Pics and video from DSL Finals day: DK and TongFu

Worth checking out… some of the galleries load a bit slowly, but I decided against re-upping them to imgur because I don’t wanna steal views or whatever. Yeah. There are some shots of the venue, which is the new Gamefy Esports Stadium, pretty cool.



DK eats breakfast (KFC, apparently):

Venue shots:

More venue shots:

Fan interaction and crowd shots:

Lots more crowd shots and images from event:

Perfect World people speak:

DSL Finals Opening Cermony:

rOtk and DK live:

TongFu’s awarding:


Gamefy and Perfect World’s Dota2 Super League: May – July

From May to July of this year, ten teams will gather in Shanghai for a Dota 2 league that will take place in an offline setting.

Teams will play a round-robin group stage, and qualifiers from each group will go on to a double elimination playoff bracket.

Winner gets 500k RMB, second place 200k, third place 100k, fourth place 50k. Every other participating team gets 20k as a participation prize, for a grand total of a cool 1 million RMB in prize money.


DSL official site:

Perfect World’s Dota 2 league coming in May

The previously mentioned Perfect World Dota 2 league, for which they partnered with Gamefy, has been revealed to debut early next month, in May of this year. With the Chinese version of Dota 2 finally entering early beta later this month, this means that the 1-million RMB Perfect World league may well be the first competition to be hosted on the Chinese servers. With such a big start, let’s hope the future brings more and better!


Perfect World and Gamefy announce partnership, million-yuan Dota2 league


Today, Perfect World and Gamefy held a press conference to announce an official partnership between the two organizations. SGamer’s reporters on scene have reported back that as a result of this partnership, there will be a world-class Dota2 league, with a prize pool reaching one million yuan (equivalent to 160,000 USD). Clearly this partnership signals a new chapter in the rise of Dota2 in China, and the creation of a top-tier competitive Dota2 league belonging to China!

See more images from the press conference here.

iG.YYF playstyle and skills analysis by Gamefy


Written by Gamefy’s Sosa, this is a piece looking at what makes YYF so successful in what he does, and what he does for iG. (Spoiler: he’s steady, reliable). Translations in a few places are altered slightly to keep the flow of the writing smoother for reading. Haven’t done one of these types of articles in a while, so, enjoy.

Overall ability:

Awareness rating: SS

YYF has a very comprehensive and complete understanding of the game, second to no other player. YYF nowadays as a player relies more on his experience and understanding of the game, as opposed to mechanics, to defeat opponents. In the 3 position, he has an understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, quirks in abilities, when a hero is strongest, and how the hero plays with the rest of the team, as well as concise and reasonable item choices, YYF has it all. On the battlefield, it is exceedingly rare to find him unaware of what he can do to perform what is needed. In the 3 position, worldwide, if YYF was ever placed 2nd, we believe that no one would ever dare to claim number one.

Rhythm rating: S

With the nickname of “Stone Buddha”, YYF’s playstyle overall leans towards steady. Like baseline-style players in tennis, YYF rarely gets in over his head, rarely makes errors. Illustrating this, in 1v1 laning situations, he will typically choose his own growth over denying the opponent, often resulting in both sides of the lane getting fat in early game, then he utilizes his experience and ability to defeat the opponent in mid-game. In an off-lane situation, YYF’s plays even more steadily and safely; he’d rather be level one at five minutes in than to give up a kill to the other team. Even with a slow start in early game, YYF has the ability to quickly make up lost ground afterwards to ensure a strong mid-game. A long tenure in the 3 position has since dulled a bit of YYF’s early-career aggression and tempo dictating ability and instinct. Even back when he was in LGD at solo mid, compared to the other solo mid star of the time, Dai, he always seemed a bit less powerful in these skills, often falling behind. Despite all this, YYF’s game on Beastmaster, with a level 7 gem for map control, going on a killing spree across the map, is something that the world saw, and all remember to this day.

