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    •   Week 2 of The Legend Circuit saw some major changes to a number of teams, with impressive showings around the board, one can only wonder just how much further are these teams going to improve.     SVR vs FL (1 – 2)       A match that was supposed to go decisively into Flash’s favour was met with unexpected resistance; rising from the ashes of their previous series, Sovereign looks like a brand new team, but the question stands if they will be able to continue this track of improvement.     The series was one that ran in the pace of Flash, opting to play a methodical style, they played a great macro, choosing objectives over kills, the downside for this style however is the enemy team is given much more breathing room. Sovereign in the eyes of many teams looks to have undergone an entire metamorphism, but realistically there can’t be that much of a change from a team in a single week, more likely is that the playstyle of Flash, even against Corgi last week, gives perhaps too much space for the enemy to do as they wish.     Throughout the series Flash was determined to maintain a lead, and we often see Flash find their greatest success when they are in the driver seat. With solid team compositions, that give them the liberty to pick and choose the fights they want, they seem comfortable playing ahead or behind.     Despite the fact Sovereign managed to snatch a win off Flash, that’s not to say that the playstyle of is mistaken, but rather I would liken Flash – as a whole- to a chess player, they think ahead and are very willing to make favourable trades, but as a result of their forward thinking, they end up neglecting their early game more so than any other stage of the game. Should Flash find an early game style that works for them, helping them ease into the mid and late game, they may find themselves ready for a bigger stage.     Sovereign on the other hand, have obviously started to find something that works, with heavy rotations, they develop leads. Although unrefined, this may be a life saver for Sovereign, should they be able to polish this playstyle, making options like Aurelian Sol, Ryze and Corki heavily contested picks, if they want to be able to see quick effective roams from vendetta. As the weeks progress, although Flash isn’t the most flashy, get it? They tread a fine line, striking a balance of control and punishing the opponents for their mistakes. If we can see growth from Flash in this regard, they would seriously stand a peg above everyone else.   NyZ vs BTS (2 – 1)       Not Your Zone really displayed an incredible ability to capitalize on enemy mistakes, initially the series looked to go over to Bangtan Swoop, who were heavily in control of the objectives especially in the first and second game, they (BTS)  looked to be the crowd favourites for the series. BTS seems to be getting even more reliable in their macro game, able to find turrets, drakes and heavy vision control, but we see the same issue that plagued them in their first series against Sovereign. However, Bangtan Swoop, in exchange for drafting a composition that heavily favours catches and objectives, fails to give an adequate response in sieging. Often favouring the Varus and Ashe pick and Syndra, Anivia, they lack the ability to poke out and force off the enemy team when it comes time to taking inhibitor turrets. Great resilience was displayed by NyZ notably the Nautilus on Ataraxia, whose anchor managed to keep his team steady, from there a major turnaround, as NyZ turned the tides and won the series.     In a setting like the second game between the two teams, where BTS is able to find picks under the enemy turrets, the game is so heavily in their favour, with great proficiency in an aggressive playstyle, consistent laning phases, BTS is almost a full package. But until they work heavily on their ability to siege, BTS might not find as much success as expected.     Not neglecting the other team, Not Your Zone has proven themselves to be a jack of all trades, being able to play both as the aggressor and being able to play on the back foot. Despite not all being the strongest laners, they are able control their lane counterparts, finding their own roams when needed. If NyZ is able to keep up a strong level in growth, start dominating lane, they could be a very strong contender for the cup.   And who could forget this?     CRG vs GCS (2 – 0)     Gate Crashers versus Corgi, was one where nearly everyone had expected the adorable canine to clean house. But an unexpected turn of events for most, as Gate Crashers pulled ahead with 2 wins to secure the series.     This matchup was heavily determined by the junglers, despite relatively even lanes, the tipping point was the objective game, which GCS outclassed their opponents. Looking at this week’s TLC, teams have shown a huge shift in mind set as opposed to previous splits, where the “win lane, win game” motto was far more prominent. Throughout the short best of 3, Gate Crashers repeatedly obtained objectives, without too much resistance by Corgi, the switch in Junglers from ly4 to Pinkytiger has been a good one as the team coordination has never seen a brighter day. With a high impact jungler that’s able to deny the enemy, GCS have basically forced Corgi to heel and proverbially roll over. A big reason behind why Corgi wasn’t very effective at contesting objectives like dragon, was their lack of a hard engage. Previously with djrocker as the jungler, with the heavy preference for Ivern, at the very least they had a form of catch that could allow them the opportunity to force an engage. But in this matchup, Gate Crashers did a great job of abusing the fact, fearlessly staring down the barrel as Corgi was just too hesitant to pull the trigger.     Corgi, with an 8 man roster is starting to feel the pinch of their decision, often times the pressure of reliable choosing the correct player is very difficult especially since they prefer a rotating strategy rather than a starting line up with occasional swaps. For now until Corgi is able to reliably distinguish the strengths of each player, and slot them into the appropriate situation, they might continue to slip up as the pressure gets to them.     Gate Crashers, now off the high of the first win, must not let this get to their head, a promising start for them with their change in junglers, but the competition is fierce as teams are growing rapidly. With continued practice, and the playstyle they currently have, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see them doing just as their name implies.   written by Grandon "gamernissem" Oh


