Image source: One Esports

The ONE Esports Singapore Major may be considered a “stand-in Major.” We took a look at one stand-in that really stood out at the event.

And with that, the ONE Esports Singapore Major is finally over. It was not only the first LAN tournament Dota 2 fans had seen in over a year, but it was also Valve’s first Major since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even better, it was the cross-region Dota 2 action we’d been missing for a year.

Although it was exciting to see a week’s worth of Dota, it wasn’t the only story of the tournament. Among fairytale plots and jaw-dropping comebacks, one recurring trend in the Major was the number of replacements used by different teams.

Image source: One Esports

There was a lot of talk in the days leading up to the Major about different teams being put in perilous situations due to COVID-related issues. Just a few days before the gathering, Na’Vi and Beastcoast were forced to withdraw.

Several teams were forced to scramble for last-minute replacements for their starting lineups, with some even going so far as to have their own coach stand in for them. Things were a nightmare for some players.

Team Nigma is a prime example of this, as the former TI champions were eliminated in the Wild Card stage after only one win. T1 was another Wild Card team that was forced to play with a stand-in, and they performed poorly as well.

But for others, it was fortuitous.  

Stand-Out Stand-In

Although the likes of Team Aster, Quincy Crew, Team Nigma, and T1 were utilizing stand-ins, nobody would bet their life savings on these teams making it that far into the tournament. And true to its form, they were knocked out relatively early. All except for one. 

Halfway through the Group Stage, OB Esports x Neon had to rely on Deth to fill in for Rafael “Rappy” Palo, who was unable to play due to interaction with someone who had COVID-19. That was quite a mouthful.

TL;DR neon had to find a replacement for their stand-in. That didn’t stop them from making the Southeast Asian contingent proud, first by defeating Fnatic and then by defeating Vici Gaming.

The fact that they were able to finish fifth/sixth with a stand-in speaks volumes about the squad and its players.

They were also able to steal a game from Team Secret, which was no easy feat given that they were one of the tournament’s favorites to win. Of course, we all know how that ended.

You Made Your Decision… Deth 

It was an easy decision for OB Esports x Neon to bringing him on because he was a local native in the area and had already developed himself as a powerful offlaner. Sure, it was a gamble because they wouldn’t have time to practice, but his inclusion was well-worth it.

Following Rappy’s departure, OB Esports x Neon drew with both Thunder Predator and Alliance before cruising to a two-nil victory over Team Liquid in the Group Stages.

Though their playoff run did not go as far as they had hoped, the fact that they performed extremely well against the likes of Fnatic, Vici Gaming, and Team Secret speaks volumes about the team.

Deth, in particular, stood out for many fans and viewers due to his consistency and versatility in the offlane. He played a total of nine different heroes due to his relatively large hero pool, with Leshrac being selected four times for him in the tournament.

With his offlane Nature’s Prophet plays, Deth was named MVP in their third game against Vici Gaming. He finished the game with a KDA of 3/1/13 and the game’s second-highest net worth.

During the post-game interview, he discussed how they were seen as the underdogs due to the stand-in aspect, but that this led to them not feeling under pressure, allowing the team to have more fun with the games while also making it easier for him to fit in.

What Will Happen Now?

If the ONE Esports Singapore Major taught us something, it’s that Dota 2 teams should begin expanding or changing their squads to minimize risks or last-minute adjustments.

If it is including various requirements in recruiting coaches, fielding a six-man squad, or signing academy/B teams, it is obvious that teams need to be more forward-thinking to obtain an advantage.

Source: Gosu Gamer


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