Mechanics rating: SS

In terms of flashiness, YYF’s general performances can’t be rated alongside examples such as 430’s Invoker, PIS’ Nevermore, or Dai’s Lion. But what YYF can offer is the fact that when he’s on a hero, he practically makes no errors in execution, ensuring that every hero’s every ability is used to its maximum. His positioning on Bounty Hunter for example, he’s always in the action, always takes a lot of damage, yet rarely dies. His Windrunner, with a frighteningly high success rate on shackleshots, regardless of whether he’s been playing uphill or downhill, in his hands, the shackleshot is a steady 3.5 second stun. And at TI2 his panda was the cavalry that rode in to save the world, and ultimately place him and his performance at the top by way of the championship.

Heroes diversity: SS

As a 1-2-3 position style player, YYF’s hero roster is huge. Never can a team hope to counter YYF by bans and picks, because he can play far too many heroes. The reasoning behind this ability of his is simple: he works hard, he has the passion, and outside of Dota, YYF practically has no other hobbies. When there is no training and no competition going on, YYF is mostly playing pubs. He takes pub games very seriously: large amounts of his experience and thoughts on the game originate from inspiration gained in pub games. One thing doesn’t work in a competitive match? He’ll go and develop a new tactic. Knowing many heroes, apart from not allowing opponents to counter him, can also provide more diversity to a team’s strategies in game. No matter if it’s an aggressive in your face ganking style, or a teamfight style, or a puhsing style, or a protect the hard carry style… YYF’s 3 position can always provide a suitable level or support for the team in helping the rest of them open up the path to victory.

Playing uphill: SS

No matter if you’re an amateur team or you are iG, there will always be times when you must play uphill, against the odds. Of course, when playing downhill with everything in your favor, well, everyone is 430, but the key is that playing uphill, not everyone can be like YYF. YYF’s biggest strength is that he does not falter against massive pressure. He doesn’t die, and always, always performs. He’s steady, steady, steady. From online matches, to million dollar offline matches, from G-League group matches where iG rolled through, to TI2’s loser’s bracket facing a 4 BKB and 6-slotted Morphling, YYF maintains caution in victory and steadfastness in defeat, leading his team to make the huge comeback. Even if he may be human before the game starts, once he’s got his mouse in hand, he becomes “Stone Buddha” YYF.

Individual skill:

Last hits: 95

YYF has deep fundamentals when it comes to last hitting. Long time experience in pubs, plus his early experience in LGD as their carry… in Dota where economy is important and hard to come by, last hitting is a very important requirement for every player.

Laning: 90

Laning ability isn’t necessarily the best part of YYF’s play, yet his laning is absolutely not weak, and in 1v1 lanes he will rarely lose. In 1v3 situations in the off-lane, YYF also utilizes all of his experience and knowledge of how heroes play, along with cautious and watertight positioning, to ensure safety and not allow the other side to feed off of him.

Decisions: 98

In small fights, his ability to quickly analyze the situation and take into account all parties’ positioning and statuses, and then decide whether to fight, who to target, whether to retreat, and overall positioning, has YYF a cut above the rest. His ability to handle all of these considerations in a short amount of time makes decision-making his greatest strength. In what can be said to be the most important teamfight of YYF’s career, the fight of the Panda with three lives, he perfectly displayed this by soaking up as much damage as possible while hitting the most important targets, and then quickly bought back when he died to blink back in, thus countering the opponent’s biggest push almost singlehandedly. If his buyback had been just two seconds later, the opponent would’ve dragged the fight past BKB, and the result would’ve been far different.

Positioning: 96

Positioning in Dota is not less important than any other skill. Those deaths caused by poor positioning, or inability to contribute to a fight on time, are things that occur in almost every match. It’s important for every pro player, and YYF’s since making it professionally has been known for reducing unforced errors caused by poor positioning. This is the key to his steadiness, for an offlane player, positioning is the one thing that ensures he can grow while avoiding unnecessary loss. Watch some of YYF’s positioning, and you will learn much.

