Just a week into 2017, Digital Chaos showed that their best days are still ahead after taking first place at the ESL One Genting event and making it their first big tournament win since becoming a Dota 2 team back in 2015.
After placing second at TI6 last August, the esport’s biggest event of the year, the rag-tag band of misfits defeated opponents Newbee 3-2 in today’s grand finals in Malaysia. The best-of-five series was tough fought, going back and forth between both teams until DC managed to counter-act Newbee’s prowess with convincing finishes in both the fourth and fifth matches. The team earned $125,000 of the $250,000 prize pool in the process.
Some were worried that, after a brilliant meta in 2016 as a result of developer Valve’s finely-tuned patches to the game, the recent blockbuster 7.00 update had the potential to weaken competitive Dota 2 and make for less interesting tournaments in 2017. But if ESL One Genting was any indication, that won’t be a problem. Despite some skepticism, the grand finals did not disappoint.
Despite great performances from players on both sides, it was the 20-year old Ukrainean, Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok, who seemed to be playing a step above, helping Digital Chaos not only go 2-0 during the group stage but also beat his former team, Virtus Pro, during the semifinals.
Newbee were the only team out of the tournament’s final four not to have received a direct invite to the competition, having gotten there instead as a result of a Chinese qualifier. Despite that, they managed to defeat former TI6 champions Wings Gaming during the semifinals, and even looked poised to take the grand finals with relative ease after going 2-1 in the first three matches against DC. But Resolut1on wasn’t having it.
When he wasn’t busy enjoying Malaysia’s wonderful cuisine, the star carry player for his team was ripping Newbee to shreds. In a pivotal game four, when everything from the Chinese team’s recent momentum to its comfortable draft seemed to spell death for DC, Resolut1on found pick-offs and put out the damage that was required in team fights to push Newbee on to their back foot and force a game five. A triple-kill before the thirty minute mark outside of the Roshan pit was enough for the “GGs” to come out from Newbee and pull DC back from the edge.
In the above clip, DC has decided to engage with Newbee up river, with Resolut10n prioritizing the Underlord in the upper middle first because of the character’s Atrophy Aura which weakens nearby enemies. Even when Newbee tries to counter with Luna’s ultimate attack (those giant pillars of light that start popping off midway through the fight), it’s too late, with the rest of DC drawing out the damage and giving Resolut10n free reign to come back in and finish off the team.
Even in game three, where DC got utterly demolished by Newbee at almost every turn, Resolut1on still managed to stay more or less even with his counterpart on the other team in terms of the gold he was earning across the map, the hallmark of any great player in the carry position. In each of the last two games, DC’s rotations around the map were simply better timed, with Resolution able to take advantage of the chaos to extract more resources from the map and out-power the other team.
Resolut10n’s decision to join DC back in late winter of last year came as a shock. What looked like something of a vanity project by founder Shannon “Sunsfan” Scotten when first announced, DC had only middling success at mid-level tournaments when he joined. But the young Ukrainian helped turn that all around, starting a domino effect in which the team starting performing better and picking up more star players as a result.
After being victorious, the team, consisting of Aliwi “w33" Omar, David “MoonMeander” Tan, Martin “Saksa” Sazdov, and team captain Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen, in addition to Resolut1on, said their performance proved that they had what was needed to win a major Dota 2 tournament. “I love you,” “best crowd ever,” “Malaysia rocks,” and “thanks for the support,” they each added.
While placing second at last year’s TI, and winning $3.4 million in the process, certainly helped establish DC as a force to be taken seriously, winning is a thing all its own. Cash is great, but so is being able to hold up the trophy at the end of an arduous tournament.