After another day of intense action at the ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League Group Stage, two teams have proven themselves as the clear front runners of the competition.
TNC and Fnatic earned 2-0 victories over Reality Rift and NEW Esports respectively. Meanwhile, Neon Esports’ unorthodox style of play earned them their second series win of the Group Stage by defeating T1.
TNC Predator 2 – 0 Reality Rift
After being in control for the majority of Game 1, TNC was caught off guard by Andrew “drew” Halim’s Phantom Lancer, who would charge into the team fights and give Reality Rift an opportunity to get back into the game.
TNC eventually got the better of the late game team fights which forced Reality Rift to go for an all-in Divine Rapier on drew. However, once drew got into the Radiant base, TNC spent their buybacks and put an end to Reality Rift’s desperation play to win Game 1.
Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte’s Anti-Mage carried his team to victory in the following game of the series. TNC also outplayed Reality Rift’s aggressive lineup by making their own plays all over the map. Instead of focusing on just farming, Gabbi would actively join team fights which led to him finishing Game 2 with a 19/2/11 KDA score.
Fnatic 2 – 0 NEW Esports
Fnatic opened Game 1 with the Daryl Koh “iceiceice”Pei Xiang show, in which the star offlane player dominated NEW Esports from start to finish. With Fnatic electing to go for a hard carry Mirana, the team decided to rely on iceiceice’s Timbersaw as the primary damage dealer while also the frontliner.
With iceiceice farming a 15 minute Bloodstone, he proved to be too much for NEW Esports to handle. He even survived a full gank from NEW Esports, which prompted iceiceice to taunt his opponents after they failed to take him down. iceiceice finished Game 2 with a perfect 13/0/15 KIDA record.
NEW Esports would then bounce back and score an impressive start with their Alchemist-centered draft in Game 2. Fnatic then earned a comeback win against NEW Esports’ Alchemist draft. Hsien Wan “LaNcE” Fua’s Ember Spirit also contributed by securing a Triple Kill on Fnatic at the 21-minute mark of the first game.
But Fnatic’s draft — which consisted of Luna’s Lunar Blessing and Vengeful Spirit’s Vengeance Aura — would prove its worth after the team won a fight right outside the Dire base. The team then immediately rushed in and destroyed all of NEW Esports’ barracks even through backdoor protection. Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon’s Luna finished the game by shredding NEW Esports’ heroes as they frantically tried to defend their Dire Ancient.
Neon Esports 2 – 0 T1
Neon Esports once again proved that they’re the most creative team in the league, by going for another core Chen while drafting a Dragon Knight support for Prieme Ejay PlayHard” Maque, who quickly went for a Blink Dagger and helped setup multiple kills for Andrei “skem” Ong’s Earth Spirit and Erin Jasper “Yopaj” Ferrer’s Shadow Fiend.
Neon Esports would continue to put pressure on T1 by invading the Dire side of the map, and got the better of the team fight exchanges. T1 hoped to get back into the game by taking down the enemy Chen. But, with Neon’s other heroes close by, T1 was heavily punished for their smoke gank play and eventually tapped out in Game 1.
In the final game of the day, Neon Esports pulled another surprise strategy from their playbook by drafting a core Witch Doctor, and a hard support Faceless Void who jumped in and used his Chronosphere to lockdown T1’s heroes.
With Yopaj going for a magic damage build on his Tiny, Neon Esports would gain a significant edge during team fights and burst down T1’s heroes, while skem’s Nature’s Prophet provided the global mobility and physical damage. T1’s hard carry Io never really got a chance to make an impact in the game, due to Neon Esports’ hyperactive lineup which proved to be far superior.
As Fnatic and TNC Predator have won most of their Group Stage matches, they now sit on top of the leaderboard in first and second place with 16 and 14 points respectively. Meanwhile, Neon Esports earned 3 crucial points which placed them within striking distance for a top-four finish in the Group Stage.