Top Chinese team Invictus Gaming (IG) have become the first Major champions of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) after they pulled off an epic reverse sweep over North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses (EG) in the grand finals of the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Major on Sunday (4 April).
As the top teams of their respective regional leagues, both EG and IG were rewarded with direct seeds to the Playoffs of the Major, where they first met in the second round. EG dominated IG to send them down to the lower bracket before securing their spot in the grand finals with a 2-1 victory over Chinese team PSG.LGD in the upper bracket finals.
After being dropped to the lower bracket, IG overcame South American dark horse team Thunder Predator and European powerhouse Team Secret to meet PSG.LGD in the lower bracket finals. They then outlasted PSG.LGD in a 2-1 thriller to force a rematch with EG in the grand finals.
While EG were able to easily take the first two games of the finals, IG stormed back from the brink of defeat and won three-straight games to claim the Singapore Major's grand prize of US$200,000 and 500 DPC points, which will go towards securing an all-important direct invite to The International 10 (TI10) for the team.
IG now have a total of 1,000 DPC points — which all but assures them a direct invite to TI10 — after they previously earned 500 DPC points from winning the Chinese regional league.
Meanwhile, EG earn US$100,000 and 450 DPC points for finishing in second place. With the 500 DPC points they already have from topping the North American regional league, EG now have 950 DPC points and are also guaranteed a direct invite to TI10.
Here's a recap of the grand finals:
IG opened the series with a very greedy lineup, as Jin "flyfly" Zhiyi was on Naga Siren and Zhou "Emo" Yi was on Morphling. Flanking them were Thiay "JT-" Jun Wen on Mars, Hu "kaka" Liangzhi on Phoenix, and Chan "Oli~" Chon Kien on Disruptor.
EG looked to run over IG's greedy lineup in the midgame as Artour "Arteezy" Babaev had Leshrac, Abed Azel "Abed" Yusop had his signature Storm Spirit, Daryl "iceiceice" Koh had Beastmaster, Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen had a support Mirana, and Tal "Fly" Aizik had Abaddon.
With IG's greedy line-up still busy farming through the early game, EG got off to a fast start and took down four of their opponents' outer towers by the 18-minute mark. With the safe areas on the map for IG shrinking fast, both Emo and flyfly weren't able to get the items they need in time to repel EG's oncoming push.
Abed and Cr1t dominated the fights for EG, with Abed's Storm Spirit zipping in to sow chaos among IG's ranks and preventing them from casting their spells while Cr1t's Mirana sniped high-priority targets from afar with Sacred Arrow. With their base in shambles and their cores still far from fighting shape, IG were forced to call GG just before the 31-minute mark.
Abed and Arteezy both had 9 kills to pace their team's victory to start the finals, with Abed adding 10 assists to his name while having no deaths.
IG drafted another greedy line-up in game two, as they put JT on an offlane Alchemist to empower flyfly on Faceless Void and Emo on Void Spirit. Kaka and Oli looked to protect them as Lion and Abaddon, respectively.
EG punished IG's greed once more with a strong midgame line-up. Abed and iceiceice were put on Storm Spirit and Beastmaster, respectively, once more while Arteezy had Bloodseeker, Cr1t had Earth Spirit, and Fly had Ancient Apparition.
EG utterly dominated the laning phase, as they were able to get five unanswered kills before the 8-minute mark and shut down flyfly's Faceless Void. With IG still scrambling to get farm, EG were able to consistently get pickoffs and grow their kill lead to 15-4 after just 14 minutes.
Even as JT was able to farm up two Aghanim's Scepters and give them away to flyfly and Emo, IG was still unable to stop their opponents from rampaging through their lineup. After one last drubbing, EG took game two after just 28 minutes of action and with a 21,000 gold lead over an Alchemist line-up.
Arteezy notched a series-high 12 kills against just one death, with iceiceice and Cr1t both adding 7 kills of their own, fuelling a 35-8 advantage for EG in the kill score.
IG looked to take things late for the third-straight game, with flyfly on Sven, Emo on Void Spirit, JT on Underlord, kaka on Nyx Assassin, and Oli on Phoenix.
Much like the first two games of the finals, EG wanted to settle things by the midgame. Abed got his signature Storm Spirit for the third-straight game, with Arteezy on Razor, iceiceice on an offlane Lycan, Cr1t on Earth Spirit once more, and Fly rounding out the line-up as Crystal Maiden.
IG led after the laning phase for the first time in the series, as they held a 8-4 kill lead and a 3,000 gold advantage after 14 minutes. However, EG was able to score a huge team wipe at the 16-minute mark to take momentum for themselves and dominate the ensuing fights.
Despite a huge deficit and the loss of their middle set of barracks, IG were able to repel multiple EG pushes and push the game past the 40-minute mark, where flyfly’s Sven reached the peak of his strength and became too much for anyone on EG to handle.
With momentum on their side, IG managed to pick off Arteezy without buyback at the 50-minute mark to break open EG’s base and finally notch a win after 55 minutes.
EG finally picked a true hard carry for Arteezy in Phantom Assassin in game four. Flanking him were Abed on Storm Spirit for the fourth-straight game, iceiceice on an offlane Death Prophet, Cr1t on a support Pangolier, and Fly on Enchantress.
IG countered the Phantom Assassin with an offlane Bloodseeker for JT, with flyfly’s Troll Warlord and Emo’s Ember Spirit tasked with taking Arteezy on in the late game. Kaka and Oli rounded out the line-up as Lion and Phoenix, respectively.
IG’s line-up came online much faster compared to EG, which allowed them to venture aggressively into EG’s side of the map and pressure Arteezy as he farms. However, EG stormed back into the game as Cr1t disrupted a Roshan attempt by IG, allowing his team to score some huge kills and give Arteezy Aegis of the Immortal.
Despite that botched Roshan attempt, IG still dominated in the straight-up team fights and were able to break EG’s middle set of barracks at the 28-minute mark. A desperation Divine Rapier from Arteezy only served to delay the game to 40 minutes, forcing the series to a deciding game five.
Flyfly notched 9 kills and 10 assists against just one death, while Emo had six kills and 11 assists with zero deaths, to pace a huge victory for IG in game four.
IG looked to decide the finals in the late game once more by picking Spectre for flyfly. Flanking him were Emo’s Void Spirit, JT’s Mars, with kaka and Oli reprising their heroes from last game in Lion and Phoenix.
EG picked Storm Spirit for Abed for the fifth-straight game and paired it with a classic combo as Arteezy had Lifestealer. Enigma provided the big Black Hole factor as an offlane Enigma while Cr1t and Fly rounded out the line-up as Tusk and a support Death Prophet, respectively.
Iceiceice shut down flyfly in the laning phase, denying over 30 creeps against him by the 6-minute mark. Both teams then traded taking team fights, but EG came out better from those exchanges as they were able to claim the first Aegis of the game and control of the map.
However, IG was able to take full control as flyfly’s Spectre came online and iceiceice was unable to hit anything with Black Hole in consecutive team fights. Despite a valiant last stand from EG, IG completed the reverse sweep after 42 minutes to become the champions of the Singapore Major.
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