Malaysia finished the 19th Asian Games' Dota 2 medal event in third place after they swept Kyrgyzstan 2-0 in the bronze medal match on Monday (2 October).
While many expected Malaysia to be fighting for the gold medal, they had to settle for bronze after the bracket had them prematurely face a strong China in the semifinals.
Malaysia and China were considered the two biggest favourites to claim the gold medal for Dota 2 as both countries fielded national teams stacked with professional players.
China went all out with a star-studded squad featuring Wang "Ame" Chunyu, Lu "Somnus" Yao, Yang "Chalice" Shenyi, Zhao "XinQ" Zixing, and Yu "皮球" Yajun. Legend Zhang "LaNm" Zhicheng also coached the team while decorated veteran Xiong "Pyw" Jiahan is listed as a substitute.
Meanwhile, Malaysia had a core of players signed by Chinese teams, namely LGD Gaming's Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang as well as Xtreme Gaming's Daniel "Ghost" Chan and Thiay "JT-" Jun Wen. Rounding out the squad were Ng "YamateH" Wei Poong and BOOM Esports' Yap "xNova" Jian Wei.
Malaysia's greatest Dota 2 player, Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung, notably coached the national team.
Both China and Malaysia were seeded directly to the event's Playoffs by virtue of winning the Road to Asian Games preliminaries for East Asia and Southeast Asia, respectively, back in July.
China and Malaysia both had strong starts, with China sweeping Thailand while Malaysia cruised through Saudi Arabia.
The semifinals saw China overcame Malaysia in a 2-1 reverse sweep to advance to the gold medal match. The host country went on to bag the gold medal after outlasting Mongolia, 2-1.
In the bronze medal match, Malaysia faced a strong Kyrgyzstan squad that also had its fair share of pro players, including Baqyt "Zayac" Emiljanov, Kyial "dream`" Tayirov, and Bektur "runec" Kulov.
Zayac notably finished second place at The International (TI) 2022, last year's Dota 2 world championship tournament, with Team Secret last year.
Malaysia came out swinging to start the series, taking game one in 30 minutes behind a stellar performance by NothingToSay's mid Tiny.
Kyrgyzstan put up a better fight in game two but ultimately succumbed in 51 minutes as Ghost's Faceless Void and NothingToSay's Pangolier led them to a 2-0 sweep that bagged them the bronze medal.
Malaysia's Dota 2 national team earned the country its 14th bronze medal of the 19th Asian Games, bringing their total medal count to 20.
With China's victory in Dota 2, their gold medal count improved to 147 to add to their 270 total. Meanwhile, Mongolia earned its fourth silver medal to bring their total to 11.