As one of the biggest regions for Dota 2’s competitive scene, South-East Asia, had plenty going on throughout 2018.
Though at times they’ve struggled to make their voices heard about their rivals in China, the teams of the SEA region remain some of the most daunting to face, although that wasn’t always reflected by results last year.
The International 8
The attendance of SEA teams to TI8 was about average for the regions with three making it to the event. This was less than China’s daunting turnout of six, but more than South America’s lonesome representative, PaiN Gaming.
Mineski were the most successful team going into the event, after placing 5th on the Pro Circuit and qualifying ahead of former champs Newbee and former runners-up Vici Gaming. Fnatic and TNC Predator, meanwhile, made it to the event through their regional qualifiers, ensuring that the very best that South-East Asia had to offer was in attendance.
But from the very beginning, these teams were on the back foot – none of them could force their way into the upper bracket of the group stage, meaning they began the play-offs in the lower bracket.
Fnatic were sent home right away, beaten by Team Serenity, whilst TNC Predator had the misfortune of going up against fellow SEA team Mineski, with the latter coming out on top.
Their success was short-lived though, as the very next match saw them getting mangled by the Russian giants Virtus.pro, quickly ending the SEA region’s hopes of an International win. They remain the only region other than South America not to bring home the gold at an International event.
Perhaps the highlight of the year for the region’s competitive play came in April, at the Dota 2 Asia Championships. Mineski went up against some of the game’s top teams – EG, Team Liquid, Virtus.pro and Newbee to name but a few. And after a strong start in the group stage, losing only to VP, they were well set going into the business end.
They were able to smash OpTic Gaming, beat Vici Gaming 2-1 and then crush LGD Gaming in the semi-finals. It was a narrower 3-2 victory over LGD when they met again in the grand finals, granting the SEA region its biggest win of the year.
Otherwise, however, there was little to cheer about for SEA fans this year. Fnatic had been nipping at the heels of the top teams at a few high-level events, but failed to win the top prize – coming 2nd at DreamLeague S9, Dota Summit 9 and the PVP Esports Championship.
Mineski performed well in a few minor events, but never enough to come out on top. The staggering 1,500 Pro Circuit points earned from the Dota 2 Asia Championships, though, along with their efforts at smaller tournaments, were enough to book their place in TI8.
Team Execration managed to earn 1st place at the MPGL Asian Championship, whilst TNC Predator lacked any huge victories this year.
All in all, the teams of South-East Asia haven’t been able to make their presence felt as strongly as other regions.
Newcomers and Departures
Every year sees a few teams come and go, and 2018 was no exception. It saw the rise of a few new SEA teams, including Resurgence – a squad who recently lost team captain Meracle to compLexity Gaming – and WarriorsGaming.Unity, a relatively successful Malaysian team who reformed in October.
On the other hand, the TNC Tigers, sister team to TNC Predator, left the organisation. And fan favourites Geek Fam seem to have disbanded, too, after their players moved on to new groups.
Perhaps the newcomers will breathe life back into the SEA scene – one full of talent, and with the potential to prove it in 2019.