Having won both the first and second qualifying rounds, Icepro IS Back is the hot favourite to claim the top prize of $8,000 in December's grand finals of Digital Life's King Of Games tournament.
The team, made up of several top Dota 2 players from Zenith and Flash eSports, breezed through all their matches in the second qualifier held last Saturday at the Alienware Arena at Lucky Chinatown.
It probably helped that its opponent in the final round, <3nuyip, had never played together as a team before this tournament. While its members have individually played this game for many years, team leader Mr Jonathan Chew, 19, admitted that Icepro IS Back was "too good" and jokingly offered to concede the match before it begun.
Nevertheless, once the game got underway, <3nuyip did rise to the challenge and matched its illustrio us opponents early in the game.
The underdogs drew first blood and led at the beginning. In the end, the veteran Icepro IS Back team stamped its authority on the game to win in 30 minutes.
"It went very smoothly," said Mr Daryl Koh, 23, from Icepro IS Back. Arguably the top Dota 2 player in Singapore, Mr Koh is the captain of Team Zenith, which has won numerous international competitions.
According to shoutcaster Tan Jun Wei, also known as "CloudJack", who was doing the live commentary for the match, Mr Koh's performance was crucial to his team's success. "He had 16 assists in the game," he said.
Mr Koh, who picked the Alchemist hero in the final match, said he chose the character because "it was fun to play" him.
Those who relish the challenge of playing against Icepro IS Back may be disappointed to know that the team will likely miss the next qualifier.
The reason: the two Team Zenith members in their line-up will be competing next month at The International Dota 2 Championships in the United States, where the top 16 teams from around the world battle for the total prize pool of more than US$2.5 million (S$3.2 million).
All teams competing in the King Of Games tournament have to take part in at least three qualifiers. With two Dota 2 rounds completed, those who are still keen to compete must sign up for the third qualifier next month.
Besides Dota 2, the King Of Games tournament also includes Counter-Strike Online and Dragon Nest. The first qualifiers for these two games kick off this weekend at the Alienware Arena.
You can still sign up for the Counter-Strike Online qualifier at kingofgames.sg. More information about the rules and format of the tournament can be found at the official website.
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