Long Form

Wings Gaming ascend past Digital Chaos to bag TI6 championship

Wings Gaming fly past the insurgent Digital Chaos to win the grandest e-Sports tournament, The International 2016.

All Random favors Digital Chaos in Game 1

01-P and B

No meta is the new meta” seems to be the mindset for both games as both teams picking the meta outliers to open the Grand Final. For the uninitiated, this might be a game of all random. But there’s a whole lot of pick and counter-pick upon why DC and Wings Gaming ended with this draft: fourth picked Silencer (Global Silence ult) and fifth picked Pudge (Meat Hook) can save heroes inside the Chronosphere. Skywrath Mage core for Digital Chaos is then highly unexpected by Wings Gaming, which actually worked very well against a Storm Spirit mid.

Then again, the Position 1 Silencer, Pos 2 Storm Spirit, and support Pudge was too much of a cheese for Wings Gaming to pull off. The DC draft that had the easier (also the faster) win condition was Digital Chaos’s, and it came as early as the first bounty rune spawned – DC’s draft was also very good in Level 1 engagements between Illuminate, Arcane Bolt, Whirling Death and Ignite which netted a kill for Skywrath Mage.

01-Net Worth

This kill, along with a natural counter to the Storm Spirit, allowed Aliwi “w33” Omar’s Skywrath Mage to absolutely crush the  Zhou “bLink” Yang’s Storm. w33 played a monstrous Skywrath Mage game, from kiting opponents masterfully, to securing kills with well-timed Rod of Atos usage and Ancient Seal silences. bLink, on the converse, had an awful time with the Storm Spirit, even dropping to 7 deaths before the 25 minute mark. The significant difference between both team’s Position 2 players was key to DC’s decisive win, with w33 having more than 24,000 damage dealt to enemy heroes. w33‘s damage is almost twice more than how much any other hero did.

DC walk away with a 1-0 lead as the first Grand Final game ended.

Game 2: The “Oracle+Void” Wings Vintage

02-P and B

This time, Digital Chaos first picked the w33 signature Mirana. Wings Gaming answered quickly with an Oralce + Void combo, something that this team has been famous for. DC, however, got themselves a nice Naga Siren pickup to counter the Faceless Void initiations (through Song of the Siren), but opted to finish with Doom and Razor – two heroes that have a time limit in terms of power pick.

02-Net Worth

This time, bLink had the better 1v1 match-up against Mirana because of simply the natural attributes of both heroes. DC’s support duo had to spend more time at the side lanes and also keeping the Iron Talon Slardar and Sand King in check that Mirana wasn’t able to get enough help to propel himself off the lane-phase. As such, bLink definitively won the mid-lane and snowballed so hard as the game progressed.

Both support duos from either teams played well for themselves, and kept the game really close until the 20 minute mark. Zhang “Innocence” Liping’s and Li “iceice” Peng’s rotations were on point, but Martin “Saksa” Sazdov’s and Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen’s rebuttal counter-initiations were also paying dividends for DC. However, when both teams entered the late-game, it was DC that peaked faster whilst Wings Gaming made the better map control and allowed for the better scaling cores to overwhelm DC with their power. In the long 12-minute period when teams sought each other across the map, it was Wings that came up on top with the better movements across Ward placements and Boots of Travel split pushes.

Their better grasp of the game gave them enough late-game control, and consequently Wings Gaming evens out the series 1-1.

Singularity amidst Chaos: Wings’ crisp teamwork wins them Game 3

03-P and B

Wings opened with Oracle and Faceless Void again, and Digital Chaos resorted to a different approach to deal with the power combo by using Winter Wyvern and Sand King and also banning the Invoker that killed them last game. However, the Kunkka was left unchecked and Wings Gaming wasted no time picking the Chinese special playmaking hero. This created many problems for Digital Chaos, because the Oracle + Kunkka and the last picked Nyx Assassin is too fast and too much for DC to deal with.

03-Net Worth

In the only definitive one-sided match of the series, Wings Gaming came up on top ever since the Nyx Assassin got access to Vendetta. Kunkka hardly countered w33‘s Mirana. Chu “Shadow” Zeyu’s also signature Position 1 Faceless Void had a very good sync around Oracle and Kunkka when it comes to hero kills, while also having bLink‘s Death Prophet to provide the objective taking mechanic for Wings to work around.

The one-sided victory took Wings Gaming on match point, only one win away from taking the biggest tournament in the history of e-Sports.

Wings Gaming orchestrated a comeback to win TI6 through 4 games

04-P and B

w33 and the gang won’t go out without fighting. DC made Wings Gaming work in the last game of the series.

