Dota 2 is one of the greatest esports in history and it is easy to get lost in its legacy, history, and passion. We have seen time and time again that magical things do happen during this endless journey that is Dota 2. South Africa has been no different, we have seen historical moments, champions crowned, and tremendous memories are made that will last lifetimes. This year's incarnation of the Telkom VS gaming Dota 2 championships has already started off in impressive fashion. It would be hard to believe that this year will be any less special than those that have come before it, regardless of the challenging circumstances we face today.
With the group stages in full motion we have already seen significant support from the community and fascinating, exciting matches have already drawn their conclusions. This year the Telkom VS Gaming Dota 2 Championships place teams into two groups to compete against their rivals in a best of two format. Telkom VS Gaming highlighted two matches and broadcast them on their twitch channel. These games provided audiences with some phenomenal action.
The first matchup to discuss, would be that of White Rabbit Gaming versus Rock Daai Lyfie. For those who are unfamiliar with our RDL you may be surprised to hear that they feature a defending champion from 2019's VS Gaming Dota 2 Masters. Although White Rabbit gaming may be one of the better-known sides already, it’s worth mentioning that they too have a defending champion within their roster, perhaps one of the best known Dota players in South African history. This laid the foundation for a matchup that was to be truly fascinating, would the repute well-known brand of White Rabbit Gaming and their exciting lineup perform as expected and dominate the competition or would this new side, this unknown team, with a defending champion, lay claim to victory.
In the first game White Rabbit Gaming truly did look unstoppable. They took control during the laning phase and it never seemed to slow down until they had RDL by the throat. They looked likely to claim a convincing, arguably easy, victory over their opponents. However, Dota 2 has a way of showing potential even in the worst of situations and RDL during an extreme deficit were able to clutch a small victory by taking multiple team fights from behind. RDL even threatened to make a full comeback towards the later ends of the match. In the end White Rabbit Gaming were able to close out the game and did so comfortably, but the warning shot had been fired and RDL had their tails up.
In Game 2 RDL would come out swinging and took the advantage early on, it would be understandable to think that White Rabbit Gaming would simply come back and show a dominant performance once again, however the RDL former champion within their roster was able to consistently and impressively dispatch the core players in the WRG lineup. Even with his unusual selection of hero, Elder Titan, none would really expect him to be as devastating as he was. RDL was able to clutch victory and turn the tables on WRG ending the series one-to-one.
With that result in hand, the first match on the main stream was concluded. However, this week also blessed us with a second and fascinating tussle between Omnious Gaming and Salt.
Omnious and Salt are both respectable sides who have a considerable amount of history between the players themselves. The captain of Salt, “Not-A-Hero”, has a fond history with captain of Omnious Gaming, “Fury.” Whenever a player leaves organization the players truly feel the need to claim victory against their former teammates. You never want to be the person who left the team that beats you nor do you want to lose a player and see them rise to greater heights your own achievements. Particularly in this case both these sides were well matched and the two games were very entertaining, but both followed the same storyline as a lead was built up by Omnious gaming and they were able to consistently win the more important fights, ultimately claiming a 2-0 victory, however no team truly lost tonight as both sides had fantastic moments that were truly memorable , and more importantly the support from the entire Dota 2 community came through in full force. These players did not play to an empty crowd and although this crowd may have been of a digital nature the support was clear. I think the players would have felt the eyes on them as they battled it out honorably.
Although the tournament is still young, it is beautiful to see the support from the community and what a shining light it is for a title that has experienced much controversy nationally and internationally in recent months. The South African Dota2 community has proven it is still a force to be reckoned with in and the support is likely to grow as this event continues… As the stakes become even greater.
To those reading this - make sure that you do not miss any of the action coming up in the next few weeks and months. Once more history will be made.
Article written by Devin '@HellbirDza' Rigotti