Mega8 Esports | DotA2 Winter Cup
Let’s talk RSA esports and participating teams
Last week we chatted to Schlinks in our Winter Cup preview. Since then, Mega8 Esports held a media day at their offices in Cape Town, where some talent and a few players from some of the biggest teams around the country showed up. So this time we caught up with a few others to find out what they thought of the local scene, what their team styles are, and why you should watch their team en route to winning the upcoming DotA2 Winter Cup.
The new blood in the scene, xD have undergone some pretty extensive changes to their playstyle in recent weeks. They were well known for early game aggression, but now their focus has shifted more towards the late game. They enjoy teamfights and the players have great synergy and coordination. They cite signature heroes such as Meepo and Warlock as being keys to their success.
COMPARED TO: OG
Having recently gone through a few roster changes, and still adjusting to the most recent patch, ApG aren’t yet in a sweet spot. As a team they’ve yet to establish a new identity or style. Troubles aside, they remain a very aggressive team who are at their best when they’re firing from the start of the game. If you were going to vote for a team with most kills in a tournament, it’d probably be ApG.
COMPARED TO: iG or Virtus.pro
Playing a 4-protect-1 classic greed strategy that centers around their carry captain ViViD. Their drafts revolve around having one late game big hero, but their early game is still very aggressive with their supports wanting to go “ham” on the enemy. In a perfect scenario, Ventus would get to that late game every match but they recognize it’s their biggest strength and biggest weakness.
COMPARED TO: iG or Virtus.pro
Highly aggressive playstyle, focused on drafts that center around a late game carry mid. A variation on the 4-protect-1 strat, where the position 1 core and position 3 offlaner are highly aggressive roaming heroes. Space made through movements on the map by the team, making space for their carry mid.
COMPARED TO: Virtus.pro
Excels at roaming the map and making pick offs before transitioning into objective based DotA. eN do well in longer engagements and/or drawn out teamfights, using their superior positioning and vision to outmaneuver their opposition. Known for really aggressive early game movements.
COMPARED TO: None provided (Eds: We think iG or Virtus.pro)
Bravado are going through a period where they don’t seem to fit together all that well. In their original roles they’re easily top 3 in the country. At the moment, they’re not fitting together as well as they used to. They’re still trying to find and cement that new style, but they know they love having really aggressive supports making those critical early game rotations, letting the cores be a little more greedy.
COMPARED TO: iG
White Rabbit Gaming
WRG are a team that work around their core heroes, where their really flashy supports make an immense amount of space for their cores. This helps the team transition into a strong mid game. As the best team in the country, with some of the best players in the country, WRG exploit every small advantage to snowball against their opposition.
COMPARED TO: EG
Completely brand new to the scene, suddenly playing against really well known and established teams/players. Mythic Gaming’s approach to strategy is laid out by their enigmatic leader, “I sit in mid and then we try kill stuff as much as possible. It’s either we try kill a creep or we try kill a hero. Then when we’re content with killing, we try end the game.” Yep, so these guys are nutters!
COMPARED TO: SGe
South African esports in a nutshell
We also asked everyone at the Mega8 media day to sum up their thoughts on the South African DotA2 scene in general. Many pointed out that we tend to copy a lot of the norms we see going on around the world. This goes without saying, why not copy what iG, EG, or OG do, in order to emulate those sick plays you saw at the Kiev Major?! We’re also particularly fond of our early aggression, often while shouting “Davai! Davai!” over open mic to our teammates (think Russian DotA best DotA).
Yet, having said that, we also have moments where we stray from international norms in rather interesting ways. Last year we saw WRG experiment with Ogre and Shadow Demon (with huge success) well before the international scene picked it up. Being so secluded from EU can help us be slightly innovative in the way we play. A blessing and a curse?
So why should you watch South African esports? Or the Mega8 Winter Cup in particular? Our production value is really high in comparison to many regions in the world. We’re not exactly saying we’re at tier 1 tournament levels like The International, but we’re certainly aiming at the highest standards. Other reasons? South Africans are particularly adept at supporting our own, and you may well catch some of these players in a pub in one of your next games! In addition, you’re also going to be learning a heck of a load while you enjoy some local DotA2 action! That’s a win in our books!