There was quite a bit of controversy between Virtus Pro and the team behind The Summit 8. Ultimately, though, they’re probably quite pleased with how it all panned out as the Russian team score a first-place finish at the event for the third consecutive time, defeating Fnatic in the grand finals 3-1.
The first game saw Virtus Pro utterly dominate their SEA rivals. Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev’s Broodmother was functionally given free farm on the heels of a questionable draft by Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao. The result was unstoppable early pressure which translated into clean 28-minute win.
Fnatic fired back in Game 2, scoring a shocking comeback victory after falling 20,000 behind in both gold in experience. That, however, would be the final win for Fnatic at the tournament.
Game 3 was incredibly competitive, but a stumble down the stretch ultimately swung the game in VP’s favor. That momentum carried into Game 4, allowing VP to completely control the map, squeeze the life out of Fnatic and finish them in just 26 minutes.
It’s an unsurprising outcome, as Virtus Pro continues to stand out as one of the world’s best with their second first-place finish of the season. With that, they head into 2018 just a hair behind Team Liquid on the season standings, with enough steam to potentially jump into first in January.
Fnatic Show Growth
Fnatic may not have won at The Summit 8, but EternaLEnVy’s team proved that it’s capable of hanging with some of the best in the business.
Their tournament began with a 5-1 showing in the group stages, that saw them sweep LGD Gaming 3-0 and defeat Optic Gaming 2-1. While that could have been brushed off as a symptom of flimsy competition, their win over MDL Macau champions OG removed any question about whether they truly belonged in the tournament’s top-four.
Given how competitive the Southeast Asia region is at the moment, Fnatic will struggle to maintain its momentum in any sustained way. Mineski seems to be the powerhouse of the region and TnC recently experienced a similar renaissance, putting qualifying spots at a premium.
Still, they’re not going away. That’s a big turnaround for them after a rocky November.
South America’s Struggles Continue
For a brief time, it looked as though South America was poised to break out.
The region’s forcible inclusion in prominent Dota events, which was widely viewed as a naked cash grab by Valve, was met with some resistance due to the general lack of success enjoyed by teams from Peru and Brazil in North American competitions. The initial outlook for South American teams was a positive one, though, with SG E-Sports posting a big upset victory over Team Secret at the Kiev Major and Infamous looking reasonably competitive at The International 2017. That gave cause to be bullish about South American teams with the introduction of the Dota Pro Circuit.
Frequent reps against international competition would allow South American teams to focus their raw talent, right?
Now eight events deep into the season, South American teams have a combined 0 qualifying points in the DPC. In half of these events, the South American representative has finished in last place. The best overall performance of the season thus far? Likely the seventh-place finish by Infamous at MDL Macau (which involved nine teams).
The worst performance of the season? Sacred’s showing at The Summit 8, with the Peruvians going 0-6 in the group stages with back-to-back sweep losses in the group stages.
While South America is still a region worth nourishing, its consistent struggles have been impossible to ignore. It’s not going to happen, given Valve’s ability to hold DPC perks for ransom and its similar approach to tournaments in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but it certainly feels like it might be for the best if Valve lumps the Americas back together for qualifier purposes and gives tournaments the option of an extra direct invite in 2018.
DPC Standings After The Summit 8
Above is the Dota Pro Circuit top-eight, following The Summit 8. There was little movement on the board, with the key highlights being OG moving into a tie for eighth-place following its third-fourth-place finish (which yielded 30 points per player), and Virtus Pro tying Team Liquid for second-place after taking the top prize on Sunday (which is good for 150 points, but was later reduced to 112.5 points each due to a substitution).
Fnatic, after scoring 67.5 points (reduced from 90 due to a substitution penalty for adding Abed Azel “Abed” Yusop), join the crowded field outside the top-eight, currently headed by Na’Vi. Finally, Team Kinguin peak onto the scoreboard with 30 points per player, which currently places them in 15th on the season.
With three tournaments slated for January, including the Galaxy Battles Major, expect things to get thoroughly shaken up by winter’s end.