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Dota 2 Week In Review: Feb 6-14

Patch 7.02, and end of an era in the Fnatic squad, the return of old man LaNm, and the completion of the Dota 2 Asia Championship 12-team composition. Here’s what happened in professional Dota 2 during the second week of February:

Valve releases Patch 7.02 for Dota 2; nerf hammer brought on Helm of Dominator

In the middle of the Dota 2 Asia Championshp Cup Qualifiers, Valve announced a relatively huge update to the game play. Patch 7.02 deals with hard nerfs on the item Helm of Dominator, medium nerfs on meta heroes Lone Druid and Ember Spirit, and a lot of buffs on non-meta famous heroes such as Bristleback, Windranger and Bounty Hunter. (Read more)

Faceless stomps TNC, WG.Unity to qualify for DAC

Faceless may have dropped to the lower bracket of Dota 2 Asia Championship (DAC)’s Southeast Asia Qualifiers, but they still destroyed both their opponents today. The Singapore-based team stomped the All-Filipino team TNC and the All-Malaysian Warriors Gaming Unity in four easy wins to qualify for the DAC Lan Finals. (Read more)

Team Liquid lord over B)ears to qualify for DAC

The 9000 Matchmaking Rating (MMR) squad showed domination after outclassing a newly-formed Europe-based team — Team Liquid defeated B)ears in two BO3 series in the European Qualifiers to punch their tickets to the upcoming Dota 2 Asia Championship. (Read more)

Mushi departs from Fnatic

After almost two years with the franchise, Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung decided to leave one of the world’s largest esports organizations, FnaticMushi officially joined the said organization last June 2015 — where Fnatic acquired his former team Team Malaysia — and has since been the core player of the squad. (Read more)

Team NP outclass DC to qualify for DAC

Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao’s team finally made it on top of the North American region, after a commanding 4-0 take-down of their rivals compLexity Gaming (coL) and Digital Chaos (DC). As a result, Team NP overcame the lower bracket of the NA Qualifiers and as such advance to the LAN finals of the Dota 2 Asia Championship. (Read more)

Team Empire defeats Effect 2-1, secures ticket to DAC through CIS qualis

Team Empire survived the Russian vs Russian standoff, defeating Effect 2-1 to eventually qualify for the Dota 2 Asia Championship (DAC) through the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Regional Qualifier. They also complete the 12-team lineup of the biggest non-Valve tournament in Asia. (Read more)

LaNm returns to EHOME starting lineup

EHOME ended 2016 by retiring their long-time captain Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng and drafting around their Position 2 player, Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong. However, the team announced earlier this week that LaNm will be returning to the starting lineup, replacing their Position 4 player Luo “Xi” Yinqi. (Read more)


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LMS’ Flash Wolves wins the IEM World Championship

After three days of League of Legends action in Katowice, Poland for the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship, the number one team from the LMS, the Flash Wolves came out on top as the IEM World Champions.

The final day of the League of Legends leg started with the first semifinal match between ROX Tigers and G2 Esports. The latter of which earned their spot after sweeping fellow European team, Unicorns of Love.

 

Semifinals – ROX Tigers vs. G2 Esports

The series between the Koreans and the top European team not only went the full three games, the entire series also lasted about 6 hours. This was caused by a pause in game one that lasted about 3-4 hours due to gameplay lags experienced by G2 players.

Despite the technical setbacks, the players played on and G2 finally secured their spot in the Finals in an international tournament. It didn’t come easy though, as the first and last games were close.

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Game three was notable after G2 played from behind and even lost a Baron after ROX SeongHwan successfully stole it from them at 25 minutes. G2 capitalized on the mistakes of ROX, clawed their way back into the game, and made crucial decisions that will catch ROX off guard.

 

With G2 securing their spot at the Finals, they awaited the winner between the semifinal matchup between H2k-Gaming and the Flash Wolves. H2k-Gaming earned their spot after closing out an exciting three game series against the LMS’ Hong Kong Esports.

 

Semifinals – H2K-Gaming vs. Flash Wolves

Like the match before it, the second semifinal went through the full three games.

The first two games looked very close between the Europeans and the team from the LMS. H2k took game one after a long 65 minute game. While the Flash Wolves evened the series out after they won a crucial team fight late in game two and took the Nexus down soon after.

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The last game showed a different Flash Wolves as they flexed their early game muscles and took an early advantage, with the help of their jungler, Karsa on Lee Sin. They kept the pressure throughout the game, not allowing H2k-Gaming to poke and siege.

In the end, the Flash Wolves ended the game in 46 minutes and looked confident in closing out the game.

