posted by Vekus,
Sina Cup ended with a tussle between cn Vici Gaming and cn invictus Gaming which included Ferrari's Wisp-less Tiny finishing 14-0-4 in the second game. The tournament, which put $15,000 on the line came to a worthy end, with both teams managing to spread the series to its full length.

Game 1

In Game 1, VG opted for a draft that could secure kills in the early game with their high mobility and strong supports, but still be strong in the lategame with both Void and Prophet. iG took a tanky, more teamfight orientated approach, as they got their hands on a Naga Siren as well as a Brew, amongst others.

The early game saw iG focusing a lot on shutting down Black^'s Void on the safelane. However, this gave space to the dangerous combination of Prophet+Venomancer, who constantly pressured iG's outer towers. However, until the 10 minute mark no team had the clear advantage, with a score of 4-5 favouring iG.

Despite VG holding on bravely, iG took over the lead in the midgame, as the Blink Daggers on their Centaur and Brewmaster came online. With good ganks all around the map, they managed to make enough space for their Naga Siren, who in return got her Radiance up and running and was able to split the map up even more, effectively nullifying the Nature's Prophet. On the strong shoulders of Ferrari's Brewmaster, iG lead 9-21 at the 20 minute mark, after an impressive double kill between the Tier 1 and Tier 2 tower.

Just 5 action packed minutes later, it was VG's turn to go for the last hoorah, fighting iG just outside of the Radiant's base. However, iG proved to be too strong, and as they took down four of VG and ended the first match.

Game 2

The second game saw VG taking up a gank heavy approach, picking up heroes such as Clockwerk together with the Wisp and Skywrath combination to pose a global threat. iG once more went with three tanky cores in the form off Doom, Tiny and Centaur, focusing on the mid to late game.

Putting their strong support combination to work, VG quickly went ahead and secured themselves three kills in the first five minutes. However, as they went to make it four, trying to gank Centaur Warrunner at the bottom lane, iG fought back, claiming three kills while only giving up one. The score at 10 minutes seemed rather even, with VG leading slightly ahead at 6-5.

With Super on the Brewmaster and Ferrari on the Tiny going to town in the midgame, action ensued. VG and iG both tried to get the upper hand, with constant ganks coming from both sides. Despite their early lead, VG fell behind a bit, as iG aced with superior positioning and map awareness, punishing every mistake. At the 25 minute mark, iG lead with a convincing 22-15, on the back of a beyond godlike Ferrari, scoring 14-0-4 on his Tiny.

The game seemed to run around at the 34 minute mark, as VG managed to drive iG back after an unsuccessful attempt on the highground, chasing them from the Dire to the Radiant base, teamwiping them and forcing a buyback on Centaur Warrunner. However, VG got a bit too greedy and attempted to secure themselves an Aegis immediately afterwards. iG rushed in and reclaimed it just seconds after. A crucial mistake by Wisp brought down Black^'s Naga a second time and with no buyback available, VG had to call the 'GG'.

Game 3

VG seemed to learn from the previous games as they changed up their draft a bit. With a focus on early laning and a good transition into the midgame, they got their hands on heroes such as Invoker, Viper and Faceless Void. iG sticked to their style of mixing tankiness and teamfighting, securing Brewmaster, Razor and Elder Titan.

The early game went heavily in VG's favour, as they once more proved their ability to gank early on. Grabbing kills on all three lanes allowed VG's cores to get ahead and start to snowball. Especially the Invoker's Sunstrikes proved to be a deadly weapon, getting VG ahead 5-0 just ten minutes in.

In the following minutes, VG stuck to their gameplan, giving iG no room to breathe, with a clean 8-0 at the 16 minute mark. iG had their backs against the wall and engaged upon VG in the Dire jungle, despite subpar positioning. The following fight saw Black^ rendering Ferrari's Brewmaster completely worthless, as he managed to kite him for the entire duration of the ultimate. With Skywrath Mage playing cleanup crew and getting a triple kill, VG wiped iG from the board, forcing a 'GG' just 17 minutes in with a score of 13-2.

