We hope you are enjoying the first week of the 2021 DPC. It’s already been a wild ride, and we are only half way through Week 1. So, let’s take a tactical pause and recap this first part of the NA/SA DPC season.
Before we fountain dive into our recap, be sure to check out our NA/SA Pre-Season Power Rankings to see where all of the NA/SA DPC teams stood before games kicked off this week. Now, let's recap.
#1 Evil Geniuses vs. #4 4Zoomers Recap (Evil Geniuses 2-1)
This one had a little bit of everything that makes NA Dota worth watching. It was messy, it was competitive, it was dramatic, it was chaotic, and it was a hell of a good time.
Evil Geniuses appeared to be in control throughout Game 1, with their Mid Laner Abed landing Flamebreak into Flaming Lasso combos on Batrider while 4Zoomer’s Mid Laner Gunnar missed multiple Tornados on his Invoker. It was 4Zoomers’ Position 1 SammyBoy on Phantom Lancer who out-farmed his counterpart on EG, Arteezy, early and managed to maintain top Net Worth status for much of the game. This allowed 4Zoomers to hang around longer than Evil Geniuses would have liked, but an aggressive smoke play towards 4Zoomers’ Triangle around the 31 minute mark from EG enabled Abed to land a Flaming Lasso on Brax’s Position 3 Mars which gave a clear path for iceiceice on his Position 3 Lycan to massacre 4Zoomer’s backline leading to a full team wipe for 4Zoomers. Another team wipe five minutes later would seal the EG win in Game 1.
Game 2 saw a strong draft from 4Zoomers where they managed to score three strong meta heroes in Batrider, Keeper of the Light, and Nyx Assassin. With Gunnar on a Mid Lane Earth Spirit, the mobile 4Zoomers lineup looked to fight right away and tried to throw Evil Geniuses off in order to extend the game for SammyBoy to catch back up after two early deaths on Riki. The plan worked and 4Zoomers managed to outlast Evil Geniuses to force a deciding Game 3. Game 2 also featured Arteezy being Arteezy with a double Rapier situation where both Rapiers ending up on the deck in the Rosh Pit at one point. If you only watch one DPC game this week, this one is worth
As well as SammyBoy played in Game 1 and Game 2, it was Sammyboy’s play and hero choice in Game 3 that doomed any chance of a 4Zoomers come back and upset. Drafting squishy Clinkz as a Hard Carry Position 1 tied one arm behind the back of 4Zoomers for Game 3. Sammyboy was nowhere to be seen (no kills for the first 29 minutes) as iceiceice, on Tidehunter, dominated Brax’s Batrider in lane before chasing the 4Zoomers’ heroes down, landing big Ravages, and helping Evil Geniuses snowball to an easy Game 3 win to clinch the series.
It’s disappointing the veteran captain for the 4Zoomers, Brax, was not able to redirect his young Position 1’s desire to play a weak, squishy Carry hero. SammyBoy enjoys playing heroes he is comfortable with (even if the heroes are out of the current meta) like Clinkz and Naga Siren, but you can bet the teams that are serious about challenging for top 2 finishes in NA/SA (Quincy Crew, Thunder Predator, etc.) are not going into DPC matches looking to force heroes they have a personal affinity for into the current meta. We’ll see if 4Zoomers go with more meta defined drafts next week in their clashes against A-Team and Quincy Crew.
The unsung hero for Evil Geniuses of the series was Abed who enabled his team with constant pressure on 4Zoomers and was powered by his far superior laning ability against 4Zoomers’ Mid Laner Gunnar. The FRLH (First Rune Last Hits) stats from all three games show Abed’s lane domination:
Abed – 14/7 FRLH Game 1 22/9 FRLH Game 2 * 26/2 FRLH Game 3*
4Zoomers – 13/3 FRLH Game 1 10/2 FRLH Game 2 * 19/5 FRLH Game 3*
(Look for more on FRLH and other analytic analysis in a future post, but for now we calculate FRLH as the number of Last Hits/Denies at the 4 minute mark of each game.)
One big takeaway for teams scouting the newest addition to Evil Geniuses’ lineup, iceiceice, is don’t expect EG to run Legion Commander in many more games in the DPC. iceiceice may be one of the best offlaners in NA/SA, but he looked completely lost as Legion Commander in Game 2 against 4Zoomers going a disappointing 2-12-18 in the hour long game. If iceiceice was able to make more of an impact in Game 2 on a hero he was more comfortable with, EG may have avoided the pivotal Game 3 altogether.
