Virtus.pro – The Major Kings reclaim their throne at ESL Los Angeles 2020
Virtus.pro defeats two-time champion, team OG, in a gruesome 3-2 victory in a best-of-5 grand finals of ESL Los Angeles 2020. Along with the hefty 60,000 USD winnings, Virtus.pro also earned themselves bragging rights for defeating team OG.
Diving deep into Virtus.pro’s run at ESL Los Angeles, VP topped their group stage with a clean 7-0 winning spree. But their streak did not stop after the groups. They proceed to stomp every upper bracket series too, all the way to become the first Finalist.
Prior to Virtus.pro’s commendable performance in the groups, many fans doubt VP’s credibility as a relevant team. Unfortunately, that’s what happen when a team that once win majors, fall off in the present season. To rub salt on VP’s wound, they couldn’t even qualify for the first major at Chengdu. When they did manage to qualify for Leipzig major, they were eliminated prematurely.
Thus, Virtus.pro’s debut at ESL Los Angeles could not have come at a better time. Facing Nigma, the favorites in the group, Virtus.pro swept the series clean. The presence of Zayac, the latest addition to VP line-up, changed the team’s overall playstyle and priorities. Virtus.pro (just like their iconic logo) were known for their aggressive playstyle, like a rampaging bear.
OG.Ceb summarized it as: “VP didn’t really play their VP style. They didn’t just run at you when we have cooldowns.”
VP seem to have toned down and became much more disciplined in executing their objectives and team coordination. They prioritize playing the objectives instead of punishing their opponents to prevent potential comebacks. On top of that, the veteran mid, No[o]ne is still at the top of his game. In a teamfight versus Nigma, Miracle’s Naga Siren uses Song of the Siren to set up a follow-up stun on No[o]ne. But an instant blink to safety allowed him to survive long enough for the rest of VP to wipe Nigma out.
Nevertheless, the spotlight shines on the new prodigy, Zayac, who was a former Natus Vincere player. He caught the attention of VP after his performance as a seasoned position 4 support player at Leipzig major. Thus, VP knew they had to get their hands on the talent even if it resorts to poaching him. Anyways, while Zayac is a phenomenal player, one of his signature heroes, is the notorious Techies.
In the upper bracket game versus OG, Zayac’s Techies made OG’s aggressive playstyle backfired. Team OG ignorantly dive on VP, only to set foot on several bombs and landmines. Eventually, team OG’s aggressive draft that consisted of various initiators were completely nullified by their fear of mines.
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) April 18, 2020
After that Techies game, team OG decided that they would prefer not playing against Zayac’s Techies anymore. In every game of the grand finals, team OG first-banned Techies as a “respect ban” for Zayac.
As for Zayac, it is definitely an honor to have his hero be considered a threat by one of the world’s best DOTA2 teams. Perhaps team OG might still be traumatized by Zayac’s Techies during their next encounter again. The last time a pro player got such treatment was AdmiralBulldog back in 2014 to 2016. It was right after the Internationals 2013, when Alliance became world champions. While it was a team effort, it was solely AdmiralBulldog’s heroes that were considered overwhelming threats when he plays his Rat Dota playstyle. Eventually, even amateur teams would ban both Nature’s Prophet and Lone Druid when they play against Alliance.
A Message to the Community
After Virtus.pro’s amazing run, they took to their social media to celebrate their victory. It has been a rough pre-season for VP since post-TI9 roster shuffle after all. Virtus.pro’s downhill performance since the International 2019 sparked hate messages and insults from haters in the community.
Of course, it felt really satisfying to tell those that doubted them off while returning as a prominent team in the tier-1 pro scene. Nevertheless, Virtus.pro’s victory at ESL Los Angeles is just the tip of the iceberg. Their actual goal, just like many teams, would be to play in the Internationals 2020 and claim the Champions title.