Chinese Dota Continues to Shine
This year has been a remarkable one for Chinese Dota. Newbee’s consistent performance in several top tournaments, including their victories at ZOTAC Cup Masters and Galaxy Battles, as well as LGD’s success in qualifying for The International 7, have placed the region back on the esports map.
Invictus Gaming started this trend by reclaiming the Dota 2 Asia Championships (DAC) title from Evil Geniuses. They dominated their way to the grand finals, defeating Empire and Newbee along the way. In the best of 5 series finals, they completely swept OG.
The victory marked a major milestone for Chinese Dota veteran Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei, who hadn’t won a premier tournament in three years. It also showcased the growth of young talents like Lin “Xxs” Jing and Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao.
The team capitalized on recent changes to the game and used that to their advantage in their pursuit of victory. However, subsequent nerfs to BoBoKa’s hero pool affected their performance, leading to a slump in their gameplay.
Despite the challenges, Invictus Gaming secured an invitation to TI7. They will need to put in a significant effort this August to prove that they deserved the invite and are not a team dependent on a single patch.
A Fresh Lineup for TI7
Invictus Gaming’s lineup for TI7 differs from the one they had in their last International appearance. While BurNIng was part of the iG TI5 lineup, the other four spots were filled with seasoned players. The current roster combines experienced veterans with young talents, with only two members having previous experience in Seattle.
A New Strategy for Chinese Dota
The Chinese Dota scene has embraced a new approach when it comes to team rosters. In the past, they heavily relied on veteran players from the TI2 era. Now, they are focusing on nurturing young talent while incorporating established players. This strategy has been successful for teams like Newbee, LGD.Forever Young, and iG.Vitality.
Invictus Gaming’s lineup follows this strategy, with players like BoBoKa and Xxs growing alongside BurNIng and TI5 grand finalist Fu “Q” Bin.
The Challenges Ahead
Despite their less-than-stellar performance post-DAC and the limitations imposed by recent patches, Invictus Gaming still has strengths they can rely on. BurNIng’s carry skills, particularly on heroes like Anti-Mage, are renowned. Mid player Ou “Op” Peng also brings strong mechanical skills to the team.
Player to Watch
Xxs, the team’s offlaner, is an exceptional player. Known for his outstanding performance on Magnus, a hero that is not commonly picked, his skills have impressed both legendary caster Toby “Tobiwan” Dawson and the Chinese crowd at DAC.
An Uphill Battle
Invictus Gaming will need to confront the fact that their momentum from DAC has dwindled and their hero pool has shrunk since patch 7.04. They may be considered one of the weaker Chinese teams at TI7, but they have the potential to make a deep run if they dig deep.
We give Invictus Gaming a C+ rating. While they have shown promising results to earn a direct invite, their recent tournament performances have been less inspiring.