Less than 12 hours from now, OG, Virtus Pro, Team Kinguin and Fnatic will all battle it out in the playoffs of the Dota Summit Season 8 to find out who among them will end the year with a bang. Being the back-to-back champions, Virtus Pro obviously have the edge over the other three teams. Especially since their closest threats, OG, don’t match up particularly well against them. But, that doesn’t mean we should just concede and give Virtus Pro the crown already.
The first four days of the Dota Summit Season 8 have seen its fair share of surprises and upsets, so it won’t come off as a shock if the final day of the last Pro Circuit LAN of the year ends up following the same theme.
Virtus Pro vs Team Kinguin
Top4 secured but not enough for @ArtStylee aka CoachTheSlayer
— Ilya Ilyuk (@LilJke) December 16, 2017
When two teams of similar play styles meet, it’s usually the better team that walks away with the win, and 9 times out of 10, that better team would be Virtus Pro. However, from what we’ve learned from TNC Pro Team’s run at the MDL Macau Minor last week, where they 2-0’d Virtus Pro to secure a Grand Finals berth, it’s that favourites can under perform and pave the way for unlikely upsets.
Team Kinguin have huge upset potential against Virtus Pro. This is especially true if Team Kinguin finds a way to drag things out late, which is when Virtus Pro’s tendency to go all-in on an early game draft comes back to haunt them. But, that is a big if, and Virtus Pro have looked on point so far throughout the tournament.
Smart Money:Anyone hoping for Team Kinguin to go 2-1 or 2-0 against Virtus Pro isn’t a fool. The odds are good and the All-Polish squad have shown that they are worth the risk. If you’re not feeling as brave, you can make bank on the series going “over 2.5” maps and for Virtus Pro to win 2-1. Yes, to win, because as much as Team Kinguin making it to the Grand Finals makes for the perfect feel good story, we have to remember that the CIS giants are the back-to-back champions for a good reason.
OG vs Fnatic
— Tal Aizik (@Fly_dota2) December 17, 2017
Did Fnatic benefit from being matched up against relatively weak opponents? There’s certainly a case to be made for it. After all, the slumping LGD Gaming are already confirmed to be changing their roster soon. Meanwhile, OpTic Gaming, for all the talent in their lineup, aren’t exactly the picture of success nor consistency. At least, not yet anyway. But, saying that Fnatic only preyed on the tournament’s weakest opponents would be doing a disservice to the way they’ve been playing to reach the playoffs of the Dota Summit Season 8.
Jacky ‘EternalEnVy‘ Mao is playing like an absolute mad man right now and we mean that in a good way. Between him and Abed Azel ‘Abed‘ Yusop and the rest of Fnatic, there’s no squad that they can’t match up with. The fact that they’re playing OG, who are still far too inconsistent, only work towards their favour.
Smart Money: If we see the same aggressive OG that we saw against Evil Geniuses, then Fnatic are as good as gone in 2 games. If not, then expect this series to go to a Game 3, with each game lasting well over the half-hour mark.
Who Will Take Home The Dota Summit Season 8 Title?
This tournament is Virtus Pro’s to lose. They’re the back-to-back champions and are currently undefeated at 6-0. Not to mention that they’re a terrible matchup against all the other teams in the playoffs. Barring any surprises, we’ll likely see Virtus Pro walk away from the Dota Summit Season 8 as the three-time champions.
These are carefully crafted match predictions, made by a team of analysts who studied each team’s history and playing styles. Stay tuned for more match-by-match analyses and predictions for the Dota Summit 8 LAN Finals.