GEST The Challenge will be starting a few weeks early due to some schedule conflicts. In fact, it will be starting today.
Originally set every after two months, the very first GEST The Challenge of 2013 will be happening a few weeks early. This is due to several possible schedule conflicts if the event pushes through on its earlier planned early-April play date.
GEST The Challenge is the culmination of an extensive two months’ worth of games on the GMPGL National/Regional Qualifier and the GEST Dota 2. Supposedly, the top team of each GEST Dota 2 tournament will be paired up with two Chinese teams for another tournament, which offers another prize pool of its own. In this month’s case though, GEST March has not started yet – thus the other SEA team to join enters through an invite.
While GEST’s objective is to nurture the SEA community, this tournament allows the teams to compete not only among themselves, but against teams outside SEA as well. Specifically, they will be competing against Chinese teams.
Four teams will be competing on a double-elimination bracket. These teams are:
The team won the first February edition of the GEST 2013 – February, thus being a shoo-in for this tournament. They had also won the recent Armaggeddon Dota 2 Grand Slam Asia, and was on an impressive streak on the DotaTalk Championship. It was unfortunate, though, to see them pull out on the playoffs stage because of an incomplete roster.
However, they still remain as one of the hottest SEA teams at the moment. They have been impressive in the weeks leading up to the tournament, even while they are still sporting the ABC tag. How far have they progressed is something we can see on this tournament.
LGD.int is fresh on finishing runner-up on China’s G-League. They had also won the previous GEST The Challenge, thus it can be said that they are the defending champion for the tournament. While being a mix of European players, they are now playing at China under a Chinese organization, thus getting a nod from the organizers to being considered as a ‘Chinese’ team.
The team, while being relatively new, has already developed a distinct style which can be distinguished as their own.
Neolution.Orange started the year on a high note. They racked up consecutive titles in SEA League, Litany League and GosuCup Asia. However, they have failed to close out two straight tournaments since then. They were defeated by compatriot MUFC on the finals of GEST, and were defeated at the semifinals of the DotaTalk League by MiTH.Trust.
Still, Orange possesses one of the most talented 5-man roster on the region. It is hard to look for a team with as much individual talent than they have, and the team would obviously love a shot to redeem themselves from their shaky closers.
This will be VG’s first international appearance after their magnificent and well-applauded run at G-League. Previously known as ‘pub-stars’, they had definitely shined in that tournament – and won a lot of supporters in the process. They had some questionable decisions during their late-game executions back at G-League, and how much they have improved since then is something that many would like to look out for.
While it is arguable that the other teams might have overlooked and/or underestimated them on that previous tournament, it is rest assured that that won’t be the case this time around. Representing China is no small task, but VG is looking to be up for the challenge.
As said earlier, the tournament will follow a double-elimination format. All games will be Bo3, while the Grand Finals will be Bo5. The team advancing from the WB will have a one-game advantage heading into the finals.
Schedule (time is on SGT):
- 19.00 – Loser’s Bracket 1
- 21.30 – Winner’s Bracket 2 (Bo3)
- 18.00 – Loser’s Bracket (Bo3)
- 20.30 – Grand Finals (Bo5)
Practically, all but one team will finish on the podium. However, only the top two teams will be rewarded.
- 1st Place – $1000
- 2nd Place – $500
The games will be cast by BeyondTheSummit. The matches will also be on DotaTV, and is included on the February-March GEST ticket.
The first GEST The Challenge, held last year, was won by LGD.int. That was their first official tournament, and they also coincidentally defeated their sister team LGD.cn with a score of 3-2 on the Finals.