Wings Gaming in the ESL One Manila semifinals
photo credits @ESL One
A beautiful underdog story is in the making as Wings Gaming advances into the ESL One Manila semifinals.
Arguably one of the most entertaining games from ELS One Manila, game one started with a very dominant Chinese team. Early three-four man rotations from Wings in mid and bottom lane put coL’s Death Prophet and Darkseer behind in farm and levels and boosted Zhou 'bLink' Yang’s Invoker transition into the mid game. Focused on ganking the DP all the time, Wings quite forgot about Rasmus 'Chessie' Blomdin’s Life Stealer who was free farming the entire game. At the nine minute mark Cheesie made his first appearance in a lane, infested in a Dinosaur Ancient creep, and got his first kill of the game on Wing’s Disruptor.
From there on Cheesie abused the Ancient infest strategy so much that casters found themselves forced to name the creatures for easier reference to the ever-infested Life Stealer. The two stars of the game were Gary (the Granite Golem Ancient) and Horatio (the Black Dragon Ancient) who always led compLexity’s push attempts, bullying all the Wings heroes while tower after tower went under to Death Prophet Exorcism.
The next game showcased another push strategy from compLexity, this time revolving around the Drow Ranger aura in combination with Nature’s Prophet-- a strategy that went perfectly for the NA squad in the early stage of the game. At the ten minute mark Wings was left with only two tier three towers.
However, Wings had their own response with a Beastmaster and a freefarming Slark. The first big clash between the two teams happened 16 minutes into the game with Wings grouping up as five for the first time in an offensive stance. Four coL heroes died in their attempt to defend the top tier one tower, marking the first moment of Wings’s recovery.
Later, Wings managed to get a Roshan kill and placed the Aegis on their carry Slark. With the Aegis advantage, they were able to regain map control, cornering coL in their own base. Wings outplayed their adversaries and pushed the series in a decisive game three, always focusing Drow Ranger and controlling the NA line-up with the Witch Doctor Cask.
With their backs against the wall, Wings Gaming remained calm in the last game of the series and brought a Chu 'Shadow' Zeyu specialty into the spotlight . Totally ignoring compLexity’s draft for late game and the huge team fight potential that they had with the Phantom Lancer - Dazzle healing bomb combo, Wings went with a last pick carry Venomancer, a hero on which shadow is still undefeated in this patch.
The start of the game was quiet with only two kills happening in the first ten minutes, and both teams focusing on safe farm and item advantage. This favoured coL, who was happy with a late game scenario which would benefit both Outworld Devourer and Phantom Lancer.
However, all that Wings was waiting for was a completed Veil of Discord plus Aghanim’s for Veno, and a Blink Dagger for initiation from their Earthshaker. Once those items came online they sieged compLexity. Dazzle’s heals weren't enough to deal with the heavy magical damage. Forced to build a first item BkB, OD couldn’t deliver the big right click damage and the entire NA squad couldn't fight for or defend the high ground.
Wings Gaming only needed 35 minutes to invade the enemy base and claim a spot in the ESL One Manila semifinals on the back of a made in China pocket strategy.