Vici Gaming. Regardless of being such a storied group whose title basically means victory, Vici have but to say the final word victory. They got here shut in 2014, falling solely to Newbee, the singular group at TI4 with Deathball execution superior to Vici’s. Since then Vici have continued trying to find success, however have but to succeed in the TI finals once more. 2019 has been their greatest season but, will it lastly be their yr?
VICTORY AT LAST
Vici is without doubt one of the most iconic groups in Chinese language Dota. Their unique roster contained now well-known gamers comparable to Fenrir, cty, and fy. Whereas this roster didn’t final too lengthy, Vici had been in a position to purchase Grasping, the group captained by YaphetS. The group had underwhelming outcomes till late 2013 once they had been joined by Tremendous and the now-infamous rOtk. Now this was a group worthy of the title Vici Gaming. They went from hardly ever breaking into the top-Four to a making a string of top-Four finishes. They cooled after a number of months, although, sitting at a middling spot that was higher than the outdated group, however not fairly the championship type that they had solely weeks in the past. The group slumped much more through the lead-up to TI, however as we’ve seen lately, you possibly can by no means actually be certain what’s going to go down as soon as The Worldwide begins.
This iteration of TI could be a bit totally different. Valve departed from the earlier years’ cut up group stage format, combining the 2 teams and shifting from two video games for every match to just one. Vici thrived on this format, taking first place in a gaggle of 16 groups with a 12-Three report. Their solely losses had been to Na’Vi, EG, and Cloud 9. Vici had been one in every of solely 4 groups to start within the higher bracket they usually had been a transparent favourite going into the higher bracket. Their first spherical opponents had been Newbee, who simply barely averted elimination within the group stage by beating LGD and mousesports. Effectively, Newbee shocked the world and began the match by beating Vici in solely 14 minutes, the quickest recreation of the primary stage. Newbee went on to win the match and despatched Vici careening to the decrease bracket, the worst case state of affairs for the remainder of the decrease bracket. As anticipated, Vici tore by means of everybody else and met Newbee as soon as once more, this time within the grand finals. Effectively, it was a grand finals, that’s about all you possibly can say about it. Vici received recreation 1 however faltered within the subsequent three. With a last scoreline of 1-3, the match resulted in lower than an hour and a half of recreation time, remarkable for a Bo5 in Dota 2.
Sadly the loss proved to be an excessive amount of for the group to take. Sylar left the group and rOtk selected to retire. The subsequent season hadn’t even begun, however hopes to see Vici stick collectively had already been quashed. Vici made a really attention-grabbing transfer subsequent, bringing within the all-star iceiceice and his pal Black^. This was the primary, and to at the present time solely, time a serious Chinese language group picked up a Western / non-Chinese language-speaking participant. The transfer labored fairly effectively for Vici they usually managed to proceed their sturdy performances till DAC 2015. Vici collapsed through the DAC finals in opposition to EG, resulting in them changing Black^ with Hao. The group managed to proceed its sturdy performances, ultimately resulting in a powerful run at TI5. Beginning within the decrease bracket, they managed to win all the way in which as much as 4th place earlier than lastly being knocked out by LGD.
Then, for a very long time, Vici struggled to succeed in such heights. No quantity of roster swaps or full shuffles might assist them. They didn’t even qualify for TI in 2016 and 2017, and their TI8 end wasn’t significantly better. Lastly, within the fall of 2018, one thing clicked. The brand new group of Paparazi, Ori, Yang, Fade, and Dy managed to seek out success the place so many struggled earlier than. Additionally they picked up the long-gone Vici legend, rOtk, to teach their group. They certified instantly for the primary Main and made it to the highest Eight earlier than taking a shock loss to TNC. One other prime Eight on the Chongqing Main made individuals marvel if that they had actual potential past middling Main performances. They had been actually doing effectively sufficient to qualify for TI, however might they do something extra? The reply appeared like no to begin, with RNG knocking Vici out of the DreamLeague Main qualifier. As you’d anticipate, although, they received the Minor qualifier after which crushed by means of the primary event, ending with a clear 3-Zero of Gambit Esports within the finals. Vici carried this momentum from the Minor into the Main like no different group had. They secured their higher bracket putting then proceeded to win out. Vici beat Secret, PSG.LGD, Fnatic, and Virtus.Professional to earn the championship in Stockholm. Instantly, identical to that, they had been the primary Chinese language group to win a Main after PSG.LGD. Vici grew to become the very best group in China and secured their qualification to TI9.
Vici pushed on, faltering solely briefly on the MDL Main the place they returned to their top-Eight type. After Paris Vici confirmed that successful a Main was no fluke. They went to the Epicenter Main and by some means improved upon their efficiency from DreamLeague. Vici took first with out dropping a single match over the course of the occasion. Vici grew to become the indeniable greatest group in China and located themselves within the excellent spot heading into TI. They proved that they will beat prime groups and received the largest occasion earlier than TI, however due to their different finishes they don’t seem as worrisome as among the different groups. This inconsistency earlier within the yr works to their benefit as they haven’t put an enormous goal on their backs like Secret have.
There’s another factor, although. The curse was damaged final yr. China’s TI was stolen from them by OG. With TI going down in Shanghai, China this yr, there’s little doubt that Vici need to proper this flawed and convey the trophy again in entrance of their residence crowd.
