Dota Summit 11 Minor champions Invictus Gaming (IG) continue their campaign for the championship in the MDL Chengdu Major with a 2-0 sweep of North American squad J.Storm in Round 4 of the Lower Bracket.

Game one

J.Storm was able to get the dreaded Alchemist-Chen combo for Leon “Nine” Kirilin and Clinton “Fear” Loomis in game one, with David “Moo” Hull and Braxton “Brax” Paulson on Kunkka to complete the four-protect-one lineup.

IG, however, countered with a high-damage core duo of Drow Ranger for Jin “flyfly” Zhiyi and Templar Assassin for Zhou “Emo” Yi, with Thiay “JT” Jun Wen on Axe as the team’s initiator.

IG had a very strong start, as they were able to slow down the Alchemist’s farm early in the middle lane while their cores got their core items up early. With Emo’s Templar Assassin already having a Desolator, IG was able to claim Roshan by the 13-minute mark — mere seconds before Alchemist got his Radiance. With Aegis in tow, IG was able to claim dominance over the map as J.Storm’s cores scrambled for safe places to farm.

J.Storm repeatedly tried to break IG’s stranglehold on the game, but that only resulted in them losing two straight fights and giving their opponents an even bigger lead. With J.Storm virtually powerless to hold off their advance, IG eventually forced the GG from them call after 31 minutes.

Game two

J.Storm looked to bounce back in game two with a carry Nighstalker for Moo, rounding out their burst damage-heavy composition with a mid Tiny for Nine and an unusual offlane Clockwerk pick for Brax.

Meanwhile, IG ran a strong teamfight lineup with flyfly on Faceless Void, Emo on a mid Gyrocopter, and JT on an offlane Sand King.

Both teams were content to trade objectives in the early game, as J.Storm was gearing up for their midgame timing once Moo’s Nightstalker built up his Aghanim’s Scepter and Nine’s Tiny got a Blink Dagger.

J.Storm predictably started taking over once their cores got the items they needed to fight, but they lost their momentum to IG when JT turned a crucial gank on their side of the map around on a sliver of health. That forced J.Storm to slow things down, which played into IG’s hands as their cores got Black King Bars to push their teamfight advantage further.

The North American squad looked to swing things their way once more in a long skirmish around the Rosh pit, getting their chance to push IG away after a whiffed Chrono by flyfly equalized the playing field. Unfortunately for J.Storm, they didn’t have enough damage to take down Roshan quickly enough so the Aegis ended up with IG in the end instead.

J.Storm simply couldn’t fight into IG’s heavy teamfight lineup that also had the Aegis, so they could do little to resist the Minor champions from closing the series out in 39 minutes.

With their win, IG secure a Top 4 finish in the Major along with US$80,000 and 1,350 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points — which should be enough for the team to be among the first ones to secure an invite to The International 2020 (TI10) in Stockholm, Sweden.

For now, IG have their eyes set on adding their organization’s first Major championship to their trophy from the Summit 11 Minor. They will first have to go through North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses in the next round of the Lower Bracket to do that, however.

Meanwhile, J.Storm bow out at a respectable fifth-sixth place finish with US$60,000 and 900 DPC points in consolation. It’s still a very impressive showing for the underrated squad, whom many expected to have an early exit in their first Major this season.

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