CDEC have written history over the past three days in Seattle. While the big names of Na’Vi and iG are condemned to the lower bracket in Group A of TI5’s main event, it is CDEC that are running ahead in Group B, suffering only one 2-0 defeat to Virtus.Pro and yet to play Evil Geniuses and EHOME. They swept the floor with the slightly lesser known team of MVP.Hot6, they had 2-0 victories against the European powerhouse of Team Empire, the Chinese team ViCi who, only a few months ago, was first in the world and had beaten even Team Secret, and the previous TI4 winners of Newbee.
It’s almost unprecedented for Wildcard teams to actually do well in competitions. Much like the open qualifiers, which have only 1 team that gets through out of 1028 that enter, and then they have to fight it out against 9 professional teams, the winners of the Wildcard Matches are expected to lose almost every game they play against opponents that got a direct invite. With the way they’ve been playing it’s CDEC’s game to lose and I wouldn’t be surprised if they finish in the top 8 or top 6, and I think more power to them.
Like Cloud9, CDEC are somewhat known for 2nd places. While they didn’t do too well at the Dota 2 Asia Championships, they have come in a very impressive 2nd place in the last three tournaments they’ve played in, being beaten twice by LGD Gaming (who are joint 1st in Group A with Team Secret) and once by iG, whom they may not even have to face in the main event since iG may be knocked out in the first round of the loser’s bracket.
From what I have seen of them, CDEC have a very well thought out playstyle. Q, their drafter, clearly have a good understanding of the game and, I think, gets the best out of his team. Running fairly reliable and standard drafts for a lot of the time, it is by his strategy and drive that CDEC are manage to overwhelm their equally well drafted opponents. That said, he is not afraid to do the unusual, making use of his own Visage play on two occasions, Visage being a very underloved hero in my opinion. His only bad drafts, in my opinion, were against Virtus.Pro, running a bizarre safelane Storm Spirit, which seems to have been adapted by a few teams now, and a Viper mid, not overly a bad idea but Viper is a fairly underwhelming hero in 6.84.
It’s difficult for me to talk about CDEC at any great length, firstly because I haven’t seen them play much outside of TI5 but mostly because they are just a very solid team. Their positioning is great and their team play is great. They have very good coordination and, while I think their playstyle is a bit dull and predictable, which may trip them up when they come against more aggressive and unpredictable teams like EG and Cloud9, they seem to know what they need to do at all times to hold onto the game or keep themselves in the lead. They are less experimental than other teams but this suits them very well, as confidence and experience are going to be the two things that can carry them further.