The second series of the ONE Esports Dota 2 Jakarta Invitational Malaysia Qualifier saw Thai team, MS Chonburi, take on Filipino powerhouse, Cignal Ultra, in a best-of-three series that ended up going the distance.
Despite losing the first game, Cignal Ultra were able to hold off the Thai team, and took the next two games to progress to the Upper Bracket Final, where they’ll face Reality Rift.
Cignal Ultra went for a well-balanced lineup, while MS Chonburi opted for an ambitious but greedy lineup that included both Spectre and Gyrocopter against Cignal Ultra’s Storm Spirit.
The game started with lots of skirmishes, with both teams trading kills. However, Cignal played poorly, initiating towers dives and sending Denz “ABAT” Daryll Anedez’s Phantom Lancer and James “Jamesy” Cedrick John’s Storm Spirit to unsuccessfully try to get kills.
MC Chonburi surprisingly came out ahead after the laning stage, but Jamesy’s Storm Spirit was able to get some pick offs to stay in the game with the plan to start snowballing from there.
MS Chonburi had a plan of their own, and laid an ambush for Cignal in the Dire Jungle, getting two kills.
However, the Filipino squad wouldn’t let MS Chonburi win the fight so easily, with Cignal’s Erice “Erice” Guerra on Rubick performing a super cool dodge of MSC Chonburi’s Nopparit “Seri” Prugsaritanon’s Pangolier Rolling Thunder Ultimate.
Despite Cignal arguably having the better draft, the Thai squad consistently took great team fights, with Cignal Ultra just having no answer for the Phoenix heals and the double casts from Grimstroke’s Ultimate.
Cignal Ultra soon tapped out, with MS Chonburi in the lead with 35 kills to Cignal’s 11.
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With momentum on their side, MS Chonburi didn’t change the strategy that worked for them, picking up Gyrocopter, Pangolier, and Gyrocopter again, while replacing their Spectre pick with Troll Warlord this time.
On Cignal Ultra’s side, they picked up the Phantom Lancer again, but this time with a Rubick and Grimstroke for support, and a stronger teamfight mid hero in the form of Outworld Devourer.
The early game was pretty much even, with both teams trading kills. A 17-minute fight saw Cignal smoking into MS Chonburi, who reacted with Ultimates, but Cignal’s fast retreat saw them get away unscathed and scoring a kill on MS Chonburi’s Seri’s Pangolier.
MS Chonburi, however, took a great fight of their own when Cignal overcommitted in the bottom lane while trying to kill off Mel M’s Gyrocopter. However, Nikko’s Troll Warlord managed to hold off ABAT’s Phantom Lancer who also fell.
But with Cignal ahead by 15,000 gold, they were able to take the next fight easily. Even with Nikko trying to hold them off with his Troll Warlord, he was easily picked off by Jamesy’s Outworld Devourer when his Black King Bar charge wore off.
With Cignal too far ahead, MS Chonburi could do nothing to stop them, and had to call gg at the 37-minute mark.
After being figured out in game two, the Thai squad changed things up with a different lineup in game three with a Juggernaut and Mars, and Oracle and Grimstroke as support.
Cignal also switched things up with a Batrider, Nyx Assassin, Razor, Snapfire and a Bloodseeker.
Like the previous game, the early laning stage played out pretty evenly, with no clear advantage for either side.
However, Cignal was biding their time, with Erice hiding near the Radiant Secret Shop for a gank, and that was just the start, as Cignal started playing more aggressively and got another three kills in yet another early fight with Jamesy’s Razor rotation from mid.
MS Chonburi fought back, keeping things relatively even in kills with both teams trading kills continuously on each side of the jungle.
However, Cignal was pulling slightly ahead and getting MS Chonburi’s towers as well. It was relatively even until a big team fight saw Cignal start to pull ahead.
Abat’s Bloodseeker would only continue to snowball, and MS Chonburi continued to lose fights, as they had no answer for the blood-crazed fiend.
While MS Chonburi would try to sneak a Roshan under Cignal’s nose, it just wasn’t enough and the game was soon over after a few more fights.
Cignal takes the series after 35 minutes and will face Reality Rift next in the Upper Bracket Finals.