Game 4

The fourth game saw VG reapplying their successful strategy of Game 3. Two tanky cores in the form of Void and Death Prophet, paired up with the deadly combination of Skywrath Mage andSkeleton King were supposed to carry them to victory. iG replied with an even tankier combination, featuring Centaur Warrunner, Viper and Undying, one of the tankiest supports in the game.

Not only the drafting style of Game 3 seemed to be taken directly from the third game of the series, but also the execution. With amazing early rotations and good map awareness, VG began driving back iG from the get go, securing kill after kill, while giving up none. After a onesided teamfight at the bottom lane, the game looked dire for iG, as they had fallen behind 2-16 after just 10 minutes.

Despite their massive disadvantage, iG wouldn't tap out this time, but instead fought back. With crucial kills on the cores of VG they managed to stop the bleeding over the course of the next 10 minutes, although they couldn't close the massive gold and experience gap. VG tried to capitalise on their advantage, even forcing highground on the bottom lane just 25 minutes in, but got driven back by iG. Ferrari and company hold onto the game with their teeth, but seem to fall behind bit by bit, with VG leading 17-36.

VG continued to bring down iG by the death of thousand cuts, ganking and farming all over the map and bringing down the two exposed bottom barracks, before attempting to close the game at 35 minutes. A backstab through the bottom lane, combined with a good Chronosphere by iceiceice and Black^'s Mirana dealing over 300 damage per hit closed the deal. iG loses five and the middle barracks and are forced to call 'GG', with VG leading 21-51. This now forced the grand final to its full length of five games.

Game 5

iG once more focused on heavy pushing in their draft, as they got Chen, Death Prophet and Shadow Shaman. Differently from the previous games they focused a lot more on initiation and pickoffs. VG answered with a no less powerful pushing lineup, featuring the Lycan as well as the strong combination of Drow Ranger and Visage.

It looked like as iG wanted to reimburse VG for the previous two games, as it was their turn to take over the early game. With good rotations from the Batrider and Brewmaster, they managed to get them ahead 3-5 at the 10 minute mark, despite Fenrir denying them the kill on himself after a spectacular juke.

The midgame saw both teams going toe to toe, putting their pushing power to work, leaving only one Tier 2 tower standing at the 25 minute mark. iG had the slight advantage, still having one outer tower and leading by 14-20 after a good teamfight at Roshan's pit just two minutes earlier, when they brought down three. iG seemed to hunger for more, as they rotated down the middle lane and got their first set of barracks, with VG unable to drive them back quickly enough.

VG tried to return the favour as they went up the middle lane and tried to get the counter barracks. Despite a quick kill on Batrider, they ended up getting driven back, losing three in the process. This cost them dearly, as iG immediately rushed down towards the bottom lane, taking their second set of barracks, before losing four. Although they only lead 24-25, iG definitely has the upper hand at this point.

With two lanes of creeps pushing in, VG lost more and more ground to iG, ultimately losing even their third set of barracks. When mega creeps are floating into your base you have to go for a last hoorah, and this one came for VG at the 45 minute mark, as they tried to engage iG in the Dire base. Despite some quick kills, they eventually lost their Drow and Lycan to good positioning play by iG and had to call the 'GG' with a score of 31-35 against them.

cn invictus Gaming takes down cn Vici Gaming after a hard fought Best-of-Five, with a score of 3-2. The highlight of the series was probably Ferrari's Tiny in game two, proving that the bouldering giant does not need a Wisp to make a difference.

This article was written by de Markus Fischer, joinDOTA's Senior Writer. Vekus started to follow Dota rather late, as he joined the community in 2012. From then on he tried to get a job in Esports and found it later at joinDOTA. Reallife is mostly spend at university trying to understand physics and running. Avid wearer of Bandanas.Location: Chemnitz, GermanyFollow him on @VekusDota.