We talked to our friends over at our rival news page about the Dota 2 matches.
Even though we are from opposite sides of the industry, we thought it would be great to compare notes on the recent WESG APAC games with a fellow esports news journal in Mineski.net. All of us are fans of the Filipino teams anyway and no matter what our affiliations, we want our country’s delegates to win.
Below is a conversation between our Editor and writer Franz “Neutral” Irorita and Mineski.net’s Associate Editor and main writer Maouie “M-King” Reyes as they discuss the matches for HappyFeet and Entity Gaming over at the World Electronic Sports Games 2017 APAC Finals.
Franz “Neutral” Irorita: Well first of all, I had high hopes for both teams going into this tournament. At least if they weren’t the best in the whole of the APAC, they’re definitely one of them. I remarked in one of my earlier articles, back when TNC was still set to compete for WESG, that there’s high chance that both HappyFeet and TNC could defend Philippines’s championship from last year. The same can still be said for both Entity and HappyFeet. For one, they are veterans who have had a lot of experience. Although recently their players have had their success contained in the SEA region recently, we shouldn’t overlook that they have been the Philippines’ banner men in international events two to three years back. Having a quick look over the rosters of the other teams in the APAC Finals, it didn’t feel like there was a significant threat to either team that’ll prevent them from at least reaching the Main Stage.
Maouie “M-King” Reyes: The same goes for me. From the start, I never doubted HappyFeet and Entity Gaming’s capabilities to qualify for the WESG 2017 main event. I was actually expecting rather than hoping for them to qualify. However, judging by the tournament’s results, I think defending TNC Pro Team’s success last year will be harder for our Filipino Dota 2 delegates.
I have also definitely underestimated HappyFeet and Entity Gaming’s opponents. I shouldn’t have based my perception of other APAC contenders solely on the frequency of their tournament appearances because it was made evident that they can compete against internationally-acclaimed Dota 2 teams with their own play of Dota. And I’m not only talking about Keen Gaming, who I already thought would be the Filipino teams’ greatest challenge, Team Kazakhstan was the ultimate break-out team of the APAC Finals.
Franz “Neutral” Irorita: I agree about Team Kazakhstan. I feel like both teams were in their best element during the group stage. I would have imagined both sweeping their groups, but sometimes you just can’t win them all. I was especially surprised at how dominating Team Kazakhstan dominated Entity’s group, but it’s still great overall that both teams qualified for the playoffs. Their lowest point for me would be the playoffs, when both teams fell against Keen Gaming. Thankfully Entity Gaming was able to bounce back and beat Signify 2-0 in the lower bracket and still qualify for the Main Event. Talk about clutch!
No offense to Entity Gaming, but I’ve simply seen HappyFeet play as a team more often than Entity, which made me more invested in watching HF’s matches in this tournament. Nevertheless, I was rooting for both our delegates, and I made sure not to miss a single match if possible. For the players, it was great to see eyyou in action again in the international stage, which brings back memories from TI6 when he helped TNC overcome the odds and beat OG.
Maouie “M-King” Reyes: As much as I want to agree, I think I’ll be giving more consideration for Entity Gaming. HappyFeet has a better experience at competing internationally compared to Entity Gaming, which was originally composed of Indian and Filipino Dota 2 players. The WESG 2017 Philippine Qualifiers was also the first time I saw Entity Gaming playing with a full Filipino roster.
On the other hand, with all due respect to Julz’ return as HappyFeet’s carry, I also got more excited seeing eyyou back in the competitive Dota 2 scene. I have been following the guy since his early days with TNC, back when he was leading the gnoji and xLucky-filled squad, because I thought he was the kind of captain the Philippine Dota 2 scene needs. This also makes eyyou’s Chen game versus Vanguard my favorite amongst the games played by our representatives.
Franz “Neutral” Irorita: It’s not like I didn’t enjoy Entity’s matches. The match I enjoyed the most actually was Entity’s game against Team Lebanon, which was a perfect showing of how dominating Entity could be if they are able to execute the perfect play for their lineup. We could see this at around the 26th minute when Entity contested a Roshan attempt when they entered perfectly, followed by an on point Ice Blast and Chronosphere almost simultaneously wiped the opposing team cleanly with minimal effort. They knew how to spread out their skills and damage efficiently to ensure that they weren’t overcommitting to just a single enemy hero.
