posted by Jooehn,
After a magnificent 11-0 run in SEA's online groupstage of The Summit 2, my Team Malaysia's voyage took quite the wrong turn as the qualifier playoffs commenced. An abrupt defeat immediately threw them down into the loser's bracket. sg Amgd.First Departure not only put them there but beat TM a second time, eliminating them from the tournament.
Team Malaysia triumphs in the Thailand DOTA 2 championship

The dramatic events that have surrounded the team and my Chai Yee 'Mushi' Fung and the mysterious departure of my Joel 'XtiNcT' Zhan, clearly has taken it's toll on the squad. In the initial series against sg Amgd.First Departure, the previously so dominant team's shaky performance led to a harsh two for nothing loss, mainly caused by the underestimation of sg Galvin 'Meracle' Kang Jian Wen's Naga Siren and an unconventional Tusk pick that didn't work out.

TM managed to get some redemption when they bested au Can't Say Wips in two straight games, where their snowball oriented line-up's did their part and Mushi got out of hand on his Shadow Fiend, respective Storm Spirit. Even though this brought them some momentum, they could not make their way back to the upper bracket. Once again First Departure proved to be too strong for the weakened team.

TM managed to win the initial game with heavy teamfight that excelled the questionable setup of FD that was built up around Meracle's Windranger. Game two and three was a completely different story as FD focused more on picking heroes with great midgame teamfight potential, a style that fits them like a glove. Team Malaysia made good early game rotations in both games, but First Departue had superior midgame execution and had more solid drafts that functioned better in the lategame as well. Noteworthy is that TM banned Huskar and Riki in every single game from the groupstage to their defeat and elimination against FD. Probably a strategy with the intention of widening the hero pool and putting their opponents off guard using psychological warfare, which may have worked in FD's favour in the end.

What can be discussed is the main fact for this harsh turn of events for the Malaysian team, have the drama taken it's toll, leaving the team exhausted and unable to play at their very best? Or is it the absence of Xtinct that has put them in a precarious position? Or might this be the rise of First Departure, that have gained momentum and strength after getting their old roster back together?

What's your interpretation of Team Malaysia's break-down?

This article was written by se John Wimarsson, joinDOTA's Senior Writer.Jooehn is a gaming enthusiast who only recently fell head over heels for Dota 2 after watching TI3. If he's not playing his guitar, writing for jD or lying on his couch dreaming about space, he's probably in solo queue trying to reach the 5K MMR dream.Location: Lund, SwedenFollow him on @Jooehn.