ESL One Manila – China’s Wings Gaming take home the gold in stunning upset
While the first two days of ESL’s Philippines tournament started off more or less as predicted, its culmination was anything but. The barely known tier 2 Chinese team Wings Gaming ended up absolutely crushing European veterans Liquid three to nothing, all while picking heroes that we rarely ever see in the 6.86 meta. You can watch the VOD here.
This could be a sign that Chinese Dota is not as dead as many have predicted following the country’s poor results at the Shanghai Major. Wings takes home $ 100k along with the ESL trophy.
Wings actually got 2-0’d by Liquid in the group stage, but thanks to winning two series against Complexity, they were able to advance and beat Fnatic 2-1 in the semifinals. Liquid, on the other hand, ran through Team Empire with a quick 2-0 to get to the finals.
Grand Finals Game One
Team Liquid picked a standard, safe lineup with great pushing ability. Wings, on the other hand, picked one hero we rarely ever see anymore – Keeper of the Light, to lane together with Phantom Lancer. Wings grabbed an early lead with aggressive play and kept control of the game. Although Liquid wouldn’t give up, Wings finally brought them down at 39 minutes.
Grand Finals Game Two
Game two started off much better for TL, but after a few mistakes and a bad team fight at top lane at 12 minutes, Wings was ahead 8 kills to 5. Wings once again kept their lead like the first game, capitalizing on mistakes by TL to increase the kill gap to 17-10 by 23 minutes. Wings secured the game with a key team fight at 39 minutes, which allowed them to kill off the remaining rax in TL’s base.
Grand Finals Game Three
Wings once again stirred things up with a Venomancer pick in game three, compared to the standard meta OD and Spectre picks by TL. The game was very closely contested early on, but Liquid started getting the slightly better end of most engagements, creating a definitive 22:13 kill lead by 19 minutes.
But thanks to Wings’ hard farming Alchemist and bounty hunter’s track, they were still in the game. Liquid made a crucial misstep at 29 minutes, playing greedily in Wings’ ancients area, allowing the Chinese team to pick off 3 of them and push their tier 2 mid tower.
The game was now even despite TL still holding a 9 kill lead on the scoreboard. But Wings managed to catch TL unawares again, this time at their bottom lane, once again getting 3 kills while losing none.
With a 6 slotted Alchemist by 33 minutes, Wings went on the offensive, bullying TL in their own base despite two tier 2 towers still being up. Wings followed up with one last decisive push at 40 minutes, with their unstoppable Alchemist completely running through TL to secure the gold.