Digital Chaos finally decided to ban the Faceless Void first pick and having the best chance to grab their comfort Mirana and Timbersaw pick. Wings Gaming seemed to be prepared for the situation, however, quickly getting their hands on an Elder Titan that iceice was notoriously good at. Wings Gaming closed their draft with an Anti-mage and Axe (which was actually the best heroes to deal with Mirana, Timbersaw and Slark), while Digital Chaos decided to mitigate their opponent’s gank potential by last picking the Nature’s Prophet.


It is also interesting how Wings read the situation well: they put Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida on the mid-lane as axe, while giving a supported dual lane for both bLink and shadow. This gave Wings the better match-ups for their cores, while also allowing Faith_bian‘s Axe to have a launch pad for the mid-game. Wings actually had the earlier advantage after the lane-phase.

However, it was Digital Chaos that won the mid-game despite Wings leading the networth. As soon as the first night came – and the following night-times thereafter – MiSeRy‘s Night Stalker created good rotations that netted DC hero kills that included even the core Batrider, Axe and Anti-mage. These wins gave DC a lot of momentum to push through the mid-game, in which case they were able to etch a good 8000 networth lead  and map control.

Then again, the brilliance of Wings showed that their greater understanding of DotA allows them to have a win condition even when their backs are against the wall. Come the 28th minute, Wings knew what they needed to do in order to get back on the game where they were down 22-11 in kill score.

They warded the Dire river ramp near the Roshan so that they can see the the incoming Radiant heroes while also protecting that observer ward from the Gem of True Sighted Night Stalker. Then they went to initiate on Roshan. When half of the DC members actually took the beeline from their base into the Roshan, they sprang the trap that Wings laid down which gave Wings three kills that included the w33 Slark and a consequent Roshan. This kill was a volatile turnaround for Wings Gaming, as big chunk of gold plus an Aegis advantage was enough of a launchpad for Wings to take over the game.

Wings rode the momentum they were in, and punished Digital Chaos underestimating their networth lead:

This clash in fact gave Wings enough impetus to overwhelm Digital Chaos in the succeeding clash. Wings actually rammed into DC’s base and were able to take hero kills and two sets of barracks to come with it. Then, desperation kicked into w33: while it was an admirable act to go for a solo kill elsewhere in the map so DC can come back, w33 solo attempt to kill Faith_bian completely backfired as the Wings Gaming was too quick with the TP supports:

By then, there was no hope for Digital Chaos anymore. shadow‘s Anti-mage is too huge to deal with, not to mention the rest of Wings’ squad. As such, the Chinese young guns took The International 2016 championships for their own and Digital Chaos ends the tournament as the second placers.

Long Form

5 Female Video Game Characters who defied Stereotypes

Women in video games back then are often just damsels in distress. Say for example Princess Peach; her only role in the first few Mario games is to be abducted and saved by the player. If not seen as objectives to be saved, female game characters were often just eye-candy, wearing revealing clothing without any unique personality traits to speak of.

Now before the month of March is about to end (it is after all Women’s History Month), we are highlighting five female video game characters who have defied the stereotypes. These characters are nuanced and multi-dimensional, with different ages, backgrounds, and personalities.

Lara Croft


Lara Croft, she’s one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time, and with good reason. The Tomb Raider series are excellent adventure games in their own right, and is one of the first adventure series to feature a badass female playable protagonist. No matter which iteration of Lara, she’s sure to be a force to be reckoned with. Though we would like to highlight the latest incarnation of Lara from the 2013 reboot.

The current Lara Croft is a great character, as she is initially portrayed as vulnerable and inexperienced, but through her experiences throughout the game, she turns into the Lara Croft that we have all come to know and love. This evolution of her character shows more depth to her personality, and is much more realistic compared to the previous Lara’s; not to mention she wears much more appropriate tomb-raiding attire (I mean, who wears a bright blue tank-top and short-shorts to tombs?).



Aloy is the newest character included in the list, though this does not make her the least interesting. She is the playable character of Guerilla Games’ and Sony’s newest IP, Horizon: Zero Dawn. As the game is set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with robots, you have to be tough to survive, and Aloy is just that. She climbs, fights, and takes down large robots with ease, and she’s resilient despite the harsh obstacles along her way. Most importantly though, Aloy is compassionate and sympathetic to those in need, making her one of the best new female characters in games.



