Virtus.pro won the first Major of the season as they played in all of the last day’s series of matches.
Steamrolling before a thud
Despite not winning the Aegis yet, VP remains as one of the teams favored to win in any given tournament. It’s not really surprising that they won this, given how formidable the team is. VP even shares the same favorable reception that TI champions like Evil Geniuses and OG are subjected to. If any, their win in the Kuala Lumpur Major only cements their position in the league.
They convincingly showed their prowess in this tournament. As early as the group stages, Virtus.pro was already seen dominating the competition. Even though their group can be argued to be one of the least stacked among the four groups, VP’s dominance was still apparent. They scored 2-1 against both Forward Gaming and Alliance. This result gave them a favorable position on the upper bracket of the playoffs.
VP would continue to steamroll over their opponents for the most part of the playoffs, scoring clean sweeps against both Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas. However, their winning streak would be foiled by Team Secret in the semifinals.
The Wall that stopped the hype train
Team Secret have had even more success so far into this point in the tournament. Before putting a stop to VP’s momentum, Secret have already steamrolled their competition themselves. Coming from a more stacked group, Secret would perform clean sweeps against NiP and J.Storm. Their sweeps would continue to put teams under the rag in the playoffs, starting with Vici Gaming, and then PSG.LGD.
Up to this point, Team Secret seemed invincible. They had a strong armor that deflected any strategy that their opponents would throw at them. Securing victory after victory, Team Secret became the wall that stopped the hype train of VP, or at least until the Finals. But still, VP’s strong momentum allowed them to put a dent in Team Secret’s armor, dealing them their first loss since the beginning of the tournament. Secret didn’t take it lightly, and their revenge was served as they sent VP down to the lower brackets.
Setting up the rematch
VP’s loss against Team Secret meant that they’ll be facing against Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket finals. EG was having a streak of their own, building up the blocks needed for a Cinderella comeback victory. They emerged from a long climb back up to the top, which they had to do thanks to NiP beating them in the upper bracket’s first round.
However, playing through the lower bracket has always been and will always be an arduous task. The exhausted EG faced a rampaging VP in the lower bracket finals. Despite the strong cheer of the crowd backing them, EG still fell against the Bears in a clean sweep favoring VP. They were dealt the finishing blow by Virtus.pro, ending their run at the third place.
Meanwhile, Virtus.pro would come back to face Team Secret for a final showdown.
VP outlasts Team Secret
Virtus.pro returns to the Finals picture with renewed vigor. Team Secret faced them with fervor, but VP’s strong momentum allowed them the first win of the Bo5 series. Secret would rally and return the favor to VP. Puppey and co. would take the next two games of the series, pushing VP to a corner. In the verge of winning it all, Secret pushed for victory. However, VP would still turn the tables around and defeat Secret in Game 4, forcing the series to its final match. VP would then secure the finals with a finishing blow against Team Secret, allowing them to win the first Major of the season.
VP takes home $350,000 and were awarded a total of 4,950 DPC points.
The Kuala Lumpur Major was nothing short of the extraordinary. It was the gift that keeps on giving, as every day tops the previous one in terms of energy. The crowd was in no short supply of electrifying spirit, even after the elimination of hometown favorite Fnatic on Day 3 of the playoffs.
All of this vivacity led to a very memorable event, one that concluded with an equally satisfying finish. The whole tournament, being the first important event of the season, was full of the usual competitiveness we’re used to seeing in Dota. Virtus.pro takes the reins off Tigers as the leaders of the board, but that’s only after one Major so far. There are still a lot more ahead for all of us.