DK are the G-League 2013 Champions

Dota 2 Mervyn “ISB” Tan

The much anticipated showdown between Team DK and Invictus Gaming in the G-League has concluded, with DK coming out on top after a 3-0 sweep. Props should be given to iG for putting up a valiant effort to defend their crown for the third time running, especially in Game 2 which came down to the wire. The matches, which began at 07:00CET, went all the way to 10:15CET. 

The end of G-League also signals the start of the festive break in the Chinese Dota scene, with the Lunar New Year arriving in less than a fortnight. With the rumourmill abound of a Chinese reshuffle and the supposed impending dissolution of Invictus Gaming, it is hard to predict what the post-season will bring. At the same time, this victory for Team DK cements their position as the frontrunners of the Chinese scene and puts them ahead in their rivalry with iG.

G-League Prize Pool
1st China Team DK - $33,000
2nd China Invictus Gaming - $8,200
3rd/4th ChinaLGD.cn & ChinaTongFu - $1,600

Round 1 - Best of 3

Round 2 - Best of 5

Game 1

Game 1 started with strong aggression from both sides as they each made pickoffs, with iG's Rubick and Visage making rotations to get kills on iceiceice, while DK's roaming combination of Alchemist and Shadow Shaman paid off dividends for them as well. BurNIng was deprived of farm on the safe lane against Hao's Lifestealer, and was set back on his Midas as well. iG expressed a ton of hate on iceiceice's Invoker, constantly ganking him and picking him off with Primal Roar, forcing him to get a Mekansm instead of his usual Midas.

In the meantime, BurNing was given space from his team to farm hard and fast, completing his Midas and Radiance despite having been denied for most of the first five minutes, while Hao's Lifestealer kept pace with him. However, iG's smoke ganks to slow BurNing down were unsuccessful, while Hao made a couple of mistakes on Lifestealer, turning around to try to get a kill after getting ganked, and throwing his own life away in the process. The unsung hero in this game was Mushi, who kept his team in the game with successful vendetta gank after successful vendetta gank, earning him an early blink dagger. 

The early game opened with a relatively even score of 10-9 at the 20 minute mark.  On the back of a successful teamfight at 22 minutes, DK took the first Roshan of the game, and transitioned their advantage into a Tier 2 push at the 24 minute mark. A greedy attempt to deny the bottom tier 2 by Hao led to a two man concoction by LanM, followed by a Mushi Impale on three, giving DK a 7-0 fight and the first barracks of the game at 25 minutes. Two more disastrous teamfights for iG in the Dire Jungle later led to BurNing having almost double to Hao's farm. iG ended up calling 'gg' at 29:54. 

>> Game 1 VOD

 

Game 2

Game 2 started with two unorthodox picks from both teams, with iG picking up the Death Prophet for Hao and a hard carry Bristleback for BurNing. A well timed disruption-split earth gank on Mushi's Puck earned iG the first blood not even a minute into the match. Meanwhile, DK equalized somewhat by picking off iG's courier that was ferrying Hao's bottle. 

Six minutes in, DK rushed the top lane as five, killing Ferrari's Invoker and his two supports. However, they overstayed their welcome, and were sorely punished by Exorcism, making it an even 3-3 trade. This engagement laid the foundation for the continued aggression across the map, with teams getting even trades in small skirmishes across the map. iG's dual roaming supports of Shadow Demon and Leshrac were combined with Ferrari_430's Sunstrikes to make these ganks work - Sunstrike's damage amplified by Soul Catcher melts heroes - while DK responded with MMY's relocates with BurNing or iceiceice tethered to him. 

After iG took the first Roshan of the game uncontested at 24 minutes, they continued to splitpush with YYF's Furion taking the bottom Tier 2 while Mushi set up two support kills at top with a 3-man silence and coil. A pick off on Mushi and Lanm resulted in DK losing their tier 2 mid and allowed iG to breach the high ground, taking out the tier 3. Teleports in by DK turned the fight around, making it a 2-0 trade and forcing iG to teleport out.