The two previous girls on the list are strong physically, though they might not match the mental and emotional strength of The Walking Dead’s 8-year old Clementine. The game’s two seasons (with a new one underway) throws equal parts danger and heartbreak throughout her journey of survival, but she keeps on persevering. Clementine is smart and mature for her age, and she makes many tough decisions throughout her journey, decisions that most of us might not make properly given the situation. Given all that she’s been and will go through, Clementine surely deserves praise.

Tali’Zorah Nar Rayya


One of Commander Shepard’s constant companions throughout the Mass Effect trilogy, Tali’Zorah Nar Rayya might not be human, but she’s one of the most memorable characters in the said trilogy. As a Quarian (one of the many alien species in Mass Effect), Tali is a mechanical genius, which proves invaluable in their fight against the Reapers. Tali is also a kind-hearted and gentle soul, but can kick-ass when needed. And the best thing about her is that she’s loyal to her friends aboard the Normandy, and her family in the Quarian Fleet.

Ana Amari


Overwatch is one of the finest games when it comes to female representation, with female characters ranging from a bodybuilding Russian, to a feisty Korean gamer. And the last one on our list is Ana Amari, the game’s Egyptian sniper/healer. At 60 years old, she’s one of the oldest characters in the game, and one of the oldest female characters in any FPS.

Ana’s design deserves a lot of praise, especially as there are only a few games that feature playable female characters that are already in their 60s, even though old male characters are quite common. She’s also unique gameplay-wise, as she is equipped with a sniper rifle that heals allies. And best of all, she has a motherly nature, which is in line with the colorful personalities of characters that inhabit the world of Overwatch.

Images courtesy of in2gpu, Escapist, PlayStation Universe, PlayOverwatch, and the Mass Effect Wiki.

Long Form

Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 Tier List (Part 2 of 2)

The Dota 2 Asia Championships will be starting March 27th, where the 12 participating teams shall undergo a BO2 round robin stage to determine who’ll go to the Upper Bracket or the Lower Bracket of the Main Event come April 1-4. GG Network evaluated where the 12 participating teams fare in terms of their chances in winning this tournament:

READ: Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 Tier List (Part 1 of 2)

Tier 3: Dark Horses

Vici Gaming. J (VG.J)

Sun “Agressif” Zheng
Liu “Freeze” Chang
Bai “rOtk” Fan
Xu “fy” Linsen
Lu “Fenrir” Chao

The standout performance of Vici Gaming.J last Star Ladder Star Series — where they eliminated teams such as Wings Gaming and OG en route to the Grand Finals — was enough for Valve to actually directly invite them for the Kiev Major. Understandably so, because the face value you get from just their lineup is quite immense. It is still the support duo fy and Fenrir as well as former TI runners-up Agressif and rOtk, anyway. They’ve shown that they can defeat even the greatest if they find their groove.

Wings Gaming

Chu “shadow” Zeyu
Zhou “bLink” Yang
Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida
Zhang “y`” Yiping
Lee “iceice” Peng

Wings Gaming might be the recent world defending champions, but teams have already figured out their unpredictability up to this point; hence, their poor performances in their past tournament outings since their TI6 championship run. They have shown that VG.J can defeat them as well, but the chaos that Patch 7.04 might bring could be their second wind.


Xu “uuu9” Han
Song “Sccc” Chun
Damien “kpii” Chok
Hu “kaka” Liangzhi
Zeng “Faith” Hongda

The second Chinese powerhouse hasn’t been active as of late — but the fact that they were direct invites to both DAC and the Kiev Major speaks a lot about the team’s pedigree. There’s still much to stay whether or not they look good for the recent patch, but their roster since Fall season has been kept intact and their strength should also be here as well. It is not impossible at all for the 9000 MMR-heavy team (both Sccc and kaka were the first ones to reach such height in the China Region) to take this tournament home.

Tier 4: Championship Contenders

Team Liquid

Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
Amer “Miracle-“ Al-Barkawi
Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Borislavov
Maroun “GH” Merhej
Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi

Finally, the three-man 9000 MMR stack of Team Liquid — MATUMBAMAN, Miracle-, and even the support GH all reached 9000 MMR  — found their success after winning the StarLadder Star Series Season 3 last month. More importantly, they did it in a very convincing fashion. They have netted their Keiv Major invites as well, and it’s no doubt that the uber-talented team can easily become the champions of this tournament.


Johan “N0tail” Sundstein
Anathan “ana” Pham
Gustav “s4” Magnusson
Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
Tal “Fly” Aizik

The recent Fall Major champions may have had a rather premature exit at the Star Ladder Star Series Season 3, but their strength and tactical depth as a team is nothing to be shrugged off. In almost all of their LAN outings, they are a threat to any team and a championship contender as well. They are looking in prime shape as of late, and they are a very strong force here in DAC.

