Sina Cup: Team DK claims victory over Vici Gaming

Dota 2 Frederick “winterequinox007” Benjamin

Season three of the Sina cup has just come to an end, with teams Vici Gaming and DK duking it out in a best-of-5 Grand Finals. With Team DK emerging from the winner's bracket, they come up to a crushing lead, defeating underdogs Vici Gaming 3-2 in spectacular fashion.

Upper Bracket

Lower Bracket

Round 3 - Best of 1

Round 4 - Best of 3


Best of 5

Team DK has just claimed victory over Vici Gaming in the Sina Cup, and with it the first place prize of 60,000 RMB (USD $9,800). Below are the recaps for the matched played today, which began at 12:00 CET.


Match 1 :

Game 1 started with Team DK picking QoP for Mushi, perhaps one of his better heroes. Laning up against Super's Templar Assassin, this would be a perfect choice, if not for the fact that four lockdown heroes were chosen for Vici Gaming. As the early game progressed, DK's supports rotated mid with a smoke, and got first blood on Super. Vici Gaming's safe lane at top was secured for them with their supports Ancient Apparition and Shadow Shaman, and the Doom Bringer was able to get his farm.

Towards early to mid game leaks were seen in Team DK's line up, with Queen of Pain being shut down every time she went in. Shackle, Voodoo, and Ice Blast almost always ensured her death. As Team DK's line up was dependent on Mushi's AoE damage output, a Doom on him was always sufficient to take him down. In addition with the Ancient Apparition's Chilling Touch, the extra spell damage combined with physical damage gave Vici Gaming the upper edge over Team DK.

After every won teamfight Vici Gaming would group up, with Shadow Shaman and Doom Bringer leading the charge to DK's nearest tower and taking it down. A mekanism would heal up the team, and Serpent Wards would be dropped and the tower would slowly crumble to dust. Always grouping up as 4 or 5 heroes, Vici Gaming slowly eroded Team DK with pick offs, with the Mushi and BurNing always making the juvenile mistakes of over extention. Eventually Team DK crumbled under the pressure of Vici Gaming as they lose control of the map and later, the game.



Match 2:

Right from the drafting phase Team DK was put to the back end once again, with a Pugna being picked up by Vici Gaming. Detrimental to DK's line up in terms of the Nether Ward burst damage, Mushi's Storm Spirit was deterred from laning due to that, with much of his HP melting like butter with his static remnant placement. Against Vici Gaming's Super at mid, he lost the lane and gave up first blood. But even as the nether ward was a hindrance to Team DK, they found a way around it: Visage's Familiars, which could fly in and snipe the ward, effectively narrowing Vici Gaming's teamfight advantage. The familiars were good at blocking the Clockwerk's hook as well, saving the Visage multiple times from being picked off.

With the game progressing, Vici Gaming and Team DK settled for various tower trade offs and hero pick offs, Vici Gamings' tower destruction being answered by Team DK's tower destruction. As both teams farmed up, VG's Morphling began to spiral finishing a 16 minute Linkens. As he farmed up on creeps and Team DK's heroes, Morphling purchased an Etheral Blade already 23 minutes into the game, which was spelled disaster for DK. Fast forward to the 30 minute mark, three of Vici Gaming's supports had forcestaffs, a strong indication that the game was not going well for DK at all. The mobility provided by those forcestaff was insane, allowing Vici Gaming's supports to save themselves and the morphling more than once. At that moment, Team DK's Prophet and Storm Spirit were largely ineffective, farming up in different sides of the map.

However as Vici Gaming gathered for a smoke, they literally walked up to Team DK on the highground as their smoke broke, and chaos ensued near Dire's bottom lane tier 2. With the Lifestealer taking down the supports and the Wrath of Nature hitting the heroes, it was the turn around point for Team DK, and Storm Spirit was zipping around the battle dealing the maximum damage output. Wiping the floor with Vici Gaming at the 32 minute mark, it was only the Morphling that managed to escape and even then, not unscathed. Team DK then took advantage of their situation, killing Roshan and obtaining the Aegis. With the Aegis, Team DK were confident enough to initiate on Vici Gaming, farm up and push as well, marking a significant comeback for them.