And I have to agree that eyyou’s Chen was one of the best things to have happened in both of their runs. My favorite players for these series were eyyou and Boombacs, a tie for the two supports. My favorite play from eyyou was when he played as Chen and helped win their game against Vanguards in the group stage, so we are on the same page there. He was just chain stunning in his ganks with his converted creeps, teleporting Legion Commander back to base when she just finished a duel, and saving the whole team during clashes with his timely heals. Meanwhile I really liked Boombacs playing as Tusk when they were up against Gersenz, also in the group stage. Although they would eventually lose in that match, his Ice Shards were always precise, helping them either secure a kill in a gank or save an ally from hot pursuit, and his Snowballs were always saving them from Sand King Epicenters and Gyrocopter Homing Missiles.
Maouie “M-King” Reyes: With the two of us having chosen Entity Gaming games as our favorites, I think it’s safe to assume that eyyou and his squad have a bright road ahead of them.
Franz “Neutral” Irorita: What we didn’t get to see in this series was an Entity versus Happy Feet matchup. We could be thankful that it didn’t happen as it might have meant one Filipino team eliminating another, but I would have loved to watch them go against each other. It would have also allowed us to settle the score between the two. It also almost happened- if Entity were able to beat Keen Gaming, then our two teams would have faced each other in the quarterfinals. It would be interesting to see if their strategy would drastically change going against a fellow Filipino team. Of course, both teams are in some level of familiarity with each other, but the environment that they are in – the fact that they had to adapt to a lot of unfamiliar strategies from all over Asia – could have affected their mindsets even when they go head to head against each other. Maybe in the Grand Finals in the Main Event? But to get there, they’d have to go through a lot of tough opponents. I hope they’ll be able to study and adapt to their numerous opponents, especially since so far I feel like their drafts have been too straightforward – aim to win clashes to win the game.
Maouie “M-King” Reyes: I actually never thought of that. Well maybe because I’m used to seeing a Filipino versus Filipino match, but yeah, it’s great hypothetical match-up. Although, I think I’ll be siding with Entity Gaming when that happens.
Franz “Neutral” Irorita: I’d also go with Entity Gaming if we’re basing it on their performance so far in WESG. They perform better despite HF’s experience. But maybe it’s not yet HappyFeet’s final form?
Maouie “M-King” Reyes: One advantage HappyFeet has is their ability to play within the meta while simultaneously picking their comfort heroes. We saw them capitalizing on those Tiny picks for Rapy and still able to give Benhur his signature heroes like Puck and Queen of Pain. On the contrary, this also serves as their disadvantage because it significantly weakens their drafting pool. We witnessed this scenario when they went out against Gersenz. Despite their individual mechanical skills being top-notch, Gersenz was still able to capitalize on HappyFeet’s drafting disadvantage to win the game.
On the other hand, Entity Gaming has still yet to play within the competitive meta. Their draft mainly revolves around comfort picks like eyyou’s Chen and Teehee’s Dragon Knight. What’s good in this kind of strategy, however, is that they already have an established brand of Dota. They were able to compensate their lack of time playing together as a team through this strategy because once they got into the game, all five of them already know what they should do and what should happen.
Franz “Neutral” Irorita: They actually have the benefit of a somehow lighter schedule compared to other superstar teams like Team Canada and Team Ukraine and so on – teams who already have a lot of their plate in the Dota Pro Circuit. Entity and HappyFeet could play with a better focus in the WESG. This is not to discount their talents, but that advantage I think could be a bonus for them.
Maouie “M-King” Reyes: I agree. Being able to represent the country in an international Dota 2 competition is already something to be proud of. There’s still a long road ahead for HappyFeet and Entity Gaming, but as long as they keep doing their best whenever they represent the Philippines, I, as a fan, honestly can’t ask for more.
Neutral has been playing video games since he was a little kid. He started being competitive when he and his brother would bet favors for each other depending on who wins at the PS2 game Naruto Shippuuden. Recently he has been playing Dota2 and Animal Crossing on his revived 3DS. It is his dream to be part of the formation of the eSports version of UAAP through UP Gaming Guild’s Impetus Intercollegiate Dota2 League.
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