Ability usage: 94

Not as flashy as ‘pianist’ 430, not as brilliantly aggressive as PIS, yet YYF is, of course, steady. His Bounty Hunter is guaranteed to have all the right abilities on the right targets, and his Windrunner will rarely be seen missing a shackleshot, or his Dark Seer a whiffed wall. On the battlefield, YYF’s usage of abilities will always fulfill their potential.

Counter-gank: 90

Ever since Smoke of Deceit was added, the map has in general lacked any safe haven apart from perhaps the fountain. So how to maintain safe last hitting while there are heroes missing on the map, instead of blindly hiding in fright, relies on something of an instinct for ganks. What is the opponent doing now that they’ve disappeared? Every player draws their own conclusions. Within pro players, YYF is very reliable in this, yet DK’s BurNIng seems to have taken it to another level from years of avoiding ganks.

Overall: Steady, reliable, no real weakness is YYF, and these are also the biggest assets that have helped him to where he is today. As a 3 position, he has played the position to the utmost. Even though his style leans towards safe and thus means he is a bit less suited to big-picture strategic decisions, his on-the-fly decisions in smaller fights within the game itself are without equal. In iG, they rarely rely on a single source for their leadership like LGD does. Every player has his own decisions, yet over a long period of training they’ve built up a great understanding, and thus have inherently increased their ability to execute as a team. This was ultimately the reason behind iG’s rise to power in 2012.

Top 10 Stories in 2012 Chinese Dota


Dotaland note: Written by Felix菜刀刃, friend of Dotaland, and translated at his personal request — this is a look back on the last year of Dota in China, where so many things have changed, grown, and in some cases, disappeared… Looks back on teams, controversies, achievements, and a hint at Perfect World having their own ‘International’? This and more, read on below!

10 — Disbandment

Nirvana, sponsored by Loveen, winners of prestigious titles such as G-League in 2010, WDC, WCG China, once upon a time stood amongst the three giants of Chinese Dota, alongside EHOME and LGD. WDC, the World Dota Championships, catalyzed in part by Loveen, was a top three competition in Dota. Going into 2011, Nirvana and the WDC both entered a turning point, where Loveen, citing a new marriage faded out of the scene. In the beginning of 2012, Nirvana officially announced their end, with WDC being their swansong.

PanDa, sponsored by a Hang Yu (this was PanDa’s second iteration), with Efeng as manager, established in 2012. Players under their tag included Hao, Mu, Yaobai, PanPan, 830God, and Sansheng. Their results were not bad, but then the boss disappeared, Efeng quit, three core players transferred to TongFu, and that was that — the team disbanded.

WE’s Dota team was established in 2011. At one point or another, they had new at the time, but now-familiar names such as Sylar and Veronica. After TI2 ended, their Dota players left one after another.

CLC’s Dota team, after a short existence including players like 357, ultimately disbanded after 357 returned to EHOME. Afterwards, the remnants of CLC merged with LOH to form Noah’s Ark. Following investors pulling out from NA in 2012, the team ceased to exist.

DT Club, once 3rd/4th placed finishers at ACE League, suffered an unexplained resignation from their manager, a loss of financial backing from their boss, their players floated off to other teams.

9 — Rebirth

“A thousand sails drift past the sunken ship, a thousand trees flourish upon the dying stump” — in 2012, though quite a few teams left us, new teams appeared to fill their spots and bring with them a new wind of hope. The most inspired of these is none other than, where we must give credit to LGD.RuRu’s eagle-eyed wisdom for her skill in building another super-team in the hyper competitive Dota scene. And’s performances so far have shown us all that Western players do not necessarily lack talent, they only need an environment to focus and train better.

