OGA Dota PIT Season 4: China is finally over and the champion is one of the favorites, but certainly not the one that was expected to win. In this article, I will provide a brief summary of the tournament and discuss the key lessons that we have learned from it.
OGA Dota PIT Season 4: China Group Stage Results
The Group Stage of OGA Dota PIT Season 4: China went pretty much according to plan. In Group A, Vici Gaming had a flawless run against EHOME, Royal Never Give Up, and MagMa, finishing with 3 consecutive wins. In Group B, PSG.LGD did the same but was closely followed by Elephant, a competitor that was already giving clear signs of strength. The complete results of this stage were the following:
- 1st place: Vici Gaming: 3 W – 0 L
- 2nd place: EHOME: 1 W – 2 L
- 3rd place: Royal Never Give Up: 1 W – 2 L
- 4th place: Team MagMa: 1 W – 2 L
- 1st place: PSG.LGD: 3 W – 0 L
- 2nd place: Elephant: 2 W – 1 L
- 3rd place: Team Aster: 1 W – 2 L
- 4th place: Invictus Gaming: 0 W – 3 L
The 4th place team got eliminated in both groups. The 1st team advanced to the 2nd round of the Upper Bracket. The 2nd and 3rd place teams advanced to the 1st round of the Upper Bracket. This was a very nice way of doing things, because it ensured a high level of fairness.
With only 1 team out of 4 being eliminated per group, the losses were minimal and only the weakest squads got eliminated. And with everyone starting the Playoffs in the Upper Bracket, everyone received two tournament lives and was able to get the placement they deserved. When organizers send the lower-ranked teams directly to the Lower Bracket, the situation is tense from the start and it’s enough to encounter a strong opponent in your first match to be eliminated without a second-chance to prove your worth.
Upper Bracket Results
The Upper Bracket of OGA Dota PIT Season 4: China was the point when Elephant truly began to shine. Up until that moment, Eurus and his crew had defeated Invictus Gaming and Team Aster, but these victories did not mean anything because these opponents were regarded as being weak compared to the regional giants. And on top of that, when they encountered PSG.LGD, the match didn’t go well for them. In fact, it was over very quickly: 21 minutes for game 1 and 25 minutes for game 2. In Dota 2, that’s the definition of a stomp. Serious games last 40 minutes or more.
Upper Bracket Round 1
In the first round of the Upper Bracket, EHOME defeated Aster (2 – 0) and Elephant defeated RNG (2 – 0). Not much could be learned after these two matches because both teams were expected to win with ease and that’s exactly what they did.
Upper Bracket Round 2
The second round of the Upper Bracket had two spectacular matches: PSG.LGD – EHOME and Vici Gaming – Elephant. In the first match, PSG.LGD had big problems against EHOME but ultimately managed to win with two completely different drafts: Zeus + Sven and Lina + Morphling.
Elephant was not expected to win against Vici Gaming. Ori’s team had finished the Group Stage with 3 consecutive wins and looked extremely hard to beat. Furthermore, Elephant had lost their previous two matches against them. But in spite of the odds and the fact that they were down one game, Somnus and his teammates made a brilliant comeback and won games 2 and 3 with a strange hero that doesn’t get picked very often: Clinkz. VG had Sven as their carry in both games but couldn’t cope with the brilliant tactics employed by their opponent.
Upper Bracket Final
In the Upper Bracket Final, Elephant met PSG.LGD one more time and the result was the same: 0 – 2. It looked as though Ame knew exactly what to do against Elephant’s players and both games ended rather quickly: 25 and 37 minutes.
I’m not entirely sure what pushed Elephant to go for Omniknight two games in a row, but they seemed determined to make it work. To be fair, in game 2 the pick made a lot of sense against Sven and Templar Assassin, and it did seem to work for a while. But in the end, PSG.LGD took a massive lead and couldn’t be stopped. Normally, in games where a team has Anti-Mage, you expect a big early game advantage for their opponent followed by a comeback for the team that picked AM. But this game proved to be quite different: the two teams went approximately head to head until the 22 minute mark. Then it all went downhill for Radiant and PSG.LGD won.
In the Lower Bracket, Vici Gaming smashed Aster while EHOME had a tough match against Royal Never Give Up. They still won in two games, but needed more than 40 minutes to end each game. Then came the big rematch, between Vici Gaming and EHOME. The two teams had already dueled each other in the Group Stage. Vici Gaming won the first match, EHOME got revenge in the second one.
In the Lower Bracket Final, Elephant was expected to beat EHOME and that’s what they did. Their drafts were clean and unpretentious, leaving their opponent without any questions about what they were going to do. But they just couldn’t stop them. The effectiveness of a Nature’s Prophet + Drow + Storm + Slardar combo proved to be devastating. Every target they went for died almost instantly.
Then, after losing game two, Elephant went for another basic draft in game 3: Magnus + Ember for one set of combos and Clockwerk + Lifestealer for another set of combos. It worked to perfection. In both matches, fy opted for Rubick as the position 5 support.
The Grand Final looked impossible to win for Elephant, who had already lost two matches at OGA Dota PIT Season 4: China against PSG.LGD. And to make matters even worse, Ame’s team won the first game with a Techies.
What happened next is again, totally bizarre. Elephant went for 3 trivial drafts and won 3 times in a row. It’s not clear what PSG.LGD’s players were thinking, but they clearly didn’t adapt very well to their opponent’s Brewmaster, another rare pick that Elephant somehow succeeded with in games 3 and 4. In particular, the 4th game was extremely strange: one Drow Ranger + 4 melee heroes. Nobody does that, for obvious reasons, but Elephant made it work.
As a result of winning the title at OGA Dota PIT Season 4: China, Elephant has become in many people’s eyes the strongest team in the region. This was expected, although everyone thought it would take 3-6 months instead of 2.
When you put Eurus, one of the best carry players in the world, in the same team with one of the best captains, one of the best offlaners, and probably the best midlaner in China, good results are almost guaranteed. It’s not a question of if, but of when. Elephant proved with this victory that when the right players get together, they don’t need much time to find a winning formula.
Going forward, I expect Elephant to be as dominant in their region as Team Secret was throughout most of 2020 in Europe and CIS.