DK to meet iG in WPC-ACE grand finals

Dota 2 Mervyn “ISB” Tan

DK walk over Alliance 2-0 in the Semi-Finals of the WPC-ACE, and will meet IG again in the Bo7 Grand Final on 2nd June, 08:00 CEST. 

With this 2-0 victory, DK have won a place in the Grand Finals of the 2014 season of the WPC-ACE League. The Best of Seven Grand Finals will take place on 2nd June, at 08:00CEST (14:00CST/SGT). The team that wins WPC-ACE will earn the lion's share (~$161,000USD) of the ~$250,000USD prizepool, the largest prizepool outside of The International. Team DK will face-off once again against IG, in a repeat of the last WPC-ACE League Grand Finals earlier this year on 1 January. In that encounter, IG had surged to a 3-0 lead, but a lunch break saw DK coming back to win the series 4-3. 

Alliance will meet NewBee in the 3rd/4th match tomorrow at 08:00CEST. The winner of that match will take ~$16,000 in winnings, and the fourth placed team will bring home ~$8,000. 

Game 1

DK drafted an interesting lineup with Mushi as the number one position Templar Assassin and BurNing on a safelane Brewmaster. MMY and LaNm reprise their signature supports on Lion and Enchantress respectively, while iceiceice is on Doom.  Meanwhile, Alliance have a very conventional and familiar lineup, with EGM on Dazzle, AdmiralBulldog on Centaur, s4 on Invoker, Loda on Luna and Akke on his signature Chen. 

The game started out slow with the first blood being drawn only at 4:30, when the DK supports manage to countergank the Alliance dive on iceiceice with a well-timed smoke. DK's supports continued to succeed, with their second smoke rotation finding a kill on Centaur. With the top tier 1 going DK's way and Alliance being unable to push, DK started their snowball on the back of having a superior teamfight with Brewmaster's Primal Split. 

After 12 minutes, the game heavily favours DK with kills, towers, gold and experience all going their way. Despite Alliance getting a couple of pickoffs on Doom, DK always find the superior pickoffs, with kills on Luna and Invoker. The first big teamfight featuring Primal Split heavily went in DK's favour, with them even diving the Radiant Tier 2 and getting kills on Alliance's cores. DK continue to farm the map, with an early Blink Dagger on Lion allowing them the liberty of initiation on Alliance.

This forced Alliance to play defensively, while DK maximised their farm and advantage over their opponents, finding pickoffs on key heroes whenever Alliance tried to push or even farm the lanes - the tale of this is told by their pickoffs on Invoker as well as Centaur trying to get his Blink Dagger. This comes to a head when DK decide to siege the Radiant bottom Tier 1, and despite an Alliance smoke, they still get decimated 0-3, and DK continue to snowball extremely hard. 

With DK's movement around the map, Alliance found themselves increasingly unable to farm, and the gold difference was surging to an almost 1,000 GPM difference between the two teams 20 minutes in, with DK taking all but 1 of Alliance's outer towers. Upon seeing Primal Split on cooldown, Alliance attempted to take out DK's mid tier 1 at 24 minutes. But by this point, DK's superiority is too much, allowing them to easily win the teamfight 4-0 even without the Brewmaster ultimate, prompting Alliance to call the GG. 

 

Game 2

DK have drafted a lineup that is Cleave heavy with both Ember Spirit for BurNing and Kunkka for Mushi, as well as featuring LaNm on Chen, MMY on his signature Lion, and iceiceice on Batrider. Alliance instead draft a lineup with some of their older heroes, with Bulldog on Prophet, Loda on Gyrocopter, s4 on Invoker, EGM on Naga Siren and Akke on Crystal Maiden. 

The game starts with a bang as DK catch out Bulldog's Prophet 1 minute in, grabbing the first blood with the supports rotating in for the kill. Alliance responded with a counterkill at 4:30 with their supports rotating in to get a kill on Mushi. At 10 minutes in, the game is completely even, with a 3-3 score and the teams equal on towers and gold. 

This equilibrium swung in DK's favour when they manage to steal the Alliance ancient stack after a teamfight in which Loda barely escaped with his life. DK continued to press their advantage by taking more pickoffs, on s4, EGM and even Loda over the course of the next ten minutes. Sensing their disadvantage, Alliance decided to take two disastruous teamfights that saw DK coming out on top by a large margin, and crusing to a large advantage. 

With this disadvantage, Alliance then settled into a defensive farming strategy, hoping to farm up more items on Loda and two Sheepsticks on Bulldog and s4. However, DK's advantage was palpable, with them constantly warding off Alliance's jungle with sentries, denying them jungle farm and punishing overextentions when farming the lanes. The advantage was telling when MMY blinked into the Alliance base and found a solo pick-off on Akke without even losing his life by teleporting out. 

Sensing that they would be unable to defend their highground if DK were to take Roshan, Alliance smoked out of their base, trying to find a pickoff and then take the Aegis for themselves. However, they were unable to kill LaNm standing guard outside the pit, and Loda immediately purchased a Divine Rapier for DK's re-engage. However, BurNing's farmed Ember Spirit cleaved Loda down within a matter of seconds of the Divine Rapier purchase, leading to Alliance to call the GG at 38:00. 

 

WPC-ACE Elimination Brackets

 

Headline photo from Team DK's Facebook page

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.