G-League 2012 Dota2 Finals in Shanghai kicks off today at 20:00 China time / 04:00 Pacific time

G-League Dota2 groups, schedule, and streams below! All times are in China local time (UTC +8). Let’s see what surprises are in store for us all this holiday season. Some big matches coming up!

Huge prize pool: first place gets over $32000, second place $8000, third place $1600.

Teamliquid preview here: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=389997

Group A: LGD.cn, LGD.int, DK, ForLove

Group A Schedule:

Dec 25 20:00 — DK vs ForLove

Dec 26 20:00 — LGD.cn vs LGD.int

Dec 27 20:00 — LGD.cn vs ForLove

Dec 28 20:00 — DK vs LGD.int

Dec 29 14:30 — ForLove vs LGD.int

Dec 30 20:00 — LGD.cn vs DK

Group B: iG, TongFu, MUFC, Vici Gaming

Group B Schedule:

Dec 30 14:30 — TongFu vs MUFC

Dec 30 20:00 — iG vs VG

Dec 31 20:00 — MUFC vs VG

Jan 1 20:00 — iG vs TongFu

Jan 2 14:30 — iG vs MUFC

Jan 2 20:00 — TongFu vs VG

English stream: http://www.twitch.tv/beyondthesummit

Chinese stream: http://www.twitch.tv/gamefycnhttp://www.gamefy.cn/tv/fy1.phphttp://www.gamefy.cn/tv/fy2.phphttp://www.fengyunzhibo.com/group/13193-43n84q3s.htm

Pre G-League interview with ForLove.Hanci

Original: http://dota2.replays.net/news/page/20121224/1764052.html

Q: Hello, very glad that Hanci can do this interview with us. Say hi to everyone?

Hanci: Hello, hi everyone, I am ForLove’s Hanci.

Q: Today ForLove has arrived once again at the scene of the G-League offline finals. Here I see some new faces, Hanci can you introduce us to your new team members?

Hanci: After last G-League, we now have two new players. One was the former Dota2 coach of DK, AABF, he is our carry player currently, very solid fundamentals. The other is former Nv player Banana, playing the 4 position for us. Right now the team is still gelling, and hopefully we can perform decently in competition.

Q: This is the third time ForLove has fought into the offline portion of G-League, do you have any goals for this time?

Hanci: Perform to our abilities. Goal is of course champions, that is what everyone wants.

Q: Well, this time you’ve been drawn in a group with DK, LGD, and LGD.int. This could be said to be the group of death, what are your views?

Hanci: For LGD, we often practice with them. Even though our win-rate is fairly low, we do at least have an understanding of their playing style. As for LGD.int, they were very fearsome in the earlier online portion, so it’s possible that in the offline competition we won’t be able to handle them, so we aren’t that confident in playing them. And in training matches with DK, we basically haven’t won before.

Q: The format at this G-League has changed as well, the top three go into an additional round, what are you views toward this?

Hanci: Right now I don’t have much understanding of this new format, although if a team wants to make top 4 then they must have the ability.

Q: If you do make it into the additional round, who do you hope to meet most?

Hanci: In terms of other teams here, don’t really want to meet any of them! Perhaps VG, because we’ve played with them the most, and we are very familiar with their style and strategies.

Q: Then do you have the confidence to be able to defeat VG?

Hanci: That’s not easy to say, it can only be said that we know each other quite well, 50/50 chance.

Q: In the new patch version, do you have any new strategies?

Hanci: Must grab solid supports first off, as for carries there are plenty to choose from. Can’t ban them all, so picking them can wait to later!

Q: Then what are some in-style heroes currently?

Hanci: Nyx Assassin and Twin-headed dragon, and Rubick and Luna. Batrider’s and Magnus’ crowd control abilities are also quite imba.

Q: What are the reasons behind these heroes being so popular?

Hanci: High burst, continued team-fight capacities, and escape abilities… a strength in at least one of these areas is what sets them apart.

Q: Right now, what are some mainstream playing styles? What is your team’s style?

Hanci: Our style leans toward 4 protect 1, and overall it isn’t too different from the mainstream style…

Q: Okay, thank you Hanci for the interview.

G-League qualifiers over, group stage groups revealed, vods

Haven’t found a better version of this image-wise, so I’m using the version by reddit user ‘sheltered’ as seen here.

There’s been a running ‘joke’ or rumor that ZSMJ’s secret team BLACK WOOD EAR participated in these preliminaries. Unfortunately this team did not qualify further, therefore whether they are truly ZSMJ’s secret team may not now or ever be known…

G-League 2012 Season 2 Dota2 group stage groups

Group A: DK (direct invite for runners-up of last season), LGD, LGD.int, ForLove

Group B: iG (direct invite for winners of last season), VG, TongFu, MUFC

Latest vods: http://v.gamefy.cn/lists?cid=47

Recap vod of qualifiers last stage: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDgwNDIyNjQ4.html

xiao8 interview with Sgamer: “Our recent losses came from fluctuations in the team … iG has no weakness”

Original: http://dota.sgamer.com/201211/news-detail-154953.html

SGamer: Thank you for this interview. Earlier there were reports saying you guys had moved your team headquarters from Tianjin to Hangzhou because you had switched sponsors?

xiao8: We haven’t changed sponsors, it’s just that internet in Southern China is a bit better. And also because we were forming our Int team, so having everyone together would make things easier to manage.

