Posted April 27, 2016 by Chloe Cabrera in Events

Wings Gaming: Soaring Over ESL One Manila

wings1Over the weekend, the entire world watched in awe as Wings Gaming conquered match after match against the titans of professional Dota 2 in ESL One Manila. The team of Chu ‘Shadow’ Zeyu, Zhou ‘bLink’ Yangl, Zhang ‘bian’ Ruida, Zhang ‘Innocence’ Yiping, and Li ‘iceice’ Peng brought home the championship title and $100,000 after sweeping the grand finals 3-0 against international favorite Team Liquid.

Wings Gaming was the clear underdog going into the tournament – a young Chinese team eager to make its mark in the international Dota 2 scene. Despite being one of today’s stronger names in Chinese Dota 2, the team arrived in Manila with little fanfare. After all, they were going up against local favorites like Team Secret, Fnatic, Team Liquid, and the Philippines’ very own representative, Mineski.

What many didn’t see coming was how Wings shockingly managed to turn the entire tournament in their favor, shattering all expectations with their unpredictability and their never-say-die attitude. The team dominated numerous matches with solid strategies, unique lineups, aggressive plays, and unwavering determination.

Road to the Manila Championship

Even with their inspiring victory, the team admitted that their journey to ESL One Manila wasn’t all smooth sailing. Wings Gaming had previously gone through a hiatus due to the lack of a stable enough roster – a setback that prevented them from competing in some Chinese tournaments.

Going into ESL One Manila, they struggled most with teams like EHOME and Team Secret, who they saw as very strong competition. But instead of being intimidated, the team focused its energy instead on understanding how their opponents played.

Wings Gaming during their post-victory presscon

Wings Gaming during their post-victory presscon

“We made several mistakes at first but gained more confidence later on,” they said. One clear example was their skillful recovery from a crushing defeat at the hands of Fnatic in the semi-final bracket. According to the members, one of their biggest strengths was the ability to retain their composure, even in the most difficult situations. This helped the team stay smart and disciplined throughout the competition.

The team stressed how important good communication and maintaining a positive mentality were key in achieving all their victories. “We analyzed each situation [in-game], shared resources with those who were under-performing, and adjusted our mentality,” they added.

The ‘Pinoy’ experience

Wings Gaming celebrates with the trophy as Pinoy fans cheer them on

Wings Gaming celebrates with the trophy as Pinoy fans cheer them on

One thing that made their victory all the more meaningful was the overwhelmingly sincere passion of Filipino Dota 2 fans. “Events here are very passionate,” they said, “and the cheering never stopped. Even after the local teams were eliminated [the crowd] still continued enjoying the tournament.”

And as for their best memory of the event? “Our entrance for the first stage match,” they recalled, when they were getting high-fived by all the people in the audience.

Over the weekend, Wings Gaming gained plenty of new Pinoy fans – the cherry on top of a well-deserved championship title. “[We] feel blessed that we got our first title here where everyone’s so enthusiastic,” they shared.

By masterfully bagging its first international LAN title at ESL One Manila, Wings Gaming has proven itself to be a team worth watching in the global Dota 2 scene. And with the news of the team’s direct invite to the Manila Major tournament this June, they can expect yet another warm welcome from their newfound fans here in Manila.

Chloe Cabrera

Chloe is an ally of the Swarm and the Horde, loves video games, and is determined to help eSports grow infinitely stronger both locally and internationally. If she's not lounging about Orgrimmar, she'll be sipping tea or coffee at a cafe like any other college student - no plate armor, just dresses.