Team Aster is just one series away from qualifying for the ESL One LA Major.
The Chinese squad defeated Gambit Esports in the upper bracket finals of the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3. Now in the grand finals, Aster awaits the winner of the lower bracket finals match between Gambit and Alliance.
Things were rough for Gambit in game one of the series. In the first few minutes of the game, Artsiom “fng” Barshak died twice to Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao’s Snapfire. This gave BoBoKa and Song “Sccc” Chun complete control of the lane and set up BoBoKa to be a huge roaming threat. This was something Kiyalbek “dream`” Tayirov became all too familiar with, as he was picked off twice in the early game as a result.
Once the mid game started Aster mid laner Kee Chyuan “ChYuan” Ng made his presence felt, dominating team fights with his Outworld Devourer. Gambit had little answer from this point on. Occasional successful ganks by Gambit kept the net worth lead from ever getting particularly out of control, but Aster was in full command for an extended length of time.
A huge play from Danil “gpk” Skutin led to a momentum shift in Gambit’s favor. Tier-two towers fell, but Gambit’s attempt to push highground went terribly awry as Aster turned buybacks into a successful team fight win. This allowed them to push down to the other end of the map and seal up the opening victory.
ChYuan was a devastating force in game one, but he didn’t look like the same person in game two. The mid laner stumbled repeatedly, including an unfortunate stretch that saw him die three times in just three minutes.
In most games, this would have been a death sentence for Aster. But in this game, they had Sccc playing as Alchemist.
Sccc farmed with little trouble, securing Power Treads and Radiance in only 10 minutes. He was six-slotted by 25 minutes and Gambit just had no answer for him. This allowed Aster to seal up an impressive 2-0 series win to advance to the grand finals.
Gambit Esports took a tough blow in this loss against Team Aster, but the team still has a clear shot to reach the ESL One LA Major. The team will need to score a win over Alliance to earn a rematch against Aster.
Alliance competing in the minor at all is something of a surprise, never mind seeing the team fighting for its life in an elimination series. The European squad took fourth place at the DreamLeague Season 13 Major, but were victims of the region’s great depth. Alliance went 2-1 to clear the group stage, but took a loss to Aster in the opening round of the playoffs.
The one in Alliance’s group stage record came from a showdown with Gambit. The odds are very close on this one, to Gambit in the rematch.
Whoever wins, they face a stiff test in the finals against Aster.