The Europe/CIS region has finally seen the most intense and high octane online Grand Final action in 2020 after months of one-sided affairs. The Grand Final contest between Virtus.pro and OG went the full distance to five games that involved a combo of stomps and close matches. Virtus.pro emerged on top of this taxing brawl to become the champions of EPIC League.
Game 1 was an absolute stomp by Virtus.pro as they made MidOne’s cheese pick of Clinkz look all out of sorts. OG lost almost every lane which forced them to resort to split pushing. All eggs were put into Ceb’s basket as they hoped for a massive Blackhole comeback by him on Enigma. Though they managed to prolong the game, Virtus.pro’s choice to buy Abyssal Blade on Sven and Mars to counter Ceb’s BKB Blackhole completely shattered their hopes. They lost Game 1 in 42 minutes.
OG gave Virtus.pro a taste of their own medicine in Game 2 as they initially came out ahead in the laning phase and then choked their enemies into small areas. The two-time TI champions showcased their typical aggression and “run at them” strategy. A spectacular Blackhole steal play by Save- on Rubick onto four enemy heroes came at the 30th minute mark but OG had already built up such a commanding lead that they respawned and finished off the game in 36 minutes.
Both the teams went in with the same hero opening in Game 3 with Virtus.pro taking Sven and Lina while OG took Morphling and Earth Spirit. The stubbornness paid for OG as Topson and Saksa rolled around the map like madmen with a flying MidOne Nightstalker which gave Virtus.pro no chances to find farm on the map. The bears could no longer take on the humiliation of dying all around the map and tapped out of the game as early as 18 minutes.
Game 4 witnessed Virtus.pro banning Topson's mid Morphling which opened up N0tail’s signature Io in the first phase. But OG took Sven and Enigma as their initial picks with a surprise last pick of Ancient Apparition in the midlane. Despite the laning phase going equally well for both sides, epileptick1d grew a beast on Ursa and casually ran around the map, killing heroes. OG’s unorthodox draft did not work as they lost Game 4 in 39 minutes, levelling up the series 2-2.
Game 5 of the Grand finals began with Virtus.pro taking a carry Phantom Assassin in the first phase while OG went back to N0tail’s Omniknight and Ceb’s Magnus. Further, with almost every in-meta hero banned, they had to pick a Slark for MidOne. The game looked to be slightly in Virtus.pro’s command at the halfway stage as they had compiled a lot more kills than their enemies. OG was able to farm considerably well on their cores but their teamfight impact was relatively lower which allowed Virtus.pro to grow stronger as a team. They eventually pushed their advantage to win the series 3-2 as OG had no answers to a fat Phantom Assassin.
The roster of Virtus.pro that was revamped and introduced just before the inception of EPIC League in early November has surpassed all boundaries and hurdles to win the tournament. In a tourney that consisted of the best in the scene in the form of Secret, Nigma, OG, Liquid, we have the new team to beat- Virtus.pro.
OG, on the other hand, looked a lot better and smoother in their gameplay and drafting as compared to previous tournaments. A win would have definitely pleased them to the maximum but a runner-ups position would also feel great after a series of disappointing finishes.
With this, top tier Europe/CIS action gets over at the EPIC League with the young guns of Virtus.pro taking the Division 1 title while Alliance bounced back after a tough Division 1 result to become the champions of Division 2. Eight of these top teams will be back on December 15 as OGA Dota PIT Season 4: Europe/CIS is set to begin with the last signicant tournament of 2020.