In a surprise turn, a Vietnamese team dominated the Omega League Asia Divine Division.
Besting a number of formidable foes from both China and Southeast Asia, 496 Gaming walked away with a $14,000 top prize. This was a huge win for the little-known team.
⚡️@496_dota are the Champions of the OMEGA League Asia Divine Division⚡️
Congratulations on your well-deserved title!
— WePlay! Dota2 | #WePlayOMEGA (@WePlayDota2_) August 22, 2020
496 sealed the deal in the finals with a win over Execration. In the best-of-five series, 496 got off to a good start with a great showing by Trịnh “458” Văn Thọ. The team took the first two games to advance to match point but Execration got on the board to stay alive in game three. That’s all the team could muster, as 496 Gaming sealed up the series with a 3-1 victory.
That strong performance by the Vietnamese squad capped an altogether excellent event for the team. 496 was nearly perfect in the group stage, amassing a 5-0 record by going 10-2 on maps. 496 reached the finals through the upper bracket by beating For the Dream and Neon Esports before sealing the deal at the expense of Execration.
The victory is the biggest in 496 Gaming’s history by a considerable margin. The team was founded in 2017 and has competed regularly in regional leagues and qualifiers for larger events. The team has performed well at the local level, but hadn’t previously done anything of note in prominent competitions.
Omega League’s Asia Divine league didn’t the very best Chinese teams in attendance, but 496 did manage in their run to defeat teams that competed in majors such as Team Adroit and Reality Rift. That’s a huge accomplishment for the Vietnamese side, and it’s something that could lead to big things movng forward.
The Omega League doesn’t officially have any stakes beyond its prize pool, but this first-place finish comes at a perfect time for 496 Gaming. The Dota Pro Circuit is likely to return after the conclusion of Omega League with official regional leagues and it remains unclear how Valve plans to choose the inaugural entrants.
Though a number of different qualification methods could be selected, odds are that direct invitations will be at least part of the solution. If that’s the case, this victory could position 496 Gaming for an early invitation to the league.
While this is a big win for 496 Gaming, the team still finds itself outside the upper echelon of the Southeast Asian region where TNC Predator, Fnatic, and Geek Fam reign supreme. 496 Gaming is a team to watch going forward though, and fans will be very interested to see how this upstart squad next fares against the region’s elite organizations.