While most in the world of eSports are still getting back into the swing of things, ESL decided it would be a great idea to hold a Dota 2 event in the Malaysian highlands less than a week into the new year. Fortunately the action from ESL One Genting was enough to wake up anyone still sleeping from the Christmas break, and the event certainly goes down as one of the better ones in recent memories.
A great line-up of broadcast talent, the usual stellar ESL production and a ton of top teams meant this was always going to make this a high quality event, but when you throw in the fact that this was the first major LAN on patch 7.00 it became unmissable.
We saw heroes that haven’t been seen for months, we saw heroes take up new roles and we saw the return of mid Rubick, which is always a delight when played well.
As for the teams? Fnatic’s new roster disappointed and fellow SEA teams Execration and WG.Unity struggled on home turf. VP continued to look good until they met eventual winners DC, while Newbee seem to be back to the kind of form that saw them dominate the China region for much of last year and allowed them to breeze past Wings, who look a long way from their TI winning form.
Every team pulled out something special and as a result the meta of the tournament was constantly shifting, but none managed to utilise it more than Digital Chaos.
With skilled Naga and Meepo players, and a proven ability to run Omni, they forced opponents to use bans on all three heroes, giving them a significant advantage in the draft. Then when they got into the game itself they proved that as a core unit they continue to play incredibly well together, with players backing each other up all the time and rarely taking a fight that they didn’t feel comfortable with.
Aliwi ‘w33’ Omar was as impressive as ever, and almost made it as our MVP thanks to his dominant performances across the weekend. Even if he didn’t win the lane he would come back and make an impact quickly. Team captain Rasmus ‘MiSeRy’ Filipsen should also be applauded for his incredible drafts, which in this meta seem to be more important than ever. However our MVP of ESL One Genting is Roman ‘Resolut1on’ Fominok.
Traditionally, carry players like to play a few heroes that they are comfortable on, but Resolut1on only picked two heroes more than once at ESL One. One of those heroes was Naga Siren, which quickly became first-ban material for any opponents. While many believed that the changes to radiance and illusions would mean Naga would struggle in 7.00, Resolut1on proved that wasn't the case.
In both games on Naga, Resolut1on got a radiance before 17 minutes, despite never having a truly free lane, and ended with at least 44,000 net worth. As everyone knows, once you give a good Naga player the space to get an early radiance, winning becomes so much more difficult. Even when teams did try and impact his early farm he utilised the new jungle set-up astutely to get what he needed, showing that he has had more than enough practice with the hero on the new patch. A good Naga player is truly a thing of beauty and Resolut1on reminded us just how good he can be on the hero.
But it wasn’t just the Naga show. Outside of the siren he only played Jugg more than once, showing that he is one of the more versatile in this position out there. He even had to play Viper once, which we're sure he didn’t appreciate – come on, no one likes to play Viper.
In the finals against Newbee, Resolut1on played a different hero every game and performed well in all of them. He was the only member of DC to have a positive KD for the series and in the last three games he didn’t die once. In those last three games, which turned out to be crucial, he had a combined K/D/A of 23/0/11. It would be unfair to say that Resolut1on was the reason for DC’s win, as everyone performed well in those games, but without Resolut1on reading fights and realising when he needed to back out to save his own life, there could have been a very different outcome.
What really impressed us about Resolut1on’s performances was his decision making at important moments. Nine times out of 10, as the one position you are going to be responsible for outputting most of the team's damage, so picking a key target is vital and Resolut1on proved he knew who to go to every time.
Just taking a look at the final game against Newbee shows that was the case, as Resolut1on killed uuu9 on Luna five times out of eight deaths. Taking out the Luna in that match made sure that Newbee were unable to fight, as without uuu9 they would only have Sccc on the TA outputting any real damage.
There were also a few times when Resolut1on could have easily picked off one of the Newbee supports but instead focused on getting the kill on Luna to make sure Newbee couldn’t turn the fight.
It may be w33 who comes out with the flashy plays, and MiSeRy who wins more than a few games with his drafts, but in Genting it was Resolut1on who was the key component in DC’s win. Without his consistently great play and decision making, DC probably would have struggled.
Instead, they breezed past VP, who just a month ago were considered one of the top four teams in the world, and came out on top in one of the best finals we have seen in a long time. We can’t wait to see what Resolut1on and DC manage to do next.