Photo via DreamHack (CC-BY)
Featuring four teams from the major Dota 2 regions, the Wild Card tournament acts as a last chance qualifier for the teams that placed third in the regional qualifiers for the over $19 million tournament.
Chinese representatives EHOME became the first to make it to the main event, after defeating both Execration and Escape Gaming in two closely matched series. Surprisingly, it was the Philippines based Execration squad which proved to be the most challenging for the Chinese veterans, as they won the first game of the series. EHOME recuperated, however, and took the two remaining games to secure themselves a spot in the upper bracket to face the European side Escape Gaming. Fighting for a spot at the main event, both teams traded blows in two consecutive 40-plus minute games. The Chinese team seemed to have come prepared, as Ren "ELeVeN" Yangwei’s Axe cleaved through the Europeans with a 12-2-8 KDA at the end of the first game.Despite this rather one-sided start to the series, Escape gave it their all in the second game and looked primed for a comeback after a rough start, much to the credit of Maurice “KheZu” Gutmann’s Faceless Void. At 37 minutes, the Europeans were able to halve EHOME’s 10,000 gold lead, but a poor engagement lead to four members of the team falling. Once again EHOME were in the driver’s seat, and at 49 minutes the series was over, making EHOME the first team to advance out of the Wild Card tournament.
Escape Gaming would now face Execration in the deciding series. Having little to no international experience, Execration were still able to dispose of compLexity Gaming in very convincing fashion. The second game of their series was a particular case of complete domination, as Execration’s Abed “Abed” Yusop put on a flawless performance on Meepo. With a staggering 18 kills and zero deaths, the 15-year-old midlaner dismantled the North American team almost single-handedly, putting an early end to compLexity’s journey at the International 6.
Unfortunately, the team from the Philippines appeared to be all out of gas when playing in the final series of the Wild Card. Escape Gaming’s composure throughout the first game saw them claw their way back from an early gold deficit and eventually snowball out of control. The final game was an even more one-sided affair, as Execration never posed a threat to Adrian “Era” Kreyziu’s massive Huskar. In less than 19 minutes it was all over for the Filipinos, and Escape Gaming clinched the final slot at the International 6’s main event.
With the conclusion of the Wild Card event, the group stage is set to begin today at 12:00 p.m. EDT (9.30 a.m. PDT).