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Can Vici Gaming be the first back-to-back ESL One Dota 2 champions?

Hans Oelschlägel's picture
Hans Oelschlägel
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Vici Gaming will be making their third straight appearance at ESL One and the Chinese powerhouse already has their name etched into the shiny trophy thanks to winning ESL One New York in 2014. Will they be able to repeat their stellar performance this year in Frankfurt?

The roster

Even though Vici Gaming enjoyed their fair share of success in 2014, the team opted to replace Black^, their German carry, with Chinese TI4 winner, Hao, in March, in order to get rid of the communication barrier between teammates. Hao joined the squad filled by some of the best players in the world on their respective positions. Fenrir and fy are widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, support duo in the world, while iceiceice’s name always comes up when experts discuss the most influential offlaners.

Support Lu “Fenrir” Chao
Support Xu “fy” Linsen (C)
Offlane Daryl iceiceice Koh Pei Xiang
Mid Xie “Super” Junhao
Carry Chen “Hao” Zhihao

Recent performances

Immediately after the roster change, Vici Gaming managed to secure first place at StarLadder Season 12 in Europe, delivering a classic show of Chinese dominance over the Western scene. However, what followed was rather surprising to many fans. Instead of Chinese supremacy, teams like Team Secret, Cloud9 and Team Empire managed to consistently beat out their Chinese counterparts in The Summit 3 and MarsTV Dota 2 League. Now, Vici Gaming is looking towards a well overdue triumph for China at ESL One Frankfurt.

Placement Tournament
4th (1-2 vs Cloud9) MarsTV Dota 2 League 2015
2nd (0-3 vs LGD Gaming) i-league Season 3
3rd (1-2 vs Evil Geniuses) The Summit 3

Patch 6.84

Current Record on patch: 37:19

Most picked Most banned
13x Io 19x Queen of Pain
11x Lion Queen of Pain 10x Io Storm Spirit Beastmaster Rubick
10x Gyrocopter Shadow FiendLeshrac 9x Viper Shadow Fiend

Vici Gaming is actually one of the teams that has played the most games across all versions of the new 6.84 patch and their picks showcase how well aware they are of the current meta. Heroes like Queen of Pain, Gyrocopter and Leshrac are seen in almost every competitive game at the moment and it’s no different for VG. But they still have their unpredictability about them when it comes to iceiceice’s offlane hero pool and they more often than not secure fy his signature Io, who is not regarded as highly by other Chinese teams.

If we go two months back to StarLadder, iceiceice was very critical of the Western teams that attended and he had his doubts about their understanding of the current metagame. Now, as things stand, all the Chinese teams, including Vici Gaming, seem to suddenly be a step behind their Western counterparts. Of course, favors can change quickly in Dota 2 and it would be foolish to doubt VG’s chances of success at ESL One Frankfurt, but they certainly have lost the aura of untouchability that surrounded them and therefore may have to relinquish the role of favorite to Team Secret ahead of the tournament.

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Prepare yourself for ESL One Frankfurt with our other team previews and get all the latest news and updates regarding the event by following @ESLDota2.