Post-TI2, the biggest dark horse newcomer should be ViCi Gaming. Mostly comprised of new players, they first took the GosuCup by storm, only losing to Zenith and ending up third place. And then it was in the G-League group B, where they escaped death by eliminating MUFC, pushed to the limit, ending the year in a satisfactory manner.

Apart from that, there’s still the new as-yet-unnamed team led by ZSMJ and Ch, as well as a potential new team with LaNm. And then, there are rumors saying that former DT Club players have re-convened to fight anew in this new year.

8 — Perfection

After a seemingly neverending wait, Perfect World finally was confirmed as Dota2’s official Chinese partner. Despite many fans and industry people alike eagerly and impatiently awaiting this news, Perfect World played this to their own leisurely pace, perhaps with confidence in a long-term approach. While they prepared a new Dota2 official splash page and beta signups, Perfect World has also been ramping up recruitment in preparation. There are reports suggesting that Perfect World also has plans to hold independent large-scale events a-la Valve’s International, and perhaps this act could serve to disrupt the current balance between third-party events. Either way, no matter what comes from Perfect World, it will greatly influence the Dota2 scene as we know it.

7 — Reputation

For WCG, its name recognition is matched only by its controversy. As one of the key forces in early Chinese esports development, WCG holds an almost mythical reputation amongst Chinese fans. Yet, recent developments in gaming have almost left WCG behind, with WCG attempting a shift towards mobile games. And plus, as a modern-day esports giant, the new generation of Chinese gamers have the ability to look beyond what the Koreans can provide. Increasingly refined experiences and production from domestic competitions, plus huge moves from American gaming companies have left the Samsung-led WCG by the wayside.

This year’s World Cyber Games was held in Kunshan, China, and its production fully catered to the host nation’s tastes. Dota2 became a main competition, with its predecessor Dota included as an exhibition event. In Warcraft3, Ted’s Undead had a classic come from behind victory, and the Sky-Moon rivalry played out another emotional chapter; the whole of it meaning that viewers got more than enough. But still, the worries were apparent underneath the surface at WCG, and its future remains unknown.

6 — Surprises

G-1 League’s 4th Season quietly snuck up on us, and it brought with it China’s first Dota2 competition, a first for Chinese and English simultaneous broadcasting, the first Chinese competition with an in-game Steam ticket. Out of many firsts, what it served to do most was to set an example and kick off the future of Chinese — and even Asian — competitive Dota2. Even so, of course, there were many places for improvement; wonder what surprises the next iteration of G-1 League will have for fans?

5 — Breakout

As China’s longest standing and most well-known esports media organization, Gamefy’s 2012 wasn’t a typical one. In fact, it could be said that their summary for the year is a long list of achievements. The first season of G-League in 2012 managed to put on an exuberant celebration of a Grand Finals, despite being trapped between a spectacular ACE League debut, and a certain million-dollar tournament in Seattle. And speaking of TI2, Gamefy also successfully acquired broadcasting rights to the competition. Yet, not long after these successes, Gamefy commentator SnowKiss resigned controversially, leaving in her place a long series of accusations leveled at Gamefy and former coworkers there. Although Gamefy successfully cooled the situation down, the storm clouds from this incident remain difficult to disperse. Afterwards, Gamefy’s Daily Report show negatively reviewed WCG, and Chinese WCG media partner NeoTV responded, causing another wave of arguments and controversy in the public eye.

So it was in this atmosphere that the new season of G-League began at the end of 2012. Unprecedented production quality along with unpredictable and exciting matches seemed to sweep away the haze of past disputes, finally helping Gamefy to break out from a series of negative events. In 2013, a reformed SiTV (parent company of Gamefy) thus must continue their role as one of Chinese esports forces.

4 — Professionalism

The ACE League, as a collaboration between the ACE Esports League and GTV Channel, provided Dota competition in its debut event. In the roadmap of Chinese esports development, the ACE League holds a milestone-like status. In terms of production and packaging, it’s erected a new standard for other competitions. But an awkward reality cannot be ignored, that is that half of the original participating teams have by now disbanded, and a second season of the league never materialized in 2012. In what way will ACE re-appear in 2013, all is still unknown to us now.


