After a slow start to the season, Virtus.Pro are starting to round into mid-season form as evidenced by their 3-0 drubbing of Team Empire in the Dota PIT Minor CIS Qualifier.
Dota PIT Minor CIS Qualifier Recap
With every one of the four participating arguably capable of taking series off of each other, many had expected an absolute bloodbath from the Dota PIT Minor CIS Qualifier. Instead, however, it only became a platform for Virtus.Pro to showcase their dominance over the region.
Virtus.Pro’s signature aggression was on full display from start to finish. Their opponents, Team Spirit and Team Empire, could do nothing to stop them.
Their series against Team Empire was particularly quick; Game 2 ended in just ~21 minutes. Perhaps Virtus.Pro wanted to give Team Empire some payback for sweeping them in the CIS qualifier for PGL Open Bucharest.
Either way, Virtus.Pro would go on to secure themselves a berth in the Grand Finals without much of a problem. Meanwhile, Team Empire had to beat Team Spirit in a tightly contested series in the lower brackets to secure a rematch against Virtus.Pro only to look outmatched in a quick sweep.
— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) September 27, 2017
In the end, the entire Dota PIT Minor CIS Qualifier became more of an experiment for Virtus.Pro to test out new strategies.
In total, they had picked 22 different heroes in 7 games throughout the qualifiers, even running unconventional strategies such as giving the out-of-meta Wraith King to Roman ‘RAMZES666’ Kushnarev and putting Queen of Pain in the offlane.
Who Can Stop Virtus.Pro?
The question now is not how many CIS qualifiers Virtus.Pro can secure, it’s which teams can stop the bears from stomping the whole region.
The fact is, the rest of the CIS region are struggling to play catch-up with Virtus.Pro. You could argue the same for Team Secret in Europe. But, at the very least, they have the 4-time Major winners OG there, who should return to form anytime soon.
In any case, this is now the reality that many Dota 2 teams are facing under the new system; created to give every team from the six competitive regions a chance to qualify for LAN tournaments, it has instead seen mixed results.
Then again, CIS and Europe are arguably the only regions to have runaway victors in Virtus.Pro and Team Secret respectively. So far, in China and North America, a different team has qualified for each of the LAN tournaments. Meanwhile, the top teams in Southeast Asia and South America are relatively even.
So, maybe, it’s not that bad at all.
It’s just somewhat unfortunate that teams in the CIS region will have to elevate their level of play if they ever hope to qualify for a LAN tournament this season. Or, they could also pray that Virtus.Pro receive direct invites or decide to start skipping qualifiers anytime soon — highly unlikely scenarios considering how scarce tournament invites are these days.
Which team do you think will be the first to take a series off of Virtus.Pro? Will it be Natus Vincere? Team Empire? Or another team? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.