SG: LGD has always been seen as a favorite to win in any competition, yet you have lost in the finals of consecutive competitions recently, will there be any roster changes as a result?

xiao8: I don’t think so, lately the main reason behind our losses has been the fact that we’ve been making changes to positions within the team. After the ACE League, DD said he wanted to try playing the 3 position, but then after a bit of that he went back to his support role. Competition schedules have been very dense recently, and so we haven’t had much time to get used to the changes back and forth, and thus we haven’t found our team rhythm and as a result have been losing more.

SG: Were the original changes made to accommodate just whomever brought it up? Or were the changes a result of everyone feeling that they wanted some adjustments?

xiao8: It stemmed from individual requests for a position change and we all discussed it together. After all, if someone doesn’t want to play a certain position, they certainly aren’t going to be able to play it well.

SG: Because of the competitions you are now in, you guys probably don’t play much original DotA anymore, right? In your free time do you still go back to DotA and group up with friends to play some?

xiao8: Once in a while I’ll still go play solo or with a few friends on ladder.

SG: Regarding your newest teammates, how do you usually communicate with them?

xiao8: English!

SG: How come it seems like there’s quite a bit of pride in your tone of voice here… which of you has the best English?

xiao8: Right now, Yao’s English is best, although the club is already looking for tutors to help us with our English, so I think in the future the one with the best English skills will definitely be me!

SG: How do your two teams normally train?

xiao8: Pretty much whenever everyone’s here, we just train. And we just yell at each other, except sometimes no one knows what is being yelled. We usually play the “Cola Cup”, which is one Best of 3, whoever loses goes and buys two cases of Coca-cola …

SG: So your side wins pretty much 100% of the time, right?

xiao8: No, they’re quite good, in training we lose some and we win some.

SG: After TI2, IceFrog pushed through a large amount of changes in updates, do you feel that the updates in the last month have affected the pace of the game?

xiao8: I feel that right now, the fast tempo of games is just temporary, because an appropriate way to play this update version hasn’t been found yet.

SG: What are your thoughts on potential changes to the ban/pick phase?

xiao8: Don’t think it’ll really affect much, in the end everything depends on a team’s overall ability.

SG: Training with LGD.int, have you been inspired in any way? It seems like current Chinese team strategies have all stagnated somewhat.

xiao8: A bit, but right now more of the focus in training has been on getting them acclimated to Chinese teams’ playing styles.

SG: What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese teams versus European/American teams?

xiao8: Strengths are we are more professional and more focused; weaknesses I’m not sure, maybe the fact that they have better mentalities, I feel that they perhaps find more enjoyment out of the game.

SG: What is your assessment of DK now that they’ve made their roster changes?

xiao8: Their lineup has grown a lot stronger, so it’s a stronger DK

SG: Why do you say so? Because a lot of people have been questioning 357 and Dai’s skill.

xiao8: Dai and 357 are excellent 4 and 5 position players, from technique and mechanics to teamwork and experience, they’re top tier.

SG: Currently iG is undoubtedly China’s strongest team, and also probably your biggest adversary, have you guys figured out any weaknesses of theirs?

xiao8: No. They don’t have any significant weaknesses, so you can only rely on the ban/pick phase or excellent in-game performance to beat them.

SG: Are you all currently making the adjustments to pick up your form for the upcoming G-League and G-1 League?

xiao8: We’re still adjusting right now, and whether our form is good can only be known after we actually play…

SG: Due to the original DotA still getting updates, the majority of players in China still stick to it. Yet most competitions have shifted to Dota2, and as a result in China we see an awkward situation where DotA has lots of players but no competitions, and Dota2 has lots of competitions but no players. Will this kind of a situation affect Dota2’s overall growth?

xiao8: Whether it’ll affect anything I’m not sure myself, but I feel that once Dota2 is open domestically, the players will gradually come.

SG: In the end, anything you’d like to say to bring a close to this interview?

xiao8: Thank you to our sponsors LaoGanDie Hot Sauce, Taobao, Razer, and to all the fans supporting us, thank you.

LGD.international officially confirmed

Original: http://dota2.sgamer.com/news/201210/147425.html

partial translation, paraphrased

Long story short, LGD.int has been officially confirmed via LGD’s Weibo account. The members will be Pajkatt, Misery, GoD, 1437, and Brax.

Speaking with LGD’s manager Ruru immediately after the fact, she revealed that the international squad will arrive in China by month’s end, and they will stay in China long-term for training and everyday life.

In comparison to Chinese players, European and American players tend to play with more excitement in their game, and are more likely to have more flexible and versatile strategies. However, they also tend to lack professionalism, and team discipline is often lacking, which result in Euro/NA teams being on a lower overall skill level compared to Chinese teams. So, when we put European and North American players in China to train offline, thus combining the steady Chinese style with their enthusiasm, what will the result be? With both Chinese and international squads, will LGD stand at the top of next year’s International? Let us wait and see~