After an amazing day for him and his team, iG Vitality, who swept through Team Empire to stay alive in the Dota 2 Asia Championships, Paparazi slayed both Sccc and Miracle- to claim the Solo Tournament title.
The Solo Tournament began a few days back, during the DAC group stage, and Zhang ‘Paparazi‘ Chengjun claimed his spot on to the grand stage by taking down first Syed Sumail ‘SumaiL’ Hassan. The Solo Tournament was played in a bo1 single elimination bracket with bo3 grand finals, where the loser of the first game got to decide the next hero to be played.
Paparazi had not much time to rest before the Solo Tournament, the mini event being scheduled to commence right after the last series of day, series in which the young Chinese player was the main star with astonishing Invoker plays. Given his incredible performance in the main event, when the grand Solo Tournament grand finalists were decided, commentators and panelists alike were wondering if we would get to see a Solo Mid Invoker vs Invoker battle. But, despite being regarded as one of the best Invokers in the world, Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi, who was defeated by Paparazi in the SF vs SF first game, chose Puck for the second game.
Miracle- vs Paparazi
Game One: Shadow Fiend vs Shadow Fiend
The two players went with slightly different starting items, Paparazi discarded regeneration items in favor of two Branches (+1 all stats) and a Wraith Band. Miracle- on the other hand, bought a Faerie Fire on top of the Wraith Band, but his aggressive plan went all south when he lost the ranged creep in the blocking process. With the creep wave all messed up from the beginning, Miracle was not able to recover in CS or denies and got decimated by Paparazi who finished the first round with double the last hits.
Game Two: Puck vs Puck
Going into the second game, Paparazi and Miracle had once again different starting items in their inventories. It was Paparazi this time around who opted for Tangoes on top of a Null Talisman while Miracle- had two Branches and the Talisman. Despite losing again a creep (a melee one this time ) in the blocking process of the first weave, Miracle- had a much better game two, staying close in CS and denies to Paparazi. Having such a mobile hero in their hands, the match was much more exciting, both Paparazi and Miracle- looking to outplay each other with the many tricky moves Puck can offer. The first blood was drawn 10 minutes into the game, both players committing the Dream Coil in their attempt to kill each other off, but Miracle had more Stick charges and survived the battle. After the first kill of the match, Miracle- became more aggressive and ended up diving Paparazi under the tower in hopes of scoring the second kill. He lost his own life instead to that dive, but he managed to get a courier snipe.
Down for 45 seconds, Miracle allowed his opponent to gain a decent lead and Paparazi capitalized on the free farming time to rush a Veil of Discord. While Miracle came back to life with Power Treads, Paparazi’s plan proved to be much more effective, the Veil allowing him to constantly push the lane and bully Miracle. Eventually, Team Liquid’s mid laner got caught on low mana in the middle of the enemy creeps, and had to admit defeat, even before Paparazi landed the killing blow.