 

Finals – G2 Esports vs. Flash Wolves

The finals was a rematch from the two teams that survived Group A. In the Group Stage, Flash Wolves took down G2 Esports in their best-of-one forcing the Europeans to the Losers’ Bracket. This time around, the IEM World Championship was at stake between the two teams in their respective regions.

The Flash Wolves continued to ride their momentum from their win against H2k-Gaming, in game one despite giving up an early kill to G2. The LMS top dogs found their opening and continued to play their game while denying G2 theirs. All it took was 32 minutes for Flash Wolves to close out the game against the Europeans.

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The second game opened with G2 getting early kills on Flash Wolves yet again. This time G2 tried to ride this momentum only to lose a team fight 20 minutes in. This team fight not only put Flash Wolves on the map, this had momentum switch back into their favor with Baron to boot. The Flash Wolves would use this change in momentum to smother G2, keep them at bay, and would end the game in 26 minutes.

 

Despite being swept in the Finals, this is the furthest G2 Esports have made it in an international tournament. It puts G2 back on the map and may perhaps be the start of better performances in international tournaments.

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While for the Flash Wolves, this is the first international tournament win since 2015 when they won IEM Taipei against the Taipei Assassins.

 

All photos courtesy of Intel Extreme Masters Facebook

 

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IEM World Championship Katowice League of Legends Day One and Two recap

The League of Legends leg of the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship Katowice has begun and two teams have already qualified for the Semifinals.

After two days of action, the ROX Tigers from Group A and the Flash Wolves from Group B has successfully claimed the first two spots in the Semifinals.

The ROX Tigers successfully beat M19 in their best-of-one and came out on top after they fought the full three games against H2k-Gaming. It may not have been a clean series for the Koreans, but ROX Tigers continue to show improvement in their performances.

In Group B on the other hand, the Flash Wolves was successful in taking down the top European team, G2 Esports in their best-of-one after which they swept the Unicorns of Love to be the first team to qualify in Group B.

Both teams are waiting on the final match-ups in the Losers’ bracket of each group. The last match of Group A is a rematch of the first round match between Hong Kong Esports and H2k-Gaming.

The first round match saw H2k-Gaming winning against Hong Kong Esports which forced the latter to face M19 in the Losers’ Bracket.

While the last match of Group B is a rematch of the EU LCS week 5 series between the then unbeaten teams, G2 Esports and Unicorns of Love.

G2 Esports dropped to the Losers’ Bracket after they lost to the Flash Wolves in the first round but G2 Esports was finally able to impress in international tournaments in their games against Kongdoo Monster. Their opponents on the other hand, the Unicorns of Love, took down Kongdoo Monster in round one but were swept by the Flash Wolves in the next round.

The winner between Hong Kong Esports and H2k-Gaming will face the Flash Wolves while the winner of between G2 Esports and Unicorns of Love will face the ROX Tigers.

The final matches in the Group Stage will be played out later tonight starting at 9 PM (GMT+8, Philippine Time) with H2k-Gaming facing against Hong Kong Esports.

 

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CLASH ROYALE | Welcome the Goblin Gang

The fourth and last card of the first set of new cards of 2017 in Clash Royale is finally out and like the first two cards, it can be unlocked from Arena 9, Jungle Arena.

Goblin fans, rejoice because it’s time to welcome the new Common Card, Goblin Gang!

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Unlike the first three new cards of 2017, the Goblin Gang isn’t necessarily a new card because in a nutshell it deploys the Goblins and Spear Goblins in one budget card. Playing both cards separately will cost players 4 Elixir to play, whereas the Goblin Gang only costs 3 Elixir. It may not be the most unique card, but it is the first card that combines melee and ranged Troops in one card.

While not quite as strong as the Skeleton Army, the Goblin Gang offers a unique mechanic with Goblins able to tank for the Spear Goblins. Countering the Goblin Gang may be as easy as using splash units like the Bomber or the Valkyrie or spells like The Log, Tornado, or Arrows but unlike the Skeleton Army, Goblins will survive Zap at tournament standard. Because of these interactions, the Goblin Gang can be a replacement to the Skeleton Army but won’t be quite as potent in stopping tanks and Hog Rider pushes.

What is perhaps one of the biggest challenges of the Goblin Gang is because it has a melee line and a ranged line, it will take getting used to as far as deployment is concerned.

With the addition of this card, there are now six Goblin cards that can be played with two spells in order to make a somewhat all Goblin deck. It may not be as strong as one would hope, but it will be interesting to play, to say the least.

 

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