EHOME is (or was?) China’s oldest esports name. In many different events and games, especially Dota, they at one time or another represented the top China — or even the world — had to offer. In 2011, BurNing and KingJ left the team, and DK and iG arose, and EHOME’s kingly aura faded as it never had before. In 2012, EHOME made high-profile roster changes: DC as a coach, ZSMJ et al recruited to compete, yet no goals were achieved. Afterwards, old EHOME veterans 357, Dai, and LanM were recruited back into the fold, and because of rule-breaking in these transfers EHOME ultimately were excluded from the new ACE Esports Alliance — EHOME became the ‘Horde’ to ACE’s ‘Alliance’. After TI2, 357 and Dai joined DK, team lead 71 left, and EHOME once again fell apart. Rumors say that EHOME’s been bought by iG owner Principal Wang, but no one knows if we’ll see EHOME make another return.

2 — Royalty

As we review the Dota scene of 2012, we come to find that unfortunately, ‘mess’ is still a word closely associated with everything, to the extent that the China Esports Magazine of 2011 below can be used again for 2012 with little changes. Paid smurfing to boost Dota 11 platform account ladder rankings, Dota2 keys and profiteering, the “100% focused” statements, Taobao’s antics… from one side to another, insults, maneuvering, and politics covered everything from fairness to profits and everything in between. The end result of all this being, for better or worse, we saw many more sides of players, commentators, organizers, tournaments, and clubs than we would have otherwise ever known about. Interestingly, all of this seemed to die down quite a bit after TI2. Perhaps it was because everyone saw first hand that there’s a quality in professionalism, and there’s a power behind a million dollars.

1 — Crusade

Because of Valve’s million-dollar injection into The International 2, the competition was seen as a ‘crusade’ of sorts by players. The first International in Cologne was not particularly important to Chinese teams, with seemingly only EHOME taking even a week of time to prepare for it. But then, EHOME’s $250000 prize for second place had everyone waking up. CCM, who finished outside the top four last time had turned into this year’s iG. Equipped with the best training environment Beijing could provide, and having just taken a G-League championship, with a lead in the on-going ACE League, it could be said that they had all the forces of nature alongside them. In the end, they didn’t disappoint, and successfully planted the Chinese flag on the greatest stage of Dota2.

This TI2 also served to completely rewrite the order of the worldwide Dota scene. China’s iG began their dynasty, Chinese competitions transitioned to Dota2, and the former big three Dota competitions faded away, all while Dota2’s gravity shifted ever so much towards the East. All indications point towards the fact that with TI2 and iG’s title, a new age has begun.

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Gamefy Cribs: iG, NA, LGD team houses overview

Dotaland notes: Chinese gaming channel Gamefy visits iG, Noah’s Ark, and LGD team houses.Video link below.

iG has just moved to a new base in an apartment in Shanghai, where they have a dedicated internet line that is vastly improved over what they had in Shanghai. According to Zhou, Faith grinds his teeth in his sleep and likes to eat at night. ChuaN’s cell phone holder is a gift from a Thai friend. Zhou has a lucky Buddha that he brings with him. IG typically trains from 5pm to 9pm every day, and they go to bed around 1-2am.

Noah’s Ark’s training base is their team owner and sponsor’s internet cafe, also in Shanghai. Their goal is top 3 in every competition once they get the hang of Dota2. They all like spicy food, so they often go to the restaurant next door for dinner, where their captain makes the order for everyone too. Last scene of the NA section is them getting taxis to a competition that night.

LGD’s new base is in Hangzhou. Two floor house, Yao gets one of the two single rooms. Yao enjoys reading and is currently reading more adult novels, in the past he enjoyed romance novels aimed at teenaged girls…