Looking back at the action (and the memes) of Dota 2’s DAC 2017

The Dota Asian Championships was held this past weekend as a display of the best international Dota 2 talent. With a special focus on Chinese teams, it was not to be missed by any fan of the game. If you did miss out, however, here’s what you need to know.

DAC, in both of its iterations, has been among the largest non-Valve tournaments. This year’s event, including a crowd-funded portion of the prize, has only been outdone by Valve events and the previous DAC in 2015. It’s no surprise at all as the tournament is hosted by Perfect World, the Chinese game publisher that handles Dota 2 in the internet-restricted country. Here, both the original Warcraft 3 DotA mod and Valve’s version remain a highly-respected game and competitive community, to the point where mainstream television and pop stars often have cameos in related media.

With both a massive prize pool and the attention of the Chinese Dota 2 community, the top teams in the world brought their A-game from all corners of the world and helped make a week to remember for the Dota 2 scene.

Such large events more often than not end with a bang. This time it came in the form of a clean grand finals executed by Invictus Gaming, with a 3-0 win over European favorites and three-time Valve Major champions OG. 

IG brought pride and excitement to their home country’s arena by displaying brilliant mechanical ability and controlling teamfights to break apart their opponents. Plus, while each team’s drafts punished the tournament’s greedy and aggressive meta, IG played the style much more tightly and quickly to take the trophy.

After the match, the community’s prized “f**kin flower,” OG.N0tail, reviewed a few comments from reddit: 

Besides the finals, there was plenty of action throughout the event, and with much of that came dramatic moments. For instance, in the lower brackets, all series were a best of one—meaning that teams had to bring 100% in order to stay in the tournament. 

This is where Evil Geniuses and Wings met in battle for the first time since November’s The Summit event. The game was tense and tight as the two teams tactically crept towards teamfights, opting for a slower burn instead of an off-the-bat aggressive strategy. However, the pace picked up, and the match ended in a long, back-and-forth battle at Wings’s exposed Ancient. At an hour and five minutes, with a 45-31 kill score, the game went to Evil Geniuses in a truly unforgettable battle.

Similarly, the battle between Southeast Asian Team Faceless and Team Liquid’s European squad went on for a while, but was an engaging battle to stay in the league. In a slower, steadier approach, Faceless picked Liquid apart hero by hero. Liquid had chosen a lineup more for teamfight setup with a number of reliable AoE lockdowns, but Faceless played well around these potential weaknesses, taking the game methodologically.

Every fan knows that esports can never have enough All Star matches, and DAC fulfilled the fan’s wishes with not only an All Star match, but a solo mid competition too. 

DAC hosted a Reverse Captain’s Mode game, meaning that the teams had to draft a lineup that the other team would be playing. In other words, captains were encouraged to pick the worst possible heroes. ‘Team World’ consisting of EternalEnvy, Suma1L, iceiceice, JerAx, and Miracle- faced off against ‘Team China’ with BurNIng, Sccc, rOtk, fy and Faith_bian.

The hosts accompanied the teams to their booths to ‘coach’ (with some scathing words about their comfortable-looking Monkey King pillows) and the game was on. In the end, Team World were triumphant.

The 1v1 Solo match was heated as well, with eight players being nominated by Compendium buyers: Yuno-Paparazi, Sccc, Blink and BurNIng from China, and EternalEnvy, Miracle-, Suma1l, and Arteezy from elsewhere. At the end, Yuno-Paparazi won against Miracle-, and Sccc picked up Yuno in a pretty friendly hug: 

Then came the inevitable photoshop. Speaking of Chinese humor, just as memorable as the myriad battles at DAC was the spectrum of memes and humor that came out of the event. Players, social media managers, and production crew alike found time and to goof around between games.

The first was the ongoing friendly Twitter war between Newbee and Team Empire. Notably, Team Empire took a shot at Newbee after a solid group stage run:

The accounts joked about boy bands together: 

And, before the playoffs started, the Empire team took a visit to Newbee’s room:

When Empire was eliminated, Newbee took a second to pay their respects:  

...but not before returning to the savagery.  

Meanwhile, after Liquid didn’t do as well as they hoped in the group stages, the team posted this video of their player Matumbaman doing a fairly good impression of their run:  

Then, famed Dota 2 community mem(e)ber Tsunami took it to a whole new level: 

 ...and that is all you need to know about DAC 2017.