Evil Geniuses

Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan
Saahil UNiVeRsE Arora
Ludwig “zai” Wahlberg
Andreas Franck “Cr1t” Nielsen

Their Fall Season have had a rocky start, but the new iteration of Evil Geniuses seemed to slowly be gelling. They had quite an impressive run during the Boston Major, but their stand out performance was taking down the titans OG last Dota Pit Season 5 to win the tournament in five epic games. They are indeed the defending champions of this tournament, and SumaiL might just get his second Divine Rapier from DAC this year.

You can follow this writer through @caisamyvez

Long Form

Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 Tier List (Part 1 of 2)

The Dota 2 Asia Championships will be starting March 27th, where the 12 participating teams shall undergo a BO2 round robin stage to determine who’ll go to the Upper Bracket or the Lower Bracket of the Main Event come April 1-4. GG Network evaluated where the 12 participating teams fare in terms of their chances in winning this tournament:

Bottom 3: Happy To Be Here Tier

Team Empire

Vladimir “Chappie” Kuzmenko
Rostislav “fn” Lozovoi
Andrey “Ghostik” Kadyk
Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov
Rinat “KingR” Abdullin

Team Empire found a lot of luck after Virtus.Pro failed to participate in the online European Qualifiers of DAC. This team was also neither invited nor qualified for the upcoming Kiev Major, which proves their struggles in maintaining their performance at the EU scene. Still, they qualified for DAC, but they’re long ways to go especially against 9 other Kiev Major participants.

LGD.Forever Young (LFY)

Du “Monet” Peng
Xie “Super” Junhao
Xiao “Jixing” Zhihao
Lei “White” Yipei
Luo “Lpc” Puchao

Like Team EmpireLFY would not be participating in the Kiev Major and might just be the weakest link in the stronghold of the Chinese lineup for DAC, as their revamped roster still hasn’t brought fruit. They can easily be taken down by other more stabler teams, and both Super and Monet has a long way to go in terms of representing this team.

Team NP

Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling
Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao
Arif “MSS” Anwar
Avery “SVG” Silverman
Theeban “1437” Siva

Team NP also failed to qualify for the Kiev Major, after a big upset from Team Onyx and Abed “Abed” Yusop’s Meepo. This is hard evidence for Team NP‘s chances in DAC: surely, they can go far in this tournament by talent value in ther lineup alone, but they can also be easily defeated by any team if they don’t get themselves together. Team NP‘s chances are slim against other top-grade teams here in DAC, and they themselves can make it slimmer because they are a team proven — time and time again — to be outplaying themselves.


Second Tier: Long Shot

Invictus Gaming

Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei
Ou “Op” Peng
Lin “Xxs” Jing
Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao
Fu “Q” Bin

iG might not be the best in the Chinese scene, but still proves to be successful in many of their recent online tournament outings. They’ve bested many teams in this region, and successfully qualified through three premiere tournaments throughout 2017: DAC, Kiev Major, and Manila Masters. The BurNIng-led bunch of considerably upstarts in the Dota 2 scene showed the whole world recently that if they can find their stride, they can be successful against many other teams.

Invictus Gaming Vitality

Zhang “Paparazi灬” Chengjun
Xu “Sakata” Zichen
Yang “InJuly” Xiaodon
Su “super” Peng
Gao “Dogf1ghts” Tianpeng

As the secondary team of the franchise, iG.Vitality found themselves more successful than the main squad since their revamp last Fall season. They actually qualified for last season’s Fall Major — though they had to change three of their players because of US VISA issues — and masterfully defeat them in a series to effectively qualify for the upcoming Kiev Major. They still have a lot to prove when going up against the top-grade Chinese teams, but they have already shown the international scene their strength as a team. It wouldn’t be surprising if they can upset many other teams because of their youngster savvy.

Team Faceless

Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier
Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong
Daryl “iceiceice” Koh
Toh “Xy-“ Wai Hong
Wong “NutZ” Jeng Yih

There’s no doubt that Faceless are currently the kings in the Southeast Asia region, but they are the team that showed quite inadequate performances when it comes to international tournaments. Then again, they showed last Dota Pit Season 5 that they can defeat even the top teams because of the amount of veteran experience running through their decorated lineup. If Faceless can still pull something out of their bag o’ tricks, their chances in making it through the tournament can be higher.

Watch out for Part 2 of this GG Network Tier List for Dota 2 Asia Championship. You can follow this writer through @caisamyvez