Although most tournaments are over for the year, there are still a couple still running – one of these being the Huya Dota 2 Winter Invitational, which has just seen its group stage come to an end, which means elimination for four teams.
Although it does not feature many of the bigger teams of Southeast Asia and China, the Huya Winter Invitational still has a host of well-known Dota 2 teams; Team Aster, Royal Never Give Up, IO and Neon Esports to name a few. The tournament’s group stage has been running since December 13th and now that it has come to an end, eight of the twelve teams will head to the playoff stage – which culminates on December 27th.
Group A would see a surprise at the top of the standings, with the recently formed and closed qualifier entrants of Phoenix Gaming taking the top spot. Having been formed in October, we had our first glimpse of this team when they beat the likes of Invictus Gaming, RNG, EHOME and Vici Gaming at the China Dota2 Pro Cup Season 1 – finishing in an admirable fourth place. IO would finish in second place in the group, with Neon Esports and iG rounding out the top four. Unfortunately, Team MagMa and Execration would be the two teams eliminated from Group A, struggling to find any more than a single series victory each.
In Group B, Team Aster showed pure domination as they took the top spot – going completely unbeaten, not dropping a single game in their five series played. Although playing with their coach, Aster have taken a huge step toward challenging the top teams in China in recent times with a host of top four finishes. RNG were close behind them in second place with CDEC Gaming and iG Vitality finishing in third and fourth respectively. For the Indonesian squad of Army Geniuses and the once brutal Sparking Arrow Gaming, the tournament comes to an end as they end at the bottom of the group and will be eliminated.
Playoffs for the Huya Dota 2 Winter Invitational kick off tomorrow with all eight teams starting in the upper bracket before we begin to see eliminations as loses are registered. It will be interesting to see if Aster can continue on their unbeaten path all the way through to the grand finals or if one of the teams have what it takes to challenge their current form.
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