The dust has long settled with the MDL Chengdu Major. We saw TNC Predator claim their first Major victory which, in turn, put them on top of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2019-2020 rankings. But we’re still pretty much on a high from the action.
The first Major of the 2019 – 2020 DPC season had quite a number of exciting events, from great escapes to big plays that just turned the tides of the game. It definitely lived up to our expectations and then some.
With that said, here are five of our favorite moments at MDL Chengdu Major.
The Boxi (and Taiga) moments against Evil Geniuses
Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses faced off twice in the tournament but this moment comes in the third game in Group C. The two teams faced off for the top spot in the group and the series went down to the third and final game.
It was a close match between for the two teams, with Evil Geniuses pushing in towards the Team Liquid base. The European squad’s offlaner, Samuel “Boxi” Svahn pushed the top lane at 30 minutes to pressure the North American squad. All the while, EG was trying to get kills and pressuring the map themselves. Boxi proved sneaky and slippery on Puck dipping in and out of vision while managing to take the tier three tower and even the Ranged Barracks of Evil Geniuses.
A couple of minutes later, Evil Geniuses pushed top and looked to get a kill to end the game. The Europeans held strong in their defense and waited for their chance to strike. This chance came when the North American team got baited deeper into the base of Team Liquid with the low health bars. The moment allowed Boxi and Tommy “Taiga” Le to pair up Burrowstrike and Dream Coil to leave most of EG exposed.
Team Liquid regained momentum and eventually took the game and the top spot in Group C. The two teams crossed paths again in the Lower Bracket but this time, Evil Geniuses were ready. The North American team ultimately eliminated the Europeans with a sweep but Team Liquid and left their mark.
Abed obliterates Team Adroit with one Sanity’s Eclipse
We open this list with North America’s Evil Geniuses’ Abed “Abed” Yusop ripping his fellow Filipinos, Team Adroit apart with one well-timed Sanity’s Eclipse.
The two teams met in the opening moments of the tournament. Evil Geniuses took the first game and needed one more victory to continue to the Winner’s Match and a chance to top the group.
The North Americans took the lead early on in the second game. 27 minutes in and around 15k ahead, a skirmish was won by Evil Geniuses in the bottom lane. Artour “Arteezy” Babaev decided to push further into the base of Team Adroit but quickly found himself deeper in after a timely Skewer from Marvin “Boomy” Rushton. Abed was left to watch his teammate fall in the hands of his countrymen and quickly saw four members of Team Adroit chasing after him. With Andreas Franck “Cr1t–” Nielsen close, Abed stood his ground and fought the four members. One Sanity’s Eclipse is all it took to delete three members of Adroit, with some stolen Intelligence still left from the skirmish prior.
The Sanity’s Eclipse not only tore through Team Adroit, it made sure that Evil Geniuses stayed further out of reach. Evil Geniuses ended the game in 36 minutes.
The great Nyx Assassin escape
Now we’re moving into the Bracket Stage in Round 2 of the Lower Bracket in a series between South America’s beastcoast and North America’s Fighting PandaS.
beastcoast just barely failed to make it to the Upper Bracket forcing them to go through the best-of-one Round 1 in the Lower Bracket. They were able to close out a victory against the Filipinos, Team Adroit. Fighting PandaS, meanwhile, was able to secure the Upper Bracket against EHOME in Group A. The North American squad struggled against the Chinese squad Vici Gaming and dropped to the Lower Bracket. This was where the two squads met.
Game 1 was close between the two teams early on but beastcoast just found their way into a lead and refused to let go. 21 minutes in, Elvis “Scofield” De la Cruz Peña went on a spying mission with his Nyx Assassin deep in the Fighting PandaS territory. The support from beastcoast was able to snipe the courier of the North Americans but found himself between the tier two and tier three towers in with Fighting PandaS on the chase.
Scofield, making the most out of it made his way to the North Americans’ base with only Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu on his tail. The South American walked straight up to the fountain, bought his gear, and used Impale on Sneyking and the chasing creeps. With a bit more space between the Clockwerk and himself, Scofield used Spiked Carapace and teleported to safety.
The whole ordeal not only gave beastcoast a courier kill with the finishing items to build Black King Bar, but it also gave the rest of the team space to farm up. The icing on the cake was that Scofield survived it and got his items.
beastcoast went on to win the series and eliminate Fighting PandaS.
Vici Gaming steal Roshan to keep control
From the early stages of the Bracket Stage, we’ll go straight to the Grand Finals for this one. At this point, the Filipino squad TNC Predator was a game away from sweeping the Chinese team Vici Gaming and winning the entire tournament.
The early and mid-game looked pretty close with it leaning more towards Vici Gaming. If it went later, TNC still had Alchemist to lean on despite having a rough time in the game so far.
Let’s fast forward to 31 minutes in the game. TNC was able to take down Keeper of the Light went straight to rush Roshan. Little did they know, Vici Gaming was waiting in the high ground for the moment to strike.
Zhou “Yang“ Haiyang on Timbersaw was first to greet TNC with both cores in the pit, making for an easy combo for the Chinese offlaner. This gave Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun enough time to snatch the Aegis of the Immortal and force the fight. The Chinese squad took three kills and further control of the game.
In the end, Vici Gaming closed out the game in 37 minutes refusing to let go of the lead after the massive Roshan fight. It gave Vici Gaming a new lease on life as well as gave us a true series.
The legendary MorphShaker combo from TNC
The last isn’t quite a moment exactly but we couldn’t make this list without it.
Coming into the tournament, it was no mystery that one of the stronger combinations of the patch was the Morphling and Earthshaker combo. TNC Predator played this close to perfection at ESL One Hamburg 2019 and they continued to show this at the MDL Chengdu Major.
Vici Gaming looked strong in the fourth and final match of the Grand Finals. They held onto a good lead, both in gold and structures, in the mid-game. The Chinese squad able to thwart a few attempts from TNC as well as step back from small skirmishes made sure that they had the control. Despite this, the game still felt like it was one mistake or one kill away from swinging into TNC’s favor. This is exactly what happened when Yang was caught out by Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte in the bottom lane, 44 minutes in.
The Chinese squad held their gold lead but the 120-second death timer allowed the Filipino squad to regain control of the map. This was the one moment created by the MorphShaker combo that gave TNC control and ultimately closed out the game, the series, and the tournament.
The MorphShaker was definitely a scary (and glorious) sight and we’re just glad this is the last time we’ll see it.