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

Spring Shuffle Final Rosters

The final registrations for the Kiev Major have been officially closed by Valve, and the top teams around the world have already finalized their rosters ahead of the Spring Shuffle. While it hasn’t been as chaotic as the Fall Shuffle, Spring Shuffle still brought about a few surprises, like how the past members of MVP.Phoenix have been distributed amongst other teams and the Filipino wonder Abed “Abed” Yusop resigned from Execration to join Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho in forming Team Onyx. Here are the final Spring Shuffle rosters and some of GG Network’s news coverage around them:




Khim “Gabbi” Villafuerte
Fernando “Nando” Mendoza
Djardel “DJ” Mampusti
Joshua “Owa” Dela Serna
Kimuel “Kim0” Rodis


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

Mineski.GGNetwork (No Changes)

Ryan “Raging-_-Potato” Jay Qui
Galvin “Meracle” Kang Jian Wen
Ralph Richard “RR” Peñano
Julius “Julz” De Leon
Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross Jr.

TNC Pro Team

Marc Polo “Raven” Luis  Fausto
Carlo “Kuku” Palad
Samson Solomon “Sam_H” Enojosa Hidalgo
Timothy “Tims” Randrup
Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa

Tims to complete TNC roster

Warriors Gaming Unity (No Changes)

Jay Son “Ahjit” Lai
Boon Seng “NaNa” Kam
Soon Khong “KaNG” Chua
Soon Chuan “Ahfu” Tue
Ee Wooi “Wenn” Neng



Digital Chaos (No Changes)

Roman “Resolu1tion” Fominok
Aliwi “w33” Omar
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
Martin “Saksa” Sazdov
William “Blitz” Lee

Evil Geniuses (No Changes)

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

Team NP

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

Team Onyx

Mason “mason” Venne
Abed Azel “Abed” Yusop
Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale
Kim “DuBu” Doo-youn
Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho

Abed joins DeMoN to form NA-based Team Onyx



Ad Finem (No Changes)

Omar “Madara” Dabasas
Dimitris “ThuG” Plivouris
Xaris “SkyLark” Zafirou
Verros “Maybe Next Time” Apostolos
Giorgos “SsaSpartan” Giannakopoulos

Alliance (No Changes)

Jonathan “Loda” Berg
Linus “Limmp” Blomdin
Jonas “jonassomfan” Lindholm
Simon “Handsken” Haag
Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist

Cloud9 (Formerly Team Imperial)

Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard
Jon “13abyKnight” Andersen
Mikki “HesteJoe-Rotten” Junget
Danny “Noia” Junget
Christopher “Ryze” Winther

Cloud9 signs All-Danish team Imperial

Team Liquid

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

Team Liquid signs GH

Natus Vincere

Per Anders Olsson “Pajkatt” Lille
Danil “Dendi” Ishutin
Victor “GeneRaL” Nigrini
Roman “rmN-“ Paley
Malthe “Biver” Winther

Na`Vi announces new roster, adds Pajkatt, rmn-, Biver

Feras “Feero” Hroob
Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks
Lee “Forev” Sang-don
Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat
Adam “343” Shah

FATA- forms new team alongside Forev, 343, YapzOr

Long Form

ESL One Genting Tournament Preview

The first premiere tournament of 2017 for Dota 2 kicks off at Genting, Malaysia as ESL ONE turns to Southeast Asia for a battlefield of eight top teams this January 6-8. The hometown heroes Fnatic have been revamped, SEA stars Execration are coming into the tournament with new players, while teams such Wings Gaming and Team NP are looking for redemption in this USD 250,000 prize pooled event.

Participating Teams:

1. Fnatic (Direct Invite)

After a disappointing finish at the Boston Major Regional Qualifiers last year, Fnatic looked to revamp around the duo Mushi and Ohaiyo by releasing the Filipino players Raven and eyyou as well as the American legend DeMoN. As the first directly invited team for ESL One Genting and the hometown heroes of Malaysia, Fnatic introduces a touch of the old and the new with the addition of rookie InYourDream and veteran SEA stars YamateH and Febby.

Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
Muhammad “inYourdreaM” Rizky
Chong Xin “Ohaiyo” Khoo
Ng “YamateH” Wei Poong
Kim “Febby” Yong-min

2. Digital Chaos (Direct Invite)

Digital Chaos have been consistent the whole of Fall season, ending it in a high note by placing 3rd-4th during the Boston Major. They have also kept their roster intact and as such will definitely be the favorites coming into this tournament.

Digital Chaos

Roman “Resolu1tion” Fominok
Aliwi “w33” Omar
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen***
Martin “Saksa” Sazdov

3. Wings Gaming (Direct Invite)

Wings Gaming finished alright with the Boston Majors group stage, but the Single Elimination format for the Main Event wasn’t exactly favorable for the defending TI champions. They were paired against Evil Geniuses during the first round of the tournament, a team who ushered their first round exit as well. Now, they are looking for redemption with the new patch 7.00 to be played for ESL One Genting.

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

4. Team NP (American Qualifier)

Team NP routed their NA rivals compLexity Gaming during the American Qualifier to punch their tickets to Malaysia. They are also heading to the Spring Season with their primary roster intact. Additionally, the team performed well during the Boston Major — finishing 5th-8th place — which makes them a legitimate threat in this tournament.

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

5. Newbee (Chinese Qualifier)

Newbee is another team that won’t fix that which isn’t broken: the top-tier squad will not change their roster, especially after a stellar Fall Season outing. They have been a dominant force in the region of China with many LAN wins against their fellow Chinese teams. They also still feature China’s top MMR players Sccc and kaka. 

