A hot start translated into a big win for one of the newest teams taking over the Chinese Dota 2 scene. Sparking Arrow Gaming swept Vici Gaming 3-0 today to win BEYOND EPIC China.
The team is almost completely made up of newer players from the former Royal roster, with only two having played prior to the 2017 season. Among those two, only Ou “Op” Peng has any real tier-one experience, having played for Invictus Gaming during The International 2017.
The relatively new team got off to a hot start, going 4-1 in a group stage with proven talent like PSG.LGD, who they would later eliminate in the playoffs. Their only early loss was to CDEC Gaming, who took one game off of them during the Winner’s Match.
As the top seed, SAG took on Vici in the first round due to the veteran team struggling against Royal Never Give Up in the group stage. It was a close series, but Vici came out on top thanks to a massive 13/1/15 performance from Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang’s Ember Spirit in game three.
From there, SAG went on a big run through the loser’s bracket, besting both LGD and RNG, who they swept in a sub-50-minute series, to make it to the grand finals, where Vici was waiting for them.
Vici played well in game one, but couldn’t hold their lead in the late game, losing multiple teamfights and falling behind 1-0.
SAG come back to snatch Game 1 away from @VICI's grasp!— Beyond the Summit (@BeyondTheSummit) June 28, 2020
The underdogs have their noses ahead, can they keep the momentum rolling? #BeyondEpic
?️ @MLPDotA & @Basskip pic.twitter.com/VExrMYoaiI
SAG didn’t let up, taking game two without much trouble, but some issues did occur on the organizational side of the event.
According to EPICENTER, miscommunication on the part of the tournament organizers led to both teams playing the series out as if it were a best of three, leading to SAG prematurely being named as the champions. SAG and Vici both agreed to play a third game later in the same day, which SAG went on to win anyway.
Due to miscommunication and organizational mishap, the final of the CN division for Beyond Epic league was played in Bo3 format instead of Bo5. We’d like to thank SAG for agreeing to follow the original ruleset and play the whole Bo5 series.— EPICENTER (@epicentergg) June 28, 2020
Match will be played at 16:00 CEST. pic.twitter.com/rw5YLTqEBo
This Major victory for SAG comes after having a stellar record in tier-two Dota events like the China Dota 2 Development League. If this event is anything to go by, there is another team on the come up in China that should be on everyone’s watchlist.