Then, the Russian team proved that win was no flash in the pan. They backed it up with another this past weekend at the Bucharest Major.
The win marked the team’s fifth Premier Tournament victory since November 2016: three Premier titles, ESL One Hamburg 2017, ESL One Katowice 2018, and The Bucharest Major in a six-month period. They also won the Dota Summit 8 tournament in December.
Bucharest Major performance
Held at Polyvalent Hall in Bucharest and with a prize pool of $1,000,000 up for grabs ($500,000 for the winner), the Bucharest Major also offered the winner the lion’s share of the 1,500 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Points.
Heading into the tournament as second-favorites, Virtus.pro got off to an inauspicious start. The middling OpTic Gaming caused something of a shock in handing Virtus.pro a 1-0 defeat.
However, Virtus then showed their true quality in the next three games of the group stage. They defeated LGD Forever Young, Natus Vincere, and then TNC Pro Team to claim a No. 3 seed in the playoffs.
In the draw for the quarterfinals, Virtus.pro once again locked horns with OpTic Gaming. There would be no repeat of OpTic’s surprise victory in this best-of-three. It took Virtus.pro a little over an hour to win both the opening two maps and record a 2-0 victory.
In the semis, they faced Team Liquid, who come through the group stage as the No. 6 seed. Virtus.pro got off to a good start and won an entertaining opening map before Team Liquid struck back to win the second map in just 24 minutes. That set up a tense decider.
In that final game, Virtus.pro claimed the win in 35 minutes to move into the final. There, they faced a VGJ Thunder team that had lost just one map in the tournament to that point.
However, VGJ had not faced a team with the quality of Virtus.pro. The final was a surprisingly one-sided affair with Virtus claiming a 3-0 win.
Prize Money and DPC Points
- 1st – Virtus.pro – $500,000 and 750 DPC Points
- 2nd – VGJ Thunder – $200,000 and 450 DPC Points
- 3rd/4th – Newbee & Team Liquid – $90,000 and 150 DPC Points each
- 5th-8th – TNC Pro Team, Team Secret, Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming – $30,000 each
After 13 tournaments in the DPC season, the rankings have now changed significantly in the month of March. Virtus.pro boasts a huge lead over the teams chasing them. Then, VGJ Thunder’s strong performance moves them into contention for a qualifying place.
|13||TNC Pro Team||270||Ú1|
|14||LGD Forever Young||199||Ú1|
Following the completion of all the DPC Minor and Major tournaments this season, the top eight teams will earn a spot at The International 2018.
Next DPC event – GESC: Indonesia Dota 2 Minor
Teams do not have long to wait for the next chance to earn DPC points. The GESC: Indonesia Dota 2 Minor tournament gets underway on March 15 and runs through March 18.
Here’s a breakdown as we look ahead:
- Series – GESC Minor & Dota Pro Circuit
- Organiser – GESC
- Sponsors – PRO Games, Tiket.com, ST Racing, OMEN by HP, MyRepublic Gamer, Logitech G, LigaGame Esports TV, KASKUS, 102.2 FM Prambors, Jakarta, Kotak Game, BookMyShow.
- Location – Jakarta, Indonesia
- Venue – Hall 1, Indonesia Convention Exhibition Centre, BSD City.
- Prize Pool – $300,000 USD
- Pro Circuit Points – 300
Eight teams will compete in this event, seven that earned their place through qualifiers and one via a direct invite:
- Evil Geniuses (Direct Invite)
- Rex Regum Qeon (Indonesia Qualifier)
- Fnatic (Southeast Asia Qualifier)
- Thunder (China Qualifier)
- Digital Chaos (North America Qualifier)
- Infamous (South America Qualifier)
- The Final Tribe (European Qualifier)
- Natus Vincere (CIS Qualifier)
Prize Pool and DPC Points allocation
The allocation of the $300,000 prize pool and 300 Dota Pro Circuit Points is as follows:
- Winner – $110,000 plus 150 DPC Points
- Runner Up – $65,000 plus 90 DPC Points
- 3rd/4th – $35,000 plus 30 DPC Points each
- 5th/6th – $17,500 each
- 7th/8th – $10,000 each
The eight qualifiers play in two groups of four and will play through a double-elimination GSL Format qualifier.
The first and runner-up games are best-of-one. The group winner and loser round matches are best-of-three. All four teams will advance from the group stage with their final position deciding their seed:
- The group winner is seeded until the semis;
- The runner-up is seeded until the quarterfinals;
- The bottom two enter at the first round of the playoff.
Draws for the groups
- Group A – Evil Geniuses, Infamous, Natus Vincere, Rex Regum Qeon
- Group B – VHJ.Thunder, The Final Tribe, Fnatic, Digital Chaos
Latest betting for GESC Indonesia Minor
10Bet is offering odds on the outright winner of this event. The teams are priced as follows:
- Thunder – 6/5 favourites
- Evil Geniuses – 31/20
- Fnatic – 15/4
- Natus Vincere – 21/2
- Digital Chaos – 17/1
- Infamous – 45/1
- TheFinalTribe – 67/1
- Rex Regum Qeon – 125/1
VGJ Thunder’s strong showing in the Bucharest Major has propelled them into the spotlight. They’re the favourites for this event, and on current form, they look a very good bet to win.