StarLadder Invitational 5: OpTic Gaming Win Their First DPC Event
This weekend Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine hosted the second last minor tournament of the current competitive Dota 2 season – StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5, which concluded with a confident victory of the North American team OpTic Gaming over their opponents from China VGJ.Thunder with the 3-1 score.
The event took place at CyberSport Arena in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 12-15. As befits a minor event, the prize pool was set at $300,000 and 300 Dota Pro Circuit Points. Despite being called “Invitational”, only two of eight participating teams were actually invited by the organizers – VGJ.Thunder, who replaced Newbee, and the crowd-favorites Natus Vincere, while the other six teams made it through the regional qualifiers: Team Kinguin (Europe), FlyToMoon (CIS), OpTic Gaming (North America), SG e-sports (South America), Fnatic (Southeast Asia). LGD Gaming, who managed to win the Chinese qualifier, refused to participate in the tournament and were replaced by Vega Squadron, making it a whooping three CIS-teams at the tournament, which is quite rare these days.
The competition started with a group stage, in which eight teams were seeded into two groups of four with GSL format and best-of-three series. Group A consisted of FlyToMoon, VGJ.Thunder, Team Kinguin and OpTic Gaming, while Natus Vincere, Fnatic, SG e-sports and Vega Squadron competed in Group B. As expected, in Group A the first two places were secured by OpTic and VGJ.T. Meanwhile, Group B managed to spring a surprise – Vega managed to place first by defeating both SG (2-1) and Fnatic (2-0), while Natus Vincere lost to Fnatic two times and failed to advance to the playoffs. The playoffs stage was held in a single-elimination format with best-of-three semifinals and best-of-five grand finals. In the semifinals Vega lost to VGJ.T (0-2), while OpTic defeated Fnatic (2-1). The final series concluded with the 3-1 score in favor of OpTic Gaming. For OpTic this is the first victory at a DPC event, which also granted them 150 DPC Points. Although these points won’t affect their position in DPC rankings too much – even with these points, OpTiC currently has only 450 points, while LGD Gaming are sitting at the 8th place with 1821 points – this victory should give the PPD’s team at least some confidence boost, even Pajkatt himself mentioned in Twitter that this is his first victory at a LAN-event in 10 years.
|Group A||Group B|
|1.||OpTic Gaming||2-0||4-1||1.||Vega Squadron||2-0||4-1|
|4.||Team Kinguin||0-2||2-4||4.||SG e-sports||0-2||1-4|
|Place||$ USD||DPC Points||Team|
|3rd-4th||$30,000||30||Vega Squadron, Fnatic|
|5th-6th||$15,000||-||FlyToMoon, Natus Vincere|
|7th-8th||$7,500||-||Team Kinguin, SG e-sports|