DPC Main Efficiency
Participant Spotlight – Fade
Pan “Fade” Yi is a relative newcomer to the skilled Dota 2 scene, particularly for a captain. He began out on Thunderbot Gaming earlier than getting picked up by VG.Potential and ultimately making his technique to VGJ (later VGJ.Thunder). It was with VGJ.Thunder that he discovered success. An oddity, he captained this group from the Four place quite than 5. Odd doesn’t imply dangerous, although, as his group discovered success all through the 2018 season together with a 2nd place end behind Virtus.Professional on the Bucharest Main. A disappointing efficiency at TI8 and a change in Valve’s DPC guidelines result in VGJ.Thunder disbanding. Fade stayed with the group although, shifting to Vici Gaming and, effectively, the remainder is historical past.
Fade may be very attention-grabbing as even after upgrading to Vici Gaming he has held onto his beloved Four place. It’s uncommon for us to seek out captains like this these days. He loves his Earth Spirit, although he’s additionally well-known for his Tusk. He likes to roam across the map and take over the early recreation. That is the largest factor he brings to the group. By main from the Four place he’s significantly better in a position to dictate the tempo and technique of the early recreation. Whereas most place 5’s are unable to rotate and get entangled with performs they’d wish to name for, Fade is ready to truly make it occur.
BONUS SPOTLIGHT: rOtk
I might be remiss to jot down this with out giving rOtk his personal part. This man lead Vici to a TI last as soon as earlier than, he can do it once more. He carried out effectively on Crew DK in his early years, however he was not the chief of that group. It is potential DK would have discovered extra success below his management. rOtk’s affect has been fairly clear with Vici’s sturdy efficiency this yr. With an increasing number of groups utilizing the coach because the drafter, rOtk now supplies drafting prowess and strategic management that nobody else on the group might present. That is much more necessary due to Fade’s relative inexperience as a captain. rOtk helps offset how inexperienced Fade is together with his almost-decade of expertise.
(Click on the icons to learn extra in regards to the gamers)
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Paparazi… what a participant. Maybe greatest recognized for being the primary participant to succeed in 8000 mmr on the Chinese language servers, Paparazi is about as infamous of a pubstar because it will get. At occasions he has been the very best mid participant on the earth (together with beating the likes of Sumail and Miracle- in previous DAC 1v1 Mid tournaments). Paparazi was basically the gold-standard of Chinese language mid gamers since becoming a member of the aggressive scene. Now although, like many different mid gamers, Paparazi has moved to the carry position. Favoring combating heroes, he typically prefers to play the likes of Juggernaut, Lifestealer, and Sven. His group appears to be like to allow him as typically as potential, understanding that he’ll dominate his lane every time given the possibility. And if he dominates his lane, you possibly can ensure that he’ll dominate the sport.
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Zhou “Yang” Haiyang is the offlaner for Vici Gaming. Coming from VGJ.Thunder with teammates Fade and Dy, Yang has been a Vici participant all of his profession. Yang is a comparatively stereotypical offlane participant, although he appears to love Batrider greater than most. He truly has a really respectable 60% all-time win fee with heroes like his Omniknight coming in very helpful recently (his Omniknight boasts a 76% win fee and was used to take down Liquid at Epicenter). Yang will doubtless proceed to give attention to his very feast-or-famine heroes, the Batriders and Darkish Seers of the world. He’s nonetheless strong on ratty heroes like Nature’s Prophet and Beastmaster, the place he actually struggles is on gradual, tanky heroes with no playmaking potential, i.e. Tidehunter. That mentioned, Yang will probably be a constant pressure within the offlane for Vici, he might even shine if given a good matchup.
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Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang, very like the remainder of the group, has solely been concerned with the aggressive scene for the final couple years. So far as rises although, his was about as fast because it will get. Ori performed Three tournaments with Duobao Younger earlier than shifting on to Vici Gaming. That being mentioned, he now has the longest stretch on Vici of everybody now on the group. As for his heroes, if Yang is a comparatively stereotypical offlane participant, then Ori is the mid participant the stereotype got here from. He performs everybody you’d anticipate him to: Templar Murderer, Storm Spirit, Shadow Fiend, Lina. The checklist goes on however it could take far too lengthy to checklist the entire heroes he can dominate the mid lane with. Ori has the mechanical talent vital not simply to maintain up with different mids however to dominate them as effectively. Search for Vici to focus closely on Ori and nearly at all times final decide his hero. He doesn’t at all times want a good lane matchup to hold the sport, however it by no means hurts.
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Dy finds himself in an attention-grabbing place because of Fade. He’s one in every of a choose few gamers to fill the place 5 position with out main his group. The frequent logic for the place 5 participant taking the position of captain is that the entire different roles have extra occurring mechanically and are sometimes busier whereas place 5 gamers have much less to do and may focus extra on analyzing the sport as a complete and figuring out one of the best ways for the group to maneuver ahead. Effectively, Dy is left with none of that, and you may see it in the way in which Vici picks his heroes. Whereas Dy does play the usual place 5 heroes, he additionally performs a number of place Four heroes as effectively. His Nyx Murderer and Earth Spirit would make for his most typical heroes that don’t fill his normal position, and he actually excels on them. This overlap between Fade’s and Dy’s hero swimming pools permits Vici to choose considerably extra aggressive assist duos, however this hardly ever presents an issue as a result of most of those heroes can nonetheless present worth with none objects. Dy is at all times keen to make the sacrifice play when he’s wanted, and his group received’t hesitate to throw him below the bus if it means attaining victory. He wouldn’t thoughts it, both.