The 46 minute marks saw the trade off of Vici Gaming's top melee barracks, destroyed by Prophet for the Roshan kill and Aegis, a poor trade off. Slightly later, DK's Prophet teleported into Vici Gaming's bottom lane, waiting for the top lane's Super Creeps to push into Vici Gaming's base, proceeding to backdoor and claim both the bottom melee and ranged barracks. Subsequently a fierce teamfight ensured, between DK and Vici Gaming in the Dire base, with Morphling dying and coming back to life twice with an Aegis and a Boots-of-Travel buyback.

As Storm Spirit, Nature's Prophet and the Lifestealer went for the Radiant Ancient, Vici Gaming's Morphling was attacking the Dire Ancient. Seeing that they would lose the base race to the Morphling, the Storm Spirit teleported back to base in order to stop him, but has his teleport was cancelled by a Clockwerk Cogs. He immediately ball lightninged into the enemy base to commit suicide, and buys back, ending up at his fountain, a next level play. Hexing up the morphling and silencing him, he managed to kill the Morphling who dies for the third time. Nature's Prophet and Lifestealer proceeded to hammer away at the Radiant Ancient, and eventually win the base race. Perhaps this is DK's 'lose now win later strategy?'



Match 3:

Game 3 of the Sina Cup Grand Finals saw Team DK picking up the Centaur Warruner, the second time in the tournament. Throwing him to the offlane to face up against Vici Gaming's Luna, Ancient Apparition, and Rubick trilane, he fared decently even as he tower hugged and sapped experience. Meanwhile on the bottom lane Team DK's Gyrocopter was farming absolutely well, with the Shadow Shaman babysitting him against the offlane Prophet and Venomancer stacking camps in the jungle. It was finally at 4 minutes into the game that the Venomancer rotated to the bot lane, where Vici Gaming's Prophet was ambushed and gave him the first blood. 

With nobody in the lane to contest and deny farm, the Gyrocopter began to farm up very quickly and efficiently, amassing a Phase Boots and Drums in the 8 minute mark with gold to spare. After several skirmishes in which towers were destroyed, the Centaur and Gyrocopter managed to obtain their items: a blink dagger and 14 minute bkb respectively. With a blink on DK's Puck which threw out a Dream Coil, the Centaur blinked in and managed to War Stomp most of Vici Gaming, combining with a Call Down from the Gyrocopter which wiped most of Vici Gaming. Realising that the game was effectively over, Vici Gaming called the 'GG' at 17 minutes. 



Match 4:

Game 4 featured, for the fourth time, Ancient Apparition Vici gaming (ironically against iceiceice), while also being the second time that Centaur Warruner was picked and the first time that Wisp was picked in the entire tournament. Definitely a back and forth affair in this game, first blood in the game was not till the 14 minute mark, where Vici Gaming's Lycan takes down Team DK's Venomancer. Previously the Venomancer was at middle lane desperately defending his tower from the Lycan's push, having mild success in stalling him whilst the wards that were killed gave Lycan the gold. As the wards pushed out the middle lane, it allowed the Lycan to farm on the creeps as well as the wards, a mistake on his part to stop the push.

The game later went into teams going to back-and-forth kills, one kill and pick off resulting in a revenge kill for the other team. Patiently farming, Vici Gaming's Lycan managed to buy up his necronomicon quickly and combined with his Wolves, Feral Impulse, and Roar, allowing him to push down the rest of the towers quickly and efficently. It was almost a farming festival with 9 total kills at the 20 minute mark, a marked change from the previous games. Having said this however in the 21st minute, a teamfight occured at Dire's tier 2 tower which saw a Relocate-Call Down combination which hit Vici Gaming hard.

Adding a 22 minute Monkey King Bar to his inventory collection, Team DK's Gyrocopter hit hard, and hit fast. Dealing massive amounts of damage with his Flak Cannon, he was able to farm creeps, ancients, and even heroes with ease. However, it was during this point that the Lycan and the Slark started to amass and farm up their items. A Necrobook level three, BKB, and Assault Cuirass on the Lycan, a BKB and an Eye of Skadi on the Slark enabled them to survive the initial Call Down and Flak Cannon blast, taking down the Gyrocopter even when his BKB duration was still running. On other occasions, fantastic prediction of Ancient Apparition allowed him to hit the Ice Blast even before the Gyrocopter popped his BKB, and when he did, the Batrider immediately blinked in and targeted a lasso on him.

