Dota 2 squad First Departure takes top prize at local gaming festival with decisive 2-0 victory

Joel "Chibix" Chan, 21, from team First Departure during the Dota 2 finals of the Armaggeddon Gaming Festival. First Departure won the finals 2-0.  
Joel "Chibix" Chan, 21, from team First Departure during the Dota 2 finals of the Armaggeddon Gaming Festival. First Departure won the finals 2-0.  ST PHOTO: LISABEL TING
Toh "xy-" Wai Hong, 24, from Team ABC during the Dota 2 finals of the Armaggeddon Gaming Festival.
Toh "xy-" Wai Hong, 24, from Team ABC during the Dota 2 finals of the Armaggeddon Gaming Festival.ST PHOTO: LISABEL TING
Dota 2 champions First Departure receiving their prizes from guest of honour K. Shanmugam. From left to right: Joel "Chibix" Chan, 21, Galvin, "Meracle" Kang, 19, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam, Teo "Kai" Kai Sheng, 20, Chan "Lub
Dota 2 champions First Departure receiving their prizes from guest of honour K. Shanmugam. From left to right: Joel "Chibix" Chan, 21, Galvin, "Meracle" Kang, 19, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam, Teo "Kai" Kai Sheng, 20, Chan "Lubby" Jun Jie and Wilson "Poloson" Koh, 19. ST PHOTO: LISABEL TING

It was a battle of old versus new at the Armaggeddon Gaming Festival's Dota 2 finals, held at the atrium of Funan DigitaLife Mall on Sunday.

In one corner was First Departure, led by captain Galvin "Meracle" Kang Jian Wen, 19, an up-and-coming squad that had only recently stabilised its five-man roster.

On the other side was Team ABC, lead by a veteran of The International, Dota 2's biggest global tournament. In 2011, ABC's captain, Toh "xy-"Wai Hong, 24, came in third at the prestigious competition with team Scythe.SG.

But over the weekend, the new blood wiped out the old guard.

In a best-of-three series, First Departure triumphed with a decisive 2-0 victory over their rivals.

Aside from Kang, the other four members of the winning team consisted of Chan "Lubby" Jun Jie , 21, Teo "Kai" Kai Sheng, 20, Joel "Chibix" Chan Jian Yong, 21 and Wilson "Poloson" Koh Chin Wei, 19.

They took home $600 in cash, as well as over $1,500 in products and vouchers. They also won a trip to Jakarta to represent Singapore in the regional finals of the tournament, which boasts a prize pool of US$10,000 (S$14,000).

The lads were also encouraged by guest of honour, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was on hand to present the prizes.

"I will start off by saying that I'm not an expert, but from what I know, we have very good teams, and this is one of the things that I think we can do well in," he said of competitive esports.

"So I wanted to come and support First Departure, and I hope that they will do well in Indonesia. This (esports) needs to be popularised, and more people need to know that they're representing us, and hopefully that will take them to the next level."

First Departure trounced Team ABC in both games by clinching a strong early lead. It built on that lead with well-coordinated plays that never gave the opponent a chance to come back.

Rival team captain xy- was not satisfied with his team, calling their performance a "disaster".

"It went badly for us. Things were not going our way, everything just went wrong. We had some bad plays, and the other team played well," he noted.

Team captain Meracle said of his veteran opponents, "I've played against them before, and I kind of understand how they play, so going up against them was not that intimidating."