Flash DOTA 2 League Open Category Roundup
It is always heart-breaking to have to turn away honest and eager participants but that was exactly what Flash had to do days after registration for the inaugural Flash DOTA 2 League (FD2L) met with an overwhelming response. In the end, 64 teams got the call for the first round of games which was played over the weekend at the swanking new Alienware Arena in bustling Chinatown, Singapore.
All eyes though were on big names like Team Zenith, who started their first round of matches in group C as well as DSD, who were recently released by Flash, who were favourites in group A. With the expectation that Flash was looking to sign a new DOTA 2 team in the wake of DSD’s departure, many were salivating over the possibility of a Zenith and Flash merger – a notion that had garnered plenty of traction given that former Zenith team manager Tammy “Furryfish” now works the business end of things at Flash. Others though relished the opportunity to catch Jeremy “Azione” and his merry band of brothers put on a valiant display that could have Flash owner Terence Ting scratching his head as to why he let DSD go in the first place.
The many hopefuls, with their friends in tow, were treated to a few special appearances. Flash Starcraft 2 crew, along with Eve’s golden boy, Yekke, turned up for the event, which raised quite a few eyebrows. And while the crowd cheered and celebrated each game-changing kill and every hard fought GG, the organizers did a commendable job in keeping the event an enjoyable and exciting one by offering sponsored giveaways during intermissions and a side competition for budding shout-casters.
As the tournament got underway, Zenith and DSD both found themselves in comfortable positions after dominating their groups and while that did not come as a surprise to many, a couple of teams had observers talking. Team Armageddon.fAze left the floor shocked in the round of 32 when they destroyed their opponents Inox, with all but one of their forward towers still standing. Elsewhere, recently christened Neolution International, veterans playing under the team name [L]ittle in group A, were unceremoniously dumped out by Sohaijor in the round of 16 after two solid games against equally adept opponents. [L]ittle might have given DSD a fun for their money in the quarterfinals if not for their early exit.
Hence it was up to Team Zenith, DSD, Armageddon and First Departure to compete for the cash prize pool on day two of the tournament. Team First Departure, widely rumoured to be the Flash’s next pick as the team Terence is planning to sign once tournament proceedings come to a close, have always been a formidable team. Topping group B, they quickly dispatched with their opponents from group A, Team DSD, in two games, effectively ending any thoughts of a revenge win.
Facing DSD in the fight for bronze was high flying Armageddon.fAze, whose game against Zenith drew more than 700 viewers on the live channel. Armageddon.fAze however, ended up like DSD, did not manage to take a game from their more illustrious opposition, Zenith. So the finals saw the team who has represented Singapore in The International for two consecutive years, Zenith, against the popular but definite underdogs, First Departure. In a best of three matchup which proved exhilarating to say the least, Zenith, led by iceiceice, forerunner for the league’s MvP, put First Departure to the sword and left them wanting in the first runners’ up podium as they completed the rout in two games.
However, even with the finals over the organizers could not call the curtains on the event as Armageddon.fAze were slugging out a hard earned victory over DSD in a long drawn matchup. After winning a gripping game three, Armageddon.fAze walked away the happier of the two, with S$100 in the bag. Even after bagging a cool S$300 for their efforts, Zenith might not have been the happiest team on the day as Flash owner Terence “SoloZ” Ting was mulling the possibility of adding First Departure, winners of S$200, to the Flash stable of teams. Exciting days to come as DOTA 2 observers await that decision.
For more information on the FD2L head on over to the official website at http://www.flash-esports.com/dota2league2013/home or visit the Flash Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/FlasheSports?fref=ts. Be sure to catch the Season 1 Armature league of the FD2L same time same place 2-3 February.