China is the first region to decide all its three teams heading to the first Major of the season and with PSG.LGD taking an extended break, Vici Gaming are now joined by new competitors looking to grab a hefty amount of Dota Pro Circuit points right from the start.
Team Aster is perhaps the biggest surprise of the first round of the qualifiers. Their revamped roster with Song “Sccc” Chun in the carry role topped their group and proceeded to the qualifiers playoffs where they took EHOME 2-1 to secure at a spot at the upcoming Major. Aster’s final series went down fairly quick with game one being a complete stomp over EHOME. Sccc went for a Radiance first item build on Spectre and joined the team in the early skirmishes to push for the GG call before the 30-minute mark. EHOME bounced back in the second game with a perfect Weaver execution from their new carry, Cheng “vtFαded” Jia Hao, but moving into the final match, they got once again got outmanoeuvred by Sccc, this time around on Ember Spirit.
Although they lost to Aster, it wasn’t all over for EHOME as China had three slots available for the MDL Chengdu Major. The final one was claimed in the lower bracket finals between EHOME and Royal Never Give Up (RNG) who were defeated by Vici Gaming at the start of the day. RNG are also approaching the new season with a slightly different roster, however, the changes for them were made in the support line where they are now joined by Gao “dogf1ghts” Tianpeng and the scene veteran Lu “Fenrir” Chao.
EHOME’s new mid and carry duo vtFαded and Tang “897” Zhirui seem to have a great impact on the team dynamics as they flawlessly executed a Void-Invoker combo to take game one. In game two, EHOME went with a global map presence and another powerful combo, Bloodseeker – Zeus, but their game plan was countered by RNG with a fast-paced draft and a very aggressive Faceless Void played by Du “Monet” Peng. RNG tried to replicate the same aggression in game three, but relied their strategy mainly on magic damage burst which faded out once EHOME started to purchase their Blacking Bars. With even their support Lina being able to get a BkB for herself, EHOME were in full control of the team fights and as the game went to a late stage, RNG ran out of steam and eventually lost the series.
While EHOME, Aster and Vici Gaming have now secured their spot at the first Major of the season, RNG still have a long shot to join them. They can make a comeback via DOTA Summit Season 11 Minor, but first, they will need to qualify for it. The playoffs qualifiers for the Minor will start tomorrow, October 8, with Invictus Gaming, Newbee and CDEC Gaming also fighting.