#8 Beastcoast vs. #13 EgoBoys Recap (Beastcoast 2-0)
For much of 2020, Beastcoast was a far cry from the team that placed 8th at TI9 (at the time this Beastcoast roster played under the Infamous banner). COVID related issues in 2020 prevented Beastcoast from training inperson together and meant they would play with a “ping disadvantage” for much of the NA/SA online season, but many NA/SA teams faced similar challenges and outperformed expectations. So, heading into the 2021 SA DPC Upper Division with a Direct Invite, it was unclear how Beastcoast would look in their first action of the season against the hastily assembled roster of EgoBoys that fought through the Closed Qualifier to earn its spot in the SA Upper Division.
Beastcoast looked like the diminished Beastcoast of 2020 for the first 21 minutes of Game 1 as EgoBoys built a 7k Net Worth lead on the back of Alone’s Mid Lane Lycan play. It also seemed Beastcoast still thought it was 2020 when they drafted Sven for Position 1 Hard Carry K1 (Hector), but the 7-21 kill score in favor of EgoBoys was all part of Beastcoast’s plan it seemed as K1 spent much of the early and mid game farming a Midas into an Eco Saber into a BKB. With BKB in hand for Sven, Beastcoast launched what appeared to be an ill advised, five man highground siege of EgoBoy’s base at 21 minutes despite trailing in Net Worth by 7k and being down 7-21 in kills. Beastcoast would only pick off EgoBoy’s Position 4 Clockwerk before losing three heroes themselves. Somehow, someway, Beastcoast sensed weakness in EgoBoys from this engagement and looked to fight every chance they got. This constant fighting managed to drag the game out for Beastcoast and slowly, but surely they grew a Net Worth lead in the Sven vs. Monkey King Hard Carry matchup before winning a pivotal team fight around 40 minutes in the Rosh Pit to secure the Aegis. EgoBoys would GG out of Game 1 a few minutes later.
After a back and forth Game 1, Beastcoast came alive in Game 2 and showed this roster’s true TI level potential. It was a last pick Lina for Beastcoast’s Mid Laner Chris Luck that would seal EgoBoy’s fate in their first matchup of the SA DPC. Given one of his signature heroes in Lina, Chris Luck (one of the top Mid Laners in SA), popped off going 26-3-8 as he powered his team to an assertive 31 minute victory in Game 2.
After this beatdown by Beastcoast, EgoBoys are already seeing their chances for a Top 2 finish in SA fading. As of this moment (only halfway through Week 1), it seems we have a three way race in SA for the two Major Tournament qualifying spots with Beastcoast, Infamous, and ThunderPredator all in the mix.
Other Mid-Week 1 Results
- #27 Arkosh Gaming upset #21 Team DogChamp (2-0) (NA)
- #24 Hokori upset #19 Incubus Club (2-0) (SA)
- #26 The Cut upset #22 Electronic Boys (2-0) (NA)
- #10 SG e-sports defeated #11 NoPing e-sports (2-1) (NA)
- #15 simply TOOBASED defeated #28 Byzantine Raiders (2-0) (NA)
- #6 Undying defeated #18 A-Team (2-0) (NA)
- #9 Black N Yellow defeated #14 5ManMidas (2-1) (NA)
- #20 Infinity Esports defeated #30 Mad Kings (formerly “blood for blood”) (2-0) (SA)
- #29 Gorillaz-Pride upset #25 Crewmates (2-0) (SA)
Tempo, tempo, tempo. If one thing is clear from the matches played so far in Week 1, it’s that the team that can capitalize on tempo plays coming out of the Laning Stage, will be in the driver's seat (see
for a perfect example,
is another). The team that struck first with strong rotations from mobile heroes with lockdown ability often put opponents on the backfoot.
It should be no surprise Puck and Nyx Assassin are the two most picked or banned heroes in the NA/SA Super Region, with both having high win rates in the games they are not banned. Interestingly, Keeper of the Light (KotL) is undefeated when drafted by teams in NA and SA, but seems to not be a preferred hero for most SA support players as KotL was only picked or banned in 2 of the games played so far in SA this week.
Week 1 of the NA/SA DPC is far from over. If Evil Geniuses vs. 4Zoomers on January 19 was NA’s early season case for being worth watching in 2021, then it’s SA’s turn to showcase it’s talent as #5 Infamous looks to upset #3 ThunderPredator on January 22nd. You can read more about this matchup between two of SA’s best teams here. In addition to SA’s epic clash, Evil Geniuses are back in action on January 24th against (former Evil Geniuses TI winners) ppd and Fear’s Sadboys squad. Quincy Crew, the most decorated team in NA/SA’s 2020 season, also kickoff their DPC run with a matchup against a surprisingly stout 5ManMidas as part of the NA doubleheader on January 24th to close out Week 1.
What did you think of the Evil Geniuses vs. 4Zoomers matchup? Who do you think will win the Infamous vs. ThunderPredator matchup? What games are you looking forward to most as we closeout Week 1 of the NA/SA DPC? Let us know in the comments!
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