Virtus.pro provided esports fans with a performance to remember at the ESL One Hamburg 2017. They fought off the seven other teams competing to land the top prize of $500,000. Perhaps more importantly, they garnered 750 Dota Pro Circuit Points by winning in Germany this past weekend.
The Valve Major event took place at the Barclaycard Arena across four days and produced some outstanding Dota 2 action and a surprising result in the final.
The opening group stage went somewhat as expected. Group A saw Team Secret qualify as the top seeds with a 2-0 record. They were joined in the playoffs by Newbee, who, after being defeated by Team Secret in their second game, clinched the playoff spot with a final game win over Evil Geniuses.
Group B followed the same pattern, but here the top two qualifiers were heavily backed by the bookmakers. Virtus.pro claimed the top spot with two wins, ahead of Team Liquid.
That set up a couple of intriguing semifinals. In the first, Team Secret prevailed. The top seed from Group A overcame Team Liquid 2-1 after losing the opening map. Virtus.pro also won by a 2-1 score line. In their semi, Virtus.pro won the first and third games.
In the final, Team Secret were judged to be the slight favourites, but there was little difference between the two in the betting. Most experts expected the final to go to the full three matches. However, Virtus.pro put in arguably their best performance of the tournament to claim a stunning 2-0 victory. They won the first map in just over 42 minutes and the second in just under 41 minutes.
Over 3.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the event via a number of live streams. This win takes Virtus.pro’s earnings in 2017 to over $2,200,000 in prize money. They also picked up $500,000 for finishing second at the Kiev Major in April, $1.1 million for coming 5th/6th at The International in August, and now another $500,000.
That win lifted Virtus.pro to the top of the current Dota 2 Pro Circuit rankings, which look like this after three events:
- Virtus.pro – 2250 points
- Team Secret – 1440 points
- Team Liquid – 900 points
- Mineski – 720 points
- Newbee – 450 points
- LGD Gaming – 202.5 points
- complexity Gaming, Evil Geniuses & Immortals – 90 points
There are two smaller events with Pro Circuit points up for grabs in November: the AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT League and the Perfect World Masters. The next massive major is the DreamLeague Season 8 offering 1,500 Pro Circuit points at the beginning of December.
Shocks abound at StarCraft II WCS Global Finals
One of the biggest StarCraft II tournaments of the year has reached its playoffs. It’s a straight knockout competition to see which of the individual players will take home the $280,000 share of a total $700,000 prize pool at the WCS Global Finals.
A total of 16 players earned qualification from the event, the IEM World Champion and seven players from the WCS Korea Circuit, with eight more players from the broader WCS Circuit.
The 16 players produced some upsets in their four groups. First up, Stats, who finished with the most points in qualifying with 12,875, lost out to Mexican player SpeCial and Korean ace TY and didn’t advance. It was a similar story for WCS Circuit points leader Neeb, who could only finish third in Group B behind two Korean aces soO and Rogue.
Other top-half qualifiers Dark (Korea) and Serral and Snute (WCS) were eliminated at the group stage, which shows that in a major tournament at this level, the difference between winning and losing can be so small.
The quarterfinals get underway on Nov. 3, and the matches will be as follows:
- SpeCial (Mexico) v Elazer (Poland)
- soO (Korea) v GuMiho (Korea)
- herO (Korea) v Rogue (Korea)
- INnoVation (Korea) v TY (Korea)
Korea once again has very strong representation in the tournament. The match between herO and Rogue has the potential to be a classic between two of the finest SCII players in modern times.