Virtus.pro win The Bucharest Major and secure the first direct invite to The International 2018
There is a saying third time is a charm. Something quite different happened to Virtus.pro. They succeeded three times and got an even bigger reward at the third time.
Virtus.pro is the first team to complete the main objective of the Dota Pro Circuit 2017-2018: to get invited to The International 2018. Now it is okay for them to rest for several months although they are likely to still want to take part in upcoming events to get more practice and prizes.
VGJ.Thunder seemed strong before they met Virtus.pro, losing only once out of eight games. Unfortunately, in the grand finals Virtus.pro swept VGJ.Thunder 3-0 in the grand finals, scoring at least twice the amount of kills made by the losing team in each game.
Due to the single elimination bracket format used in the tournament, VGJ.Thunder got to the grand finals without facing Team Liquid on the way while Team Liquid was tossed out of the tournament by Virtus.pro in the semifinals. Based on popular opinion, Team Liquid versus Virtus.pro would have been a more exciting grand finals. Team Liquid is also well-known as one of the best teams in the world right now and Virtus.pro had a harder time defeating Team Liquid.
The meta in this patch
Patch 7.10 saved us from seeing two very similar major tournaments in three weeks. We still saw Gyrocopter way too often, this hero was either picked or banned in all games, but other popular heroes were not spammed too much and previously ignored heroes appeared in The Bucharest Major.
The removal of the experience bonus from bounty runes made significant changes in supports and offlaners. Supports tend to stay in lane more to gain experience, especially the safelane. This caused position three picks to be less greedy.
Offlane Pugna and Razor became uncommon due to how squishy they are. Instead, we saw durable heroes such as Tidehunter and Beastmaster guarding the hard lane more often. The two former heroes were still drafted often, but they occupied the midlane most of the time.
Surprisingly, Dark Willow was not too popular. Widely believed to be overpowered, this hero easily showed her prowess in the competitive scene, but was only banned and picked five times each. It is unclear whether this hero was not popular because she does not fit the meta or teams are not prepared for this newcomer.
More balancing needed
The latest patch improved the diversity of drafts, but it was not enough. Watching games get boring fast if the heroes barely change.
Patch 7.11 should address heroes balancing once again. Two Digital Pro Circuit minor tournaments will be conducted during the 7.11 period. We do not want to see Gyrocopter all the time again. We also want less Disruptor and Death Prophet.
Besides balancing, we also want Pangolier in Captain’s Mode. Pangolier seems less overpowered compared to Dark Willow in pubs, so it shouldn’t be a bad idea to enable this swordsman after seeing how Dark Willow fared in The Bucharest Major.
And free courier. No reason for it to need to be paid for.
What hero would you like to see more? What hero would you like to see less? Let us know in the comments below!