulled ahead by avoiding ganks and when mid-game arrived and Black King Bar picked up on Outworld Destroyer and Viper.
One big fight near the Roshan pit pretty much solidified DK's lead in the game. After the battle, DK was up by more than 8,000 gold and tonnes of experience. DK went straight for the middle barracks in which they got it after winning yet another fight and it was all downhill there for iG. DK controlled the bigger portion of the map and slowly pushed their advantage to eventually win the game.
DK was off to a good start in the deciding game, farming up a 2,000 gold advantage just eight minutes into the game. Sand King played by Mushi played a key role in this huge lead because his Caustic Finale totally shut down Dragon Knight's farm on the middle lane. The first big engagement of the game happened on the middle lane where Mushi made a crucial mistake to go for the Epicenter despite having vision of enemy Shadow Demon in the vicinity. That fight got quickly turned around with iG supports teleporting in to kill Sand King and Tiny. iG won another fight just minutes after the last and this time, Lich's beatifully placed Chain Frost wiped Sand King and Enchantress.
Despite all that, DK was still in the lead and with his newly acquired Blink Dagger laid devastation on iG to narrow the kill deficit to 7-10. At this point, iG was grouping up a lot and wasting a lot of time while DK farmed a lot more efficiently to mass nearly 10,000 gold lead at 18 minutes. The game went into a quiet phase until iG decided to engage on Venomancer after getting vision of him in the Radiant jungle. While they were able to kill Venomancer, DK's reinforcements arrived to dish out the wipe and take a commanding lead in the game.
With a 15,000 lead in gold, DK pushed all of iG's tier-two towers and after picking off Clockwerk who had no buyback outside iG's base, DK rushed uphill and won the 5v4 fight. Apparently Lanm got too happy after the kill and broke his monitor. Refusing to delay the game any further, iG called the "gg" in real life.
DK receiving their gigantic cheque. Photo by Jason Xu.