ViCi Gaming are the second Chinese team to qualify for the StarLadder StarSeries XII LAN play-offs and finals to be held at Dreamhack Bucharest, in Romania, between April 24-26. LGD was eliminated after the 2-1 series versus ViCi Gaming.
Both teams seemed eager to dominate, picking one of the strongest hero’s in this new meta, Storm Spirit, in each game. Although each team took one game with the hero, Vici Gaming was one step ahead and seemed to bait LGD into picking Storm Spirit for the last game, counter picking it with the Doom carry and a three-core line-up including Phantom Lancer and Shadow Fiend.
Junhao Xie “super!” had a solid game on Sniper and a great start, picking up a quick Mask of Madness, by getting several kills early on. While Sniper continued to snowball, Chen Zhihao “Hao” was successfully gaining net worth and levels on his Storm Spirit. Together, their strength made it much easier to dominate the game, despite the shaky start coming from Daryl Koh “iceiceice” as Timbersaw, who fell victim victim to first-blood and experienced problems on the off-lane. The 30 minutes, 11 seconds long game ended with 18-31 score.
Although ViCi Gaming went into the second game with a greedy draft, having picked Drow Ranger and Medusa, they underestimated LGD’s early game. Zeng Rong Lei “MMY”’s Rubick and Zhang Ning “Xiao8”’s Leshrac rotations made the game very difficult for ViCi Gaming. iceiceice’s two early deaths on Phoenix destroyed Vici Gaming’s only hope for a strong start to get them through into the late game phase. The game was 22 minutes and 35 seconds long, with a score of 13-26.
LGD’s Storm Spirit pick was countered with Phantom Lancer, Shadow Fiend and Doom, in what seemed to be ViCi Gaming’s strategy from the very beginning of the drafting phase. Yao Lu “Maybe” had a good game on Storm Spirit until minute 21, when ViCi Gaming was able to kill four heroes, thus changing the flow of the game. After a long five-member disconnect from LGD, at minute 31, ViCi Gaming was able to “pick off” a few more kills before moving on to take Roshan with cheese and aegis. The game ended at 50 minutes and 18 seconds, with a 18-28 victory for ViCi Gaming.
Yao “Yao” Zhengzheng
Zeng “MMY” Rong Lei
Lio “Sylar” Jiajun
Zhang “Xiao8” Ning
Yao “Maybe” Lu
ViCi Gaming roster
Xu “Fy” Linsen
Lu “Fenrir” Chao
Junhao “super!” Xie
Daryl “iceiceice” Koh
Chen “Hao” Zhihao
The Chinese qualifiers have now ended, with IG and ViCi Gaming getting ready to travel to the Dreamhack Bucharest LAN play-offs and finals. Team Tinker will be representing the NA region, while the SEA and European first group stages are still underway.
The StarLadder StarSeries XII online group stages began March 10. The best eight out of the 40 participating teams will qualify to the LAN finals: four European teams, two Chinese teams, one North-American team, and one Southeast Asian team. For the first time in the tournament’s history, the StarSeries XII finals will leave the Cybersport Arena in Kiev, to be hosted at Dreamhack Bucharest, April 24-26. The venue for the playoffs was changed amidst multiple frustrations and issues in the past regarding visas for traveling teams. The base prize pool is $80,000, plus travel support for attending teams. Casting will be provided by SLTV in Russian and Beyond the Summit in English.