Dota PIT 2020: The Winners and Losers

by Fabio

Dota PIT 2020 Online has delivered some incredible matches and has shown us just how fragile the top of competitive Dota 2 currently is. A lot of teams are vying for the #1 spot, but as of now Team Secret are the only ones to consistently step up in the moments that matter. With their victory at Dota PIT, they have further solidified themselves as the best international squad that the game has on offer at the moment. The switch to online play has done nothing to dull the players’ hunger for trophies. The matches have been as exciting as they could have possibly been without a crowd present. 

Some teams have defied expectations, some have rather struggled to maintain performance. We have assembled a list of the winners and losers of Dota PIT 2020 Online.

The Inconcistency of Virtus.pro

Virtus.pro have perhaps been the least successful team in this tournament. While they did win more matches than, for instance, Team Spirit, they’ve landed way off the mark. The likes of Spirit and HellRaisers were never really expected to make it deep into the event anyways, but VP were one of the favorites. Just recently they led the charge in ESL One: Los Angeles Online, where they beat OG in the Grand Finals. However, within one month’s time they have deteriorated considerably. Right now, they appear to be struggling with inconsistency. 

During the playoffs, Virtus.pro managed to get their act together a little better. Having lost to Ninjas in Pyjamas before, they were now able to best them in the Lower Bracket. Unfortunately, the fell rather decisively to Team Liquid shortly after.

Team Liquid’s Redemption

Team Liquid have basically had a similar storyline to VP during Dota Pit 2020. Their performance during the Group Stage has arguably been worse. Only beating Team Spirit in the process (who wound up going 0-4 anyways), they barely made it into the playoffs. From there on, they finally started to gather some speed. They overtook FlyToMoon and Alliance, after which they met up with Virtus.pro – and took the series on a 2-0 scoreline. In their next match, they had to face OG, who had not lost a single map during the Group Stage. Unexpectedly, Liquid managed to survive OG and actually put up rather convincing show. However, the Grand Finals against Team Secret were a bit too much to handle. Especially in the second and third rounds of the Best-of-Five series, Secret just wiped the floor with Team Liquid.

The Dota 2 Team Secret roster (via teamsecret.gg)

And Not a Single Map Was Lost…

Team Secret have actually been clearing house during their entire tournament run. Apart from one series against Liquid during the Group Stage, where one map went to 80 minutes (!!), they were able to end most of their games within the 35 minute mark. They haven’t lost a single map during Dota Pit 2020 Online, which should be considered quite the achievement. 

Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen was the star-player of the event. With a strong 9.93 KDA rate, he was a cut above the rest of the playing field. As the carry player of Team Secret, he was set up to have the highest impact and damage output of the team. In terms of stats, his mid-lane colleague, Michał “Nisha” Jankowski was close behind. 

Their roster change, brought about in November of 2019, seems to have paid off. Ever since the start of 2020, Team Secret have been on a road of steady improvement. It began with a victory at the DreamLeague S13 Major in Leipzig, after which Secret delivered two Grand Finals appearances. From all the teams present at this event, they have arguably shown the most consistent form so far, thus their Grand Finals success at Dota PIT 2020 comes as little surprise. However, the same cannot be said for OG.

OG’s Stand-In Carousel

The most recent The International title holders have not had the best start to the year, having switched out ⅗ of their TI-winning squad from 2019. The coronavirus pandemic has hit them especially hard. With plenty of travel restrictions in place, some players were not able to return to Europe in time for the upcoming events. A lot of stand-ins had to be rotated in and out, obviously impacting the performance of the squad. A second (online) place during ESL One Los Angeles 2020 was all that they could muster. For Dota PIT 2020, their roster was shaken up massively again. Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen was unable to attend, forcing Sébastien “Ceb” Debs to make a stand-in appearance. Since Ceb had recently been playing the off-lane position, Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng was temporarily moved to the mid-lane. 

This is why their dominance during the Group Stage at Dota PIT 2020 Online wasn’t something that the analysts had taken for granted. Maybe this doesn’t come as a surprise, though. Arguably, a lot of the teams in OG’s original group were not up to par with the majority of Group B. OG didn’t have to fight such tough opponents until later in the event – and when they did, their struggles showed. 

After a victory against the Ninjas in Pyjamas in their opening match, it all went downhill pretty fast. Two 0-2 losses against Team Secret and Team Liquid were all they could muster. Under these difficult circumstances, the results are probably quite adequate. Until all OG players manage to get back together under one roof, their shaky performance will likely continue on. 

promotional poster for ESL One Birmingham 2020 Online

What Is Next for These Teams?

Competitive Dota 2 won’t back down during this global crisis. ESL One Birmingham 2020 Online has already begun and the first matches have been played out. The event features a total of 16 teams, with most of the Dota PIT 2020 squads back in action. One June 7th, the Grand Finals will decide the winner of this massive online tournament. Judging from recent performance, Team Secret and Team Liquid arguably have the best shot of taking home the trophy. 

Read this: ppd Dota 2: a True Legend Retires

Later in June, BLAST Bounty Hunt will provide BLAST’s first entry into the Dota 2 esports space. The company has already provided quality tournaments in CS:GO, so hopefully they will approach Dota with the same level of professionalism. With so much Dota 2 action on the horizon, you have rarely ever had a better reason to just sit back and enjoy some quality esports action!

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