Subsequent uses of the Gyrocopter's BKB saw it's duration fall to four seconds, and this was linked to his demise. Even though he had farmed up a Butterfly, activation of his BKB would immediately lead to Batrider throwing out the lasso, Lycan and Slark (with a newly purchased MKB) would magically appear and take him down, every single fight, every single time. At the 41 minute mark both teams engaged outside the Roshan pit near Dire's tier 2 tower, and although things seemed to go alright at first for Team DK, the appearance of the Gyrocopter would immediately lead to full commitment from Vici Gaming, who took him down within seconds. At last, the Slark scored a triple kill from that teamfight and forced out double buybacks from Team DK, whose heroes once again fell prey to Vici Gaming. Team DK eventually tapped out at the 45 minute mark, calling the 'GG'.



Match 5:

Game 5 went on to an explosive start even at the drafting phase, with the Global Ultimates Strategy being slyly picked up by Team DK. Zeus, Prophet, and AA made it through the picks, but eventually Vici Gaming saw through DK's picks and proceeded to banned Spectre. The early game saw DK diving too hard, and too fast on Vici Gaming's towers, especially with Zeus and Prophet, which fell to Vici Gaming's heroes after taking too much tower damage from overextentions. Chaos Knight and Doom Bringer, two tanky strength heroes of Vici Gamings' managed to roam early in the game, with Wisp tagging along. A four second Chaos Bolt and a LVL? Death would deal massive amounts of damage to DK's tricore Intelligence caster line-up, allowing kills and pick offs here and there for Vici Gaming.

However as Team DK's heroes reached level 6, only then was the true potential of the Iceblast into Wrath of Nature and Thundergod's Wrath revealed, with their very first teamfight at level 6 taking down almost all of Vici Gaming's heroes in the middle lane. Whenever the two teams clashed, Team DK would always have the upper hand, taking down two or even three of Vici Gaming's heroes at any given clash. Taking down four heroes was the norm, when the Prophet, Zeus, and Ancient Apparition could land their ultimates properly in teamfights. When not fighting or pushing out the lanes DK's Prophet would farm in the jungle, whilst always sending out treants to scout in various parts of the map, and at all times there would be treants on the high ground, treants in the jungle, treants in the lane, and even treants in Vici Gaming's jungle for vision. As the mid-game game came, Vici Gaming realised that in order to win teamfights, they would have to do something simple: Take down either Zeus, Prophet, or Ancient Apparition before they could get their ultimates off.

Also, should the Ancient Apparition miss his ultimate, that would be the signal for Vici Gaming to engage, with no fear of death from frostbite. By the 20 minute mark 2 BKBs could be seen on Vici Gaming, one on Chaos Knight and one on Doom Bringer. Fearing death even more, the Chaos Knight went for a straight Heart of Tarrasque, with Doom Bringer having completed his Mekanism earlier, both items to provide that health boost. At around the 27 minute mark, Vici Gaming decided to take a risk with a Roshan attempt, which was almost successful until they were hit by LaNm's Ice Blast. Immediately Zeus casted Thundergod's Wrath and Prophet, Wrath of Nature, which hit on four heroes (with the exception of Zeus' ultimate, which hit five). Dealing massive amounts of damage and causing Vici Gaming's surviving heroes to back off, Team DK took down Roshan and Aegis. 

There were many attempts by heroes of either side to pick off the other, but as Team DK had Force Staffs on Zeus, Nyx Assassin and Ancient Apparition, it was nigh impossible or very difficult, somewhat reminescent of Game 2 between the two teams. By the 48th minute as Team DK grouped up mid in order for a final teamfight, it was the sneaky Prophet that split pushed their top lane with Treants and Necronomicon units. Taking down Dire's top melee and ranged barracks whilst helping the team by dishing out right clicks as well as his ultimate, Prophet proved too much to handle, as Vici Gaming crumbed under the Team DK and called the 'GG' shortly after. 

Prize Pool:

1st Place: 60,000 RMB (~USD $9,800) China Team DK
2nd Place: 20,000 RMB (~USD $3,200) China Vici Gaming
3rd Place: 10,000 RMB (~USD $1,600) China Dream Time

Frederick “winterequinox007” Benjamin
I live in the hot, hot, hot country of Singapore. And I'm only referring to the weather. Mountain Dew and Root Beer is a must, don't forget coffee too. I frown upon hipsters, and am a nice guy in real life. Cheers.