The action-packed Southeast Asian Dota 2 regional qualifier for The International 11 (TI11) has concluded, with Talon Esports emerging victorious after they outlasted Polaris Esports 3-2 in the grand finals on Saturday (17 September).
Talon's victory secured them a spot in the Group Stage of TI11, this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament, which will be hosted in Singapore this October.
Meanwhile, Polaris and T1 will still fly to Singapore, but will have to earn their place in TI11 through the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) as the second and third-placed teams of the tournament's Southeast Asian regional qualifier.
Talon justify their favourites label
Talon were one of the favourites to make it out of the Southeast Asian qualifier, and they didn't disappoint.
The team scored three-straight 2-0 sweeps over Lilgun, Polaris, and T1 to make it to the grand finals.
After getting knocked down to the lower bracket, Polaris swept Neon Esports and RSG before defeating T1 2-1,in the lower bracket finals, earning their rematch with Talon for a coveted spot in TI11's Group Stage.
In stark contrast to the grand finals of the four prior regional qualifiers, which were all 3-0 sweeps, the showdown between Talon and Polaris went the distance.
With that said, all five games of the Southeast Asian qualifier grand finals were one-sided.
Polaris came out swinging to start the grand finals, taking a 34-minute victory with a 22-7 kill lead. John Anthony "Natsumi" Vargas on a carry Pudge and Mc Nicholson "Lelouch-" Villanueva on Lina each had a clean seven kills to lead Polaris in their opening win.
Talon were quick to strike back in game two, tying up the series after 37 minutes and with a 25-5 kill lead.
Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon on Slark, Rafli "Mikoto" Rahman on Pangolier, and Damien "kpii" Chok on an offlane Undying combined for a clean 16 kills to put their team on the board.
Game three went to Polaris, who forced the GG call from Talon after 43 minutes and with a 25-11 kill lead. Lelouch on Lina led the way with eight kills and eight assists against two deaths.
With their backs against the wall in game four, Talon rallied and took a 38-minute victory with a 21-6 kill lead. Mikoto on Invoker and kpii on an offlane Marci both finished with a clean six kills to lead their team to a deciding fifth game.
The decider started out close, but Talon were able to secure map control by the midgame then proceeded to choke out Polaris.
Despite their best efforts to mount a comeback, the gold deficit Polaris faced proved to be too much and they were forced to call GG after a grueling 49-minute affair.
Talon are now the third Southeast Asian team to secure a spot in TI11's Group Stage, joining BOOM Esports and Fnatic, both of whom earned a direct invite to the tournament.
TI11's regional qualifiers were held from 3 to 17 September across the DPC's six regions: Western Europe, China, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, North America, and South America. The qualifiers were played in three batches, with two regions playing in each batch.
The first batch of qualifiers took place from 3 to 7 September, with BetBoom Team winning the Eastern European qualifier and Hokori emerging victorious in the South American qualifier.
The second batch of qualifiers from 8 to 12 September featured China and North America, with Royal Never Give Up winning the Chinese qualifier and Soniqs Esports winning the North American qualifier.
Finally, the last batch of qualifiers for Western Europe and Southeast Asia were held from 13 to 17 September.
Three teams will fly to Singapore out of each qualifier. The winner of the qualifier will earn a spot in TI11's Group Stage while the second and third-placed teams will have to earn their spot in the LCQ.
For more details on the TI11 regional qualifiers, check here.
For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.
Talon Esports roster:
Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon
Rafli "Mikoto" Rahman
Damien "kpii" Chok
Worawit "Q" Mekchai
Brizio "Hyde" Budiana
Polaris Esports roster:
John Anthony "Natsumi" Vargas
Mc Nicholson "Lelouch-" Villanueva
Nikko "Force" Bilocura
Marvin "Xavius" Rushton
Nico "eyyou" Barcelon
If you're a fan of Dota 2 both as a game and as an esports title, check out our Dota 2 page. From news to results, to the latest game meta or builds, as well as player interviews, there's something for everyone.