Invictus Gaming (IG) survived a grueling showdown with South American squad Beastcoast, 2-1, at Round 3 of the MDL Chengdu Major Lower Bracket to secure their organization’s first Top 6 finish at a Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Major.

Game one

IG opened game one by picking up the Morphling-Earthshaker combo for Jin “flyfly”‘ Zhiyi and Thiay “JT-” Jun Wen, with Zhou “Emo” Yi on Dragon Knight as the secondary core.

Beastcoast countered with Hector Antonio “K1 Hector” Rodriguez on Chaos Knight, Jean Pierre “Chris Luck” Gonzales on a mid Kunkka, Adrian “Wisper” Cespedes Dobles on an offlane Ancient Apparition, and Elvis “Scofield” De la Cruz Peña on a Position 4 Tiny.

Beastcoast came out of the laning stage with a considerable lead, with AA and Tiny notably shutting down flyfly’s Morphling in the bottom lane while Hector and Chris Luck farmed freely. Wisper’s AA was also able to build an Aghanim’s Scepter by the 18-minute mark, which made it even more difficult for IG to fight into the growing Beastcoast deathball.

IG couldn’t stand up to Beastcoast in head-on teamfights even after flyfly’s Morphling got his own Aghanim’s Scepter 21 minutes in, as Hector’s Chaos Knight was becoming too tanky with over 5,000 health. It didn’t take long for the South American squad to run over IG’s base defense and start claiming two lanes of barracks.

IG showed signs of life after Beastcoast got mega creeps 38 minutes in, getting crucial pickoffs on their opponents’ cores to delay the inevitable push on their Ancient. Once that game-ending push by Beastcoast did come, IG could do little to stop them from taking a one-game advantage in the series.

Game two

IG looked to bounce back in game two with flyfly on Gyrocopter, Emo on Templar Assassin, and JT on Centaur Warrunner while Beastcoast ran with Hector on his signature Wraith King, Chris Luck on Razor, and Wisper on Sand King.

IG started off strong and never looked back, shutting down all of Beastcoast’s moves across the map and taking a 19-1 kill lead by the 20-minute mark.

IG only ramped up their aggression even as Hector was able to farm up a Radiance, racking up kill after kill and eventually breaking open Beastcoast’s base. It didn’t take long for the South American squad to see that there was no coming back from their huge deficit and call GG, with the kill score ending in a crisp 30-1 in IG’s favor.

Game three

For the deciding game, Beastcoast ran with a high-damage ranged tri-core with Hector on Drow Ranger, Chris Luck on Templar Assassin, and Wisper on an offlane Enchantress. Meanwhile, IG opted for comfort picks, with flylfy on Gyrocopter, Emo on Ember Spirit, and JT on Legion Commander.

IG came out of the laning phase with a significant lead, thanks to a strong start by JT’s Legion Commander who shut down Hector’s farm while getting 5 duel wins by the 12-minute mark. Beastcoast was able to make space for Chris Luck’s Templar Assassin to build up a Desolator, who promptly led his team in wresting the momentum away from IG.

With flyfly and Emo rendered very vulnerable by Beastcoast’s high-damage lineup, IG pinned their hopes on JT to become the teams’ third core while picking off high-value targets during teamfights. All seemed lost for the Minor champions, however, as their smoke gank to kill the Templar Assassin ended with of their heroes dead in return.

The tides later turned against Beastcoast however, as their smoke gank on IG in the top lane somehow ended in disaster with four of their heroes dead, with Chris Luck’s Templar Assassin crucially without buyback. IG boldly took advantage of that and headed straight for Beastcoast’s Ancient, who were unable to stop the Minor champions from stealing away what seemed like a sure victory.

With their win, IG secures a Top 6 finish at the Major along with US$60,000 and 900 DPC points. Despite missing out on a direct invite to the Major and having to make their way to Chengdu by winning the Dota Summit 11 Minor first, IG are beginning to look like a contender for the championship.

Only Vici Gaming has been able to win both a Minor and its accompanying Major so far, having nabbed the championships at the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor and the Stockholm Major last season. If IG wants to emulate their compatriot’s feat, they will first have to go through J.Storm in the next round of the Lower Bracket.

Meanwhile, Beastcoast bows out with a respectable seventh-eighth place finish with US$40,000 and 450 DPC points in consolation. While it may have fallen short of the South American squad’s expectations, they continue to build on the promise they first showed in their run to a Top 8 finish at The International 2019.

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