They do so without picking any hero twice except in the last game of the Grand Finals
Virtus.Pro took an interesting road to the Grand Finals of The Summit 7, deciding to take on an internal “all-hero challenge” – not picking any hero twice, perhaps in answer to criticisms on their strategies and hero pools. They took a convincing series win over Team Empire, and did fall to LGD Gaming and dropped to the lower bracket. Their lower-bracket run was pretty convincing – taking out Digital Chaos 2:1, even through an Abed “Abed” Yusop signature Meepo. They also take 2:0’s over Team NP and their rematch over LGD.
Meanwhile Team Secret went into the Grand Finals with a strong run of their own through the Upper Bracket, winning over Digital Chaos 2:1, dropping Natus Vincere to the lower bracket, and defeating Team Secret 2:0 to secure their slot in the Grand Finals.
The first game of the Grand Finals went the way of Team Secret, with a Silencer pick on Zheng “MidOne” Yeik Nai countering the Enigma pick for Roman “Ramzes666” Kushnarev. And Yazied “Yapzor” Jadarat’s support Zeus proving extremely effective. Perhaps their all-hero challenge taking them out of their comfort zone as their draft seemed too passive in contrast to their usual playstyle.
Game 2 this time went to Virtus.Pro, with a snowball-oriented draft centered around Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko on the Queen of Pain, enabled by Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk’s Bounty Hunter. Ramzes666 was drafted Doom to counter Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s Enchantress to great effect – building up tanky items and was nigh un-killable by the end of the game. No[o]ne ended the game with an impressive 14/1/13 KDA.
The third game also went the way of VP, pulling out a Dazzle-Huskar strat complemented by Lil’s signature Earth Spirit. Secret answered with double auras, Crystal Maiden and Drow Ranger complemented by a Lina pick and a Faceless Void for control. However, No[o]ne on Viper took over the game thanks to great rotations from his supports, helping him end with a 19/1/10 KDA.
The fourth game perhaps showed that VP couldn’t quite take the entire tournament without picking any hero twice, as it was heavily one-sided towards Team Secret. The fifth-position Brewmaster on Solo proved ineffective, and both No[o]ne and Pavel “9Pasha” Khvastunov failed to accrue any kills. Team Secret win in 22 minutes.
Game 5 marked the end of VP’s all hero challenge, as they were finally forced to re-pick some heroes. They picked Sven second, and Secret picked heavy counters such as Razor and Medusa, only to be thrown a curve-ball as Sven was revealed to be a support when the last-pick Anti-Mage came out for Ramzes666. With VP taking a surprisingly good early game while keeping Secret’s crowd-control heroes, the Sandking and Nyx Assassin underfarmed and underleveled, Ramzes666’s Anti-Mage slowly took over the game, netting himself 13 kills and only dying once.
In the Grand Finals, VP continued on picking different heroes – only stopping in the very last game where they picked Dark Seer, Death Prophet, Sven and Warlock, taking the tournament with only 4 heroes re-picked. An impressive feat, as even some of their signature heroes were left unpicked or banned by their opponents, such as Lifestealer, Visage, Templar Assassin, Ember Spirit, Chen, Shadow Fiend and the like. Io was left perma-banned against them by their opponents, not letting them get the chance to take him.
It’s a back-to-back Summit win for Virtus.Pro, and things are looking up for them with The International so close, as they haven’t really revealed anything in terms of strategies, and have, perhaps, sent a message to their future rivals at TI – they are a team to beat, and are unafraid to pick anything to achieve a win.
This also might mean that today’s Dota 2 meta is in a good place, with plenty of viable heroes and strategies. We’ll see if this high-diversity in hero picks continues into The International 7’s qualifiers, which are about to start very soon.
KaLeRei is currently enrolled as an engineering major. In her free time she likes going on quests to save the world with a party of interesting characters, building sprawling empires, or just going on adventures. Sometimes she also supports her friends when they feel like destroying ancients. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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