Why Did Invictus Gaming Win Singapore Major?

We have all watched the main event of the Dota 2 season for this part of the year. Well, at least 605,335 of us watched at one point of the final, making this event the second most-watched of all time in Dota 2 history. Much of that had to do with the great plays of Invictus Gaming, tournament winners, have shown over the span of a week.

Everything That Led To Invictus Gaming Winning The Major

Before we dive in, it’s extremely important to mention this was the first big LAN tournament for Dota 2 since Covid hit, and consequently, an event that some had to miss due to health and travel restrictions. A week before the tournament, CIS giants Na’Vi were forced to substitute two players, Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko and Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko, who contracted coronavirus. They were replaced by Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and their coach Coach Andrey “Mag” Chipenko, but that was just the beginning.

In the days leading up to the tournament, a bunch of other rosters suffered replacements, majorly due to Covid. Natsumi from Neon Esports wasn’t well enough for travel, Quincy Crew had to substitute Arif “MSS” Anwar with Milan “MiLAN” Kozomara, Team Nigma’s Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov also tested positive. After that T1 announced that Kuku will not be at the Major and that Forev will fill in for him.

But then it got really ugly. Beastcoast was the first team to pull out from the Major, due to their captain Steven “StingeR” Vargas contracting Covid, and everybody else being exposed. Right after that, Na’Vi also withdrew despite initially trying to piece together a worthy roster. Finally, just one day before the start of the Major, China’s number two team, Team Aster, announced their support Borax would not attend, and that an assistant coach Cheng “Mad” Han would take his place.

So, as you can see, the tournament was turbulent before it had even begun, but considering the state of the world right now, it wasn’t very surprising how it all went down. What was a surprise, on the other hand, is the rest of the tournament.

What Happened At The Tournament

Sure, Invictus Gaming dominated Season 1 in their region, coming to the Major with just one loss and six wins. But, Team Secret, for instance, were even more dominant in Europe, with 7 wins and no losses, the exact same as Virtus.pro did in CIS. Also, Europe was supposed to be the most competitive region in Dota 2 with Team Secret dominating last year (with no offline tournaments, though), and yet, they “only” finished fourth, with PSG.LGD (fourth Chinese seed) taking third place.

The grand final was super intense and ended up going to the fifth game, with Invictus finally beating Evil Geniuses in most dramatic Dota fashion. They were down two games before a classic reverse sweep that left everyone (and especially Evil Geniuses who already thought they had a victory in their bag) in awe. They’ve also beaten Team Secret and PSG.LGD on their way to the top, but how exactly did Invictus Gaming get to this place on the world stage?

Who’s Behind Invictus Gaming

The organization was founded in 2011 by a Wanda Enterprise director Wang Sicong, the son of the 10th wealthiest man in China, Wang Jianlin. Only a year after that, in 2012, Invictus Gaming won The International, which is also their biggest Dota 2 achievement to date. “China’s richest son”, as you can often hear people calling Sicong, formed IG by buying the strongest Dota 2 team at that moment, Catastrophic Cruel Memory (hence their fast rise to TI win) and also a part of a LGD Gaming roster.

The team had a few more international successes, like winning ESL One Frankfurt in 2014 and placing 3rd in the Kiev Major 2017, but we haven’t seen them play consistently for some time now. The current roster has been stabilized for more than a year and a half now, with teams superstar and captain Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi being the last one to join.

Other than Kaka, fans and news outlets write praises to Zhou “Emo” Yi, calling this 20-year old a wunderkind and the next Chinese Dota superstar. But just as any big victory, this one was also a team effort; some would even go so far as to say it was a regional effort. Because even though not much is ever certain in the world of Dota 2, Singapore Major made pretty clear that China took the reins from Europe, at least for now.

Did you watch Singapore Major? Are you ready for DPC Season 2? We’ll be watching it closely, so be sure to stop by and play our Pick 6 for free when the fixtures for your favourite game come out.