    • Strongbow investments, a Singapore based investment group dealing with real estate, agriculture and entertainment has acquired Russian eSports team M19.   The move makes M19 one of the wealthiest eSport organizations today overnight. Currently, M19 has just made moves to sign a Top 8 finisher in the League of Legends World Championship last year in Albus Nox Luna. 
      VIDEO OF THE GAMING HOUSE TOUR:       The new m19 gaming house is a Strongbow holding Moscow estate Manor Nikolsky. It was built in the 18th century and valued at $22 million USD in today's market. Strongbow's investment will go into developing eSport talent, as well as a customized training regiment including physical training and sports psychology. 

       
    • Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng, who recently topped Europe's Dota 2 leaderboard with 9155 MMR, has launched a broadside at individuals who claim that the rating is just a number.   In an interview conducted at Team Secret's training house, MidOne lashed out at detractors, saying the climb to the top of the MMR chart takes a tremendous amount of effort and hard work.   In a no-holds-barred statement, MidOne said he personally disliked anyone who tried to downplay the achievements of high MMR players by claiming that the rating was insignificant.   Several years ago, Danil "Dendi" Ishutin had famously uttered that MMR was just a number despite being one of the players with the highest-rated MMR at the time.

      Watch MidOne's full interview here:    
    • After dozens of jaw-dropping games and non-stop action, the final two teams to qualify for this year's Dota 2 Asian Championships in China have finally been decided.   Team NP won the Americas qualifier, while Team Empire emerged victorious in the CIS qualifier. The path to qualification has been difficult for both teams; Empire came close to losing the Grand Final against team Effect, while NP defeated favourites Digital Chaos for the first time to qualify for the LAN event.   This is the first time Empire has qualified for a major Dota 2 event since the Manila Major last June. DAC will take place between March 28 to April 4 in Shanghai, China.   Team NP and Empire will join Team Faceless and Team Liquid, who qualified through the SEA and Europe qualifier, as well as Invictus Gaming, Team VG.J, LGD.Forever Young and iG.Vitality who qualified at the China qualifier. Evil Geniuses, Wings Gaming, OG and Newbee all received invites to the event.   Team NP's winning moment:    
    • MidOne's meteoric rise to the top of Dota 2's MMR leaderboard has caught the eyes of not only the international gaming community, but also Malaysia's longest-established newspaper, the New Straits Times.   The Malaysian superstar. who currently plays for Team Secret, finally beat Miracle- for the number one spot yesterday. Just a day earlier, MidOne created waves when he was in second place with 9,012 MMR.   The New Straits Times gathered comments from netizens, who filled MidOne's official Facebook page with congratulatory messages. They also contacted E-Sports Malaysia, who expressed commitment to produce more world class e-sports athletes in the future.   Read the full article below:      
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