Virtus Pro Earn First Invite to The International 2018 by Winning the Dota 2 Bucharest Major

Virtus Pro didn’t just win the PGL Bucharest Dota 2 Major. The Russian team dominated the event. After a strong run through the group stages and playoffs, capped their week with a quick, clean 3-0 win over VGJ.Thunder in the grand finals.

While the Chinese squad seemed poised to be the breakout stars of the event--making a swift 3-0 run through the group stages and beating Chinese rivals Newbee to reach the grand finals--VGJ.Thunder was brought back to earth in a big way by Virtus Pro in the final faceoff of the tournament.

On paper the win was a thorough beating, ending with a decisive 3-0 score. In practice, the difference was even more profound.

This was essentially the net worth chart in all three games, with VGJ.Thunder struggling for even a hint of offense. Screen grabbed from Dotabuff.

All three games were signature VP affairs; fast-paced, massive kill counts, 26 to 31 minutes in length. It was pure, unadulterated, smashmouth Dota 2 and VGJ.Thunder simply couldn’t deal with the pressure, and cracked each and every game while barely offering anything more than a speed bump on VP’s road to first place.

The result was a clean sweep for Virus Pro that not only sealed up first place at the Bucharest Major, but also a guaranteed direct invite to The International 2018.

Already sitting on top of the Dota Pro Circuit Standings courtesy of two previous Major victories (ESL One Hamburg and ESL One Katowice) as well as a slew of top-four performances at Minors, Virtus Pro now owns a whopping 7,197 qualifying points. Not only does that put the team more than 2,500 points ahead of second, it blasts the team by the previous magic number to qualify for TI8.

Now guaranteed a spot in the biggest Dota 2 event of the year, VP are free to spend the spring and summer however it so desires. Whether the team decides to take some time off or continues to pad its lead will actually have serious ramifications going forward.

Dota Pro Circuit Standings and Road to TI8 After the Bucharest Major

The Bucharest Major was important for the future of the DPC and TI8 in many ways. In addition to the aforementioned qualification of Virtus Pro and the shift in scheduling that may entail for the top team, it saw many other shifts for the cream of the crop.

First, note the magic number for qualifying: 5,847. That has come down since ESL One Katowice, courtesy of VP’s win at the Bucharest Major.

Because VP would have successfully received an invite with just the second-place prize of 450 points per player in Romania, it functionally burned the remainder from the 750- point prize for first place. That drove down the magic number for the other teams looking to qualify and that trend will continue as more teams knot up invites.

While that may feel like it dooms many outliers to the qualifiers, it’s worth taking note of that sixth place spot.

Despite the fact that the 2017-2018 Dota Pro Circuit season is more than halfway done at this point, it only takes one strong showing at a major to shake things up. VGJ.Thunder showed that at the Bucharest Major.

Entering the weekend, the team had just 45 points to its name (which, hilariously, came from Leong "ddc" Fat-Meng’s time on LGD.Forever Young) but its strong run in Bucharest completely changed that. Its second-place finish earned the team 450 points per player moving its season total to 1395. That moved the team from near the very bottom of the standings all the way to sixth place.

With five minors and five majors scheduled for the remainder of the season, there is still plenty of time for teams to earn their way to the grandest stage in esports.

Strong teams outside the top eight like Evil Geniuses need to start getting results in tournaments.

What’s Next in the Dota Pro Circuit?

While the Bucharest Major, as the name suggests, was a big deal, it kicks off what is a massive month of Dota 2.

Just in terms of Dota Pro Circuit events, there are two minors in GESC: Indonesia and DreamLeague Season 9. Then, the month ends with the start of the 2018 Dota 2 Asia Championship. Both minors offer fringe teams like Evil Geniuses and OG the chance to jump back into the top-eight while the DAC 2018 offers everyone the chance to assert themselves as an elite.

Even though The International 2018 isn’t until August, the clock is officially ticking. Teams outside the top five need to hurry up and start putting points on the board before it’s too late.

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