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Virtus.Pro has showed its strength once again. The current overall leaders have lived up to the expectations, winning the Grand Finale 3-0 against OpTic Gaming to become ESL One Birmingham 2018 Champions. The Russian team took home $500,000 and 750 Pro Circuit points. This just shows that Virtus.Pro is the favorite to lift the TI 8 title in August.
Virtus.Pro, the side composed of great players and captained by Alexei “Solo” Berezin, opened the series with a convincing victory over their NA opponents. On the first map, Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko was the star for the Russians. He got 11 kills, 13 assists, and dealt almost 14 thousand damage with no deaths.
The Russians also won the second game of the series. However, this time the task at hand was much more difficult. The game was the longest of the entire tournament. The Russian side was behind in gold and experience almost the entire game. However, Virtus.Pro managed to recover by ganking the enemy base and confirming the GG call with 59 minutes on the clock.
The third and final match ended unusually. The team, coached by Ivan “Artstyle” Antonov, bet on a strange line up for the final game. The side drafted Warlock, Slark, Gyrocopter, Doom, and Sand King. Even though this draft might not be the first choice for many professional sides, Virtus.Pro trampled OpTic Gaming and dominated the map from the beginning. The runners-up declined to give up as their Ancient was destroyed just after the 19-minute mark.
OpTic won $200,000 in prizes and 450 Pro Circuit points with second place in the competition. The North American organization is composed of some of the best veteran players. It includes Per “Pajkatt” Lille, Quinn “CC&C” Callahan, Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, Peter “ppd” Dager, and Neta “33” Shapira. The team secured ninth place in the overall ranking of the DotA Pro Circuit.
Virtus.Pro’s campaign in the group stage was exemplary. The Russians finished first in Group A with two wins over Team Spirit and Fnatic. The side then advanced to the playoffs without any difficulty along the way. In the playoffs, Virtus.Pro defeated the Brazilian side Pain Gaming 2-0 before reaching the Grand Finale.
The Americans also finished at the top rank in the group stage. OpTic added two wins against Mineski and Newbee in Group C. The side then qualified for the playoffs and defeated Fnatic in the semifinals until the competition’s Grand Finale against Virtus.Pro. The team is still alive in search of a place for The International 2018.
However, their road will be quite difficult since the side will now have to participate in the open qualifiers. They will have to compete against teams like Evil Geniuses and VGJ.Storm to secure their ticket to The International.
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