The International 2018: paiN Gaming

Pain Gaming are important to the Dota 2 scene. Not only do they represent a region that is underdeveloped but they bring a passion we viewers rarely get to see. Dota is such a chaotic game that teams have to control their emotions at all times. Outside of when a team wins TI, we rarely see emotional outbursts from the players. In order to succeed, they need to stay calm and collected at all times. That is why teams like paiN feel like a breath of fresh air. They reflect what we as spectators feel. On top of that, they’ve conquered the obstacles they have no influence over, those that come from representing a region with poor infrastructure and few tournaments. hFn had made a name for himself as one of the most highly skilled carries in the world. Duster plays like he has way more experience than his age should allow him to be and his partner in crime, kingrd, has shown himself to be an incredible leader. They may still have quite some way to go, but everyone should be happy to have them represent South America at TI8. The story of paiN’s season is very similar to that of VGJ.S: a team that formed late in the season and even though they may not have won much have quite a bit of hype surrounding them. For paiN, the only big success they’ve had this year came very late, at ESL One Birmingham, and that was a third-place finish. But that’s a third-place finish at a Major! No team from South America has ever finished that high.

What’s even more impressive is how the team skyrocketed in the last few months. If you look back at their performance at DAC, they lost against teams like Effect. They didn’t win a single game the entire tournament. Then, at EPICENTER XL, their climb began. While the tournament ended in tears, they got eliminated by FTM in the first round of the bracket, this time they showed class by beating the 2nd place finishers at TI7, Newbee. That all culminated at ESL One Birmingham where they eliminated reigning TI7 champions Liquid, then continued to beat the DAC champions Mineski before defeating Fnatic to grab the third spot.

So what changed between DAC and EPICENTER? W33ha. Three years ago, w33ha was the golden boy of the midlane. He and Miracle- battled for who could have a better first season as Team Secret and OG went blow for blow for an entire season. But as Miracle- pulled further and further ahead, w33ha was left in his shadow, got kicked from Secret and after an amazing run with DC at TI6, w33ha was spent. It seemed like he had given it all but his motivation failed him. After Digital Chaos, later Thunderbirds, disbanded, he bounced from team to team but you could tell his heart wasn’t in it. So it was quite a shock when he announced that he’d join paiN gaming, after standing in for them twice. But paiN was as important for w33, as w33 was for paiN. Their easy-going outlook on life and Dota helped w33ha get over his slump and reignited his passion for Dota. This is when paiN became a true competitor. We can talk about paiN’s amazing climb as much as we want but when it comes down to predictions, we have to be honest with ourselves, as well as paiN. They are another TI8 underdog and anything above eighth place would be amazing for them. The team is very momentum-based and if they get on a roll they’re hard to stop. That’s during the regular season though. During TI itself, their opponents will be scouting them relentlessly. Every little mistake, every small tendency, every weakness will be found and paiN aren’t close to perfect enough to live through that sort of scrutiny. But as with all outsiders, they will still have underdog status for the first few rounds of TI. Maybe teams will underestimate them, maybe they will overperform. That’s what needs to happen if paiN are to get top 8 at TI8.

(1) William "hFn" Medeiros
(2) Aliwi "w33" Omar
(3) Otávio "Tavo" Gabriel
(4) Danylo "Kingrd" Nascimento
(5) Heitor "Duster" Pereira
The International 2018: paiN Gaming The International 2018: paiN Gaming Reviewed by Jesi Max on 09:11 Rating: 5

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