iG pulls off sweet revenge against DK, wins ECL
Photo by CESPC.
It was redemption for Invictus Gaming, as they defeated DK 2-0 in the finals of the Red Bull Esports Champion League (ECL).
The top two teams of the group stage ended up as the final two teams of the competition. While DK was seeded straight into the grand finals, iG was able to enter after defeating TongFu on the bubble-race playoffs.
iG entered the finals with a 1-4 record against DK in their last five games, including the heartbreaking four consecutive losses on WPC-ACE. They looked very composed still, however, and they again raced off to another series lead after an exciting first game. They didn't look back this time though, ending the series in 2 straight games.
This win ended a string of non-first place podium finishes for iG. They also won themselves 100,000 RMB (~$16,500) for their victory.
1. iG - 100,000 RMB (~$16,500)
2. DK - 20,000 RMB (~$3,300)
3. TongFu- 10,000 RMB (~$1,650)
Invictus Gaming has a strong pushing line-up with a Venomancer, Dragon Knight and Chen, while DK has the stronger late-game line-up with a Gyrocopter as their carry. iG knows what they want, which is a strong mid-game attack, which can be seen when they laned Hao's Dragon Knight on the middle lane and 430's Storm on the easy lane.
While the past nine matches of these teams were arguably one-sided, this one is looking to be action-packed. The start went well for DK, as they were able to claim first blood on the unsuspecting iG line-up, who was then pushing the middle lane. iG bounced right back into the lead by taking that tower two minutes later, as well as securing a kill on Gyrocopter after patiently stalking him with an invisibilty rune. A big team fight happened as well on the 14th minute, on which DK won with a 5-4 trade, and ended with a spectacular zip from Storm to catch Queen of Pain to end the skirmish.
iG is starting to assert their line-up's pushing prowess, taking their third tower by the 18th minute. They further extended their lead with a Roshan kill and a 4-0 trade just a few minutes after that. DK, not giving up, attacked aggressively on the middle lane. They were able get two quick kills, but a double buyback proved reversed the fortunes. It was worth it for iG, as they were able to win that fight 4-3, get their fifth tower and deny their middle tower after that.
DK was able to destroy their first tower at the 28th minute, but they were quickly punished by the enemy as they were almost wiped. iG showed team coordination as well on their next team fight four minutes later, as they disengaged on Roshan with only a tenth of its HP remaining to win another battle. The lead was simply too big for iG and they cruised through the middle lane not long after.
DK looks to be preparing a strong middle-game attack on the second game, this time skipping out a big DPS carry and instead going with a Doom. iG looks very strong on the middle-game themselves, as they had another Dragon Knight and a jungle hero in Enchantress on their team. They also have a safe-lane Viper, a hero which doesn't require tons of farm to do a lot of impact.
DK completely abandoned their hard lane, and they were punished quickly by iG. iG's supports roamed early to the middle lane, motivated by the double Centaur of Enchantress and the free bottom lane, and they were able to secure the first blood. The two supports then moved over on the enemy jungle to disrupt the four DK heroes on that side of the map.
iG was able to perform a successful gank on top by killing three DK heroes, but the latter rebounded by doing a gank themselves on Viper. It was iG however, who shot to a big lead, after consecutive 3-0 team fight wins on two straight failed attempt on the bottom lane by DK.
With a big lead, iG tried to crack DK's top lane multiple times. DK was able to hold on the first two attempts behind a double buyback on the first one and a good Chaos Meteor on the second, but they finally collapsed on the third try after Doom was killed before the team can do any significant damage on the enemy. iG's lead is already very big, and they easily rampaged through the middle lane after.