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

6. Virtus.Pro (European Qualifier)

The ESL ONE Genting regional qualifiers were done way before the Boston Major; but if the invites were drawn a month later than it did, surely Virtus.Pro would be directly invited in this event. Virtus.Pro were such a force to be reckoned with during the late part of the Fall Season, so much so that they were poised to take the Boston Major if not for the single elimination format. After their premature exit at teh tournament because of Evil Geniuses, the team kept their roster intact and could be the hungriest of the teams as the tournament sounds its horns.

Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev
Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko
Pavel “9pashaebashu” Khvastunov
Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk
Alexei “Solo” Berezin

7. Execration (Southeast Asian Qualifier)

Execration suffered a huge blow by losing its start player Abed “Abed” Yusop after the Fall Season to combo up with their inability to participate in the Boston Major (despite being directly invited) because of VISA Issues. Now, the team looks for redemption as Kim0 and DJ seeks to prove that they totally deserved that Boston Major invite by conquering the Southeast Asian region through the addition of two Filipino household names Nando and Owa.

Khim “Gabbi” Villafuerte
Fernando “Nando” Mendoza
Djardel Jicko B. “DJ” Mampusti
Joshua “Owa” Dela Serna
Kimuel “Kim0” Rodis

8. Warriors Gaming Unity (Malaysian Qualifier)

WG.Unity did nothing shabby at all during their Boston Major run: they eliminated Fnatic and Mineski.GGNetwork during the Regional Qualifiers, smashed through the Group Stage and finished 2nd place, then went on to defeat the experienced compLexity Gaming to etch a 5-8th place finish for the whole of Boston Major. They have shown that even as a new team, they are at par with the international favorites, and will definitely be a threat here in ESL One Genting.

Jay Son “Ahjit” Lai
Boon Seng “NaNa” Kam
Soon Khong “KaNG” Chua
Soon Chuan “Ahfu” Tue ***
Ee Wooi “Wenn” Neng

Long Form

Top 10 Esports Players of 2016

2016 has been a great year for esports, and there’s an extremely long list of the best performances for many esports players. Nevertheless, we’re giving you a shortlist of the top 10 players of 2016 (in no particular order) based on their achievements in their respective esports discipline:

1. Pavel “Pavel” Beltukov (Hearthstone)

2015 was gloomy for Pavel — being only one game away from entering Blizzcon of that year — but 2016 was definitely his year after winning the Hearthstone World Championship against Artem “DrHippi” Kravets. He also showed incredible comeback victories in his Blizzcon run, such as trailing 0-3 against OmegaZero to win the series 4-3 at the end of the day.

2. Byun “ByuN” Hyun Woo (Starcraft II)

Legacy of the Void, a lot of updates, definitely a lot more competition: all these made the WCS 2016 for Starcraft a really huge tournament. After a grueling grind throughout 2016, it was the Terran player ByuN who was able to retain the fortitude and take the Starcraft 2 World Championship out of Blizzcon 2016.

3. Wolfe Glick (Pokemon VGC)

In the meta bombarded by usage of restricted primal legendary Pokemon that of Groudon and Kyogre, Wolfe Glick redeemed himself by introducing something new: in his World Championship run for the Pokemon Video Game Competition (VGC), he introduced the idea of having Fakeout pressure every round by cycling around Hitmontop and Raichu.

4. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev (Counter Strike: Global Offensive)

s1mple showed 2016 a ton of highlight plays and also joined Natus Vincere to consequently win ESL One New York in the middle of the year. Oh, he also introduced throwing AWPs in the air as decoy.

5. Marcelo “coldzera” David (Counter Strike: Global Offensive)

coldzera was extremely instrumental in SK Gaming‘s ESL ONE Cologne championship last July, and all of SK Gaming‘s Finals appearances in other CS:GO tournaments this year. With his top-tier performance in 2016, The Game Awards inevitably awarded him as Best Player of 2016

6. Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho (League of Legends)

There were many dominant players for League of Legends, but when it comes to determining the best top laner, it’s definitely Smeb. The way he performed for ROX Tigers was nothing short of phenomenal throughout 2016.

7. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok

If there’s just one household name you want for professional League of Legends, there wouldn’t be a question at all. Faker has been the best player for LoL for a long time now, and most especially around 2016 where his team SK Telecom T1 finished as the World Champions of League of Legends.

8. Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka (Dota 2)

JerAx, throughout the year, has been the best and most electric support in all of Dota 2. He then joined the handicapped OG (who lost three core players) and still managed to win the Boston Major this December.

9. Tal “Fly” Aizik and Johan “N0tail” Sundstein (Dota 2)

Fly and N0tail — the duo that brought to life the legendary Dota 2 team, OG — may not be the most mechanically skilled players, but they do know how to run a team. In their first iteration, they won two Valve-sponsored events. Unfortunately, they lost three of their core members after their TI6 run, but they went on to scout and draft other players to take their third Major championship. No one has ever done that in the history of Dota 2.

10. Amer “Miracle-“ Al-Barkawi (Dota 2)

Arguably the best player of 2016, Miracle- was the first to have ever reached 9000 Matchmaking Rating points and already clinched two Valve-sponsored tournament championships in his first year of competitive play. He also received the “Rookie of the Year” recognition from the Esports Industry Awards.


Who are your top 10 players of 2016?


Follow this writer through @caisamyvez