The kings of SEA have left no doubt! After rampaging through the SEA qualifier bracket for ESL One Manila completely undefeated, Fnatic have booked the final ticket to the Mall of Asia Arena to compete for US$250,000 and the first ever ESL One trophy in the Philippines.
The SEA qualifier showed us an incredible variety of teams, including a few surprises from not yet established Dota 2 countries such as India, Mongolia and Vietnam. Even though Fnatic were undoubtedly the strongest team in the entire bracket, it was refreshing to see so many new talents emerge in the scene. What was arguably even more interesting is how easily fellow favorites MVP Phoenix got dismantled in the quarterfinals by to-be-finalists Warriors Gaming.
With everybody ready to jump on the Korean hype train after their recent performances at DotaPit and the Shanghai Major, the team of the hour looked like a shadow of their former selves. In all fairness, it was also due to Warrior Gaming’s incredible display throughout the qualifiers, but it’s fair to say that MVP Phoenix underperformed heavily in the qualifier.
The kings of SEA
Unlike MVP Phoenix, Fnatic were on the top of their game - even though they had to deal with Mushi’s absence during the qualifiers. In-game roles might not be set in stone in a team like this, with so many players talented in so many positions, but it was nonetheless impressive to see the flawless inclusion of substitute 343 into the strategy.
In the end, it was MidOne and DJ who stole the show in almost every game. The unshakable mid player and the unbannable four-position support went completely bonkers, dropping stellar performances game after game. While not every series was a clear cut victory for them, their standout individual performances as well as textbook teamplay led them to an undefeated run, brushing aside Beyond Infinity, The Mongolz and Warriors Gaming on their road to Manila.
How will Fnatic fare in Manila?
Fnatic now have three weeks to prepare for ESL One Manila, which will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines on April the 23rd and 24th. Can they keep their run going against some of the strongest teams in the world?
You can read up on the schedule, teams and news pieces on the official ESL One Manila website and don’t forget to follow ESL Dota 2 on Twitter and Facebook for the latest tournament coverage and updates.