DK's forced push on iG's tier 2 without their BKBs on cooldown resulted in a team wipe after Leshrac and Death Prophet bought back. DK forced the second Roshan at 34 minutes, with yet another initiation by Mushi picking off both the Leshrac and Death Prophet. YYF attempted to split push top but not to a great success.

With BurNing losing his aegis by accident, iG initiated on him while kiting him with both Atos and Sprout. Having been able to take out the Bristleback, iG pressed their advantage but failed to capitalize on it, losing YYF to a Satyr shockwave just before he teleported to safety. 

Meanwhile, a 41 minute pickoff by a relocated Timbersaw on YYF eased the splitpush pressure on DK. DK went for the third Roshan at 44 minutes and started pushing iG's tier 3, trading BurNing's aegis for it. An extremely extended engagement where Dream Coil and Exorcism were both used twice saw iG losing their Mid Rax while DK lost three heroes, including iceiceice's monster kill streak. Another huge engagement in the Radiant Jungle went to the series leader as DK used buybacks on BurNing, LanM and Mushi to turn the fight around while Ferrari_430 and Hao's buybacks were on cooldown. 

DK transitioned into a deathball push, taking out iG's bottom Rax and sending iceiceice with his Dagon 5 to delay iG as they took down iG's top rax as well, forcing the 'gg' from iG against mega creeps.

>> Game 2 VOD

Game 3

Game 3 posed a huge challenge for iG as they had to win or go home. They decided to deny DK's signature Tiny-Io combo, while giving iceiceice his Invoker. iG started by switching their lanes, putting the Tiny-Io combo on the offlane to face up against BurNing's Nature's Prophet. In the meantime, iceiceice surprised all by getting First Blood on Ferrari_430's Puck at level 4 with a well timed Cold Snap and Sunstrike. The rotation of the DK supports back to their safe lane allowed Tiny to move back to the safe lane, while BurNing dived the Top Tier 2, picking off Alchemist in the process and teleporting out to safety. 

DK found a couple of pickoffs on Tiny with Ensnare and Sunstrike coming into play, while iG's gank on iceiceice got them the kill while still losing Puck in the process. Iceiceice picked up his Mekansm at 11 minutes, but DK overextended while diving the bottom Tier 1, losing two in the process but teleporting back in on their short respawn timers. Teamfights continued with iG coming on top despite iceiceice's early Mekansm, with multiple AoE spells landing on the DK team, especially with Ferrari_430's Blink dagger pickup. 

iG continued pressing their advantage, finding pickoffs on BurNing and focusing down iceiceice first in every teamfight. A 19 minute smoke into Roshan was spotted by iG, forcing yet another teamfight in the pit, with Hao buying back to take the Roshan. Having lost both supports, DK looked to be on the verge of giving up the Roshan if not for Mushi sprinting into the pit and landing a 4-man Slithereen Crush followed by a Meteor-Blast combo from iceiceice, giving DK both the Roshan kill and Aegis, as well as three kills in the pit. 

A 23 minute push by DK earned them the bottom Tier 2 and Tier 3. A blink initiation by Mushi on Puck, followed by a clutch Visage stun to stop Io's relocate from saving Tiny allowed them to claim the bottom melee rax as well. An attempted pickoff on BurNing by an invisible Puck and a relocating Tiny + Io was sorely punished as iceiceice dropped his combination on the pair the moment they appeared. Another pickoff on YYF's Dark Seer and Banana's Alchemist allowed DK to take down the mid Tier 3 and rax, at 26 minutes, forcing iG to call the 'gg'.

>> Game 3 VOD

Mervyn “ISB” Tan
Mervyn 'ISB' Tan is an undergraduate who writes about eSports mostly because he has the time to. He enjoys the ARTS/MOBA genre in general, and cannot play FPS games to save his life. He wishes that he will one day reach 5k MMR, too.