VP.Prodigy and OG.Seed are the last two teams to qualify for the WePlay! Pushka League Season 1: Division 1, via their respective regional finals and are now set to compete with some of the strongest Dota2 teams in the world.
WePlay! Pushka League was announced earlier in March as a new full-fledged online league, which will feature seven European and seven CIS Dota2 teams who will duke it out for the largest slice of US $250,000 prize pool.
VP.Prodigy, an academy team of Virtus.pro fought their way through WePlay! Pushka League Season 1: CIS Qualifier, which ran between April 20-22 and it featured Cyber Legacy, Team Empire Hope, Cyber TRAKTOR and VP.Prodigy. The qualifiers were played in a single-elimination bracket with all fixtures played as best-of-three (Bo3), meaning each CIS Dota2 squad had only one chance to leave a mark, and it was VP.Prodigy who impressed the most.
As a team that was announced at the beginning of the month, VP.Prodigy made some serious noise in the competitive Dota2 scene, as they already picked up top place finish at Parimatch League Season 2 Relegation, to which they added titles from Gaming World and StayHome Challenge. VP.Prodigy entered the WePlay! Pushka League Season 1: CIS Qualifier as one of the main favourites and the quintet of Albert "eine" Garayev, Vitaliy "Save-" Melnik, Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin, Rostislav "fn" Lozovoi and Egor "epileptick1d" Grigorenko did not fail to impress.
Save- and co. made easy work of Cyber TRAKTOR in round one, where they needed less than an hour to pick up up two convincing map wins with an aggregate score showing 55-23 kill lead and over 52.8k gold lead once the series were set and done. After picking up a commanding win over Cyber TRAKTOR, VP.Prodigy translated their momentum into the next match, where they swept Team Empire Hope and although the latter managed to produce more resistance compared to Cyber TRAKTOR, the end result was mostly the same. Save- and his crew ended the series with a clean sweep (2-0) and an aggregate kill lead of 59-34 as well as combined gold lead of over 36k.
VP.Prodigy's success, however, is not all that shocking, considering Save- and epileptick1d are both former members of Virtus.pro. Now VP.Prodigy are set to enter the main event where they are slated to meet with their main roster. Joining VP.Prodigy and Virtus.pro in their venture through WePlay! Pushka League will also be Natus Vincere, B8, HellRaisers, FlyToMoon and Team Spirit, who will round up the seven-team group.
While VP.Prodigy justified their tag as the favourites in their regional qualifiers for WePlay! Pushka League, OG.Seed managed to overcome their tag as underdogs with an impressive run through the European qualifiers, where they meet with Chicken Fighters, Vikin.gg and Aggressive Mode.
OG.Seed's run through WePlay! Pushka League Season 1: Europe Qualifier began with a clash against Chicken Fighters, who put up a show at ESL One Los Angeles 2020 - Online: Europe & CIS, where they picked up wins over Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Spirit and Team Liquid, while also forcing Team Secret into three-map series.
In the playoffs of ESL One Los Angeles 2020 - Online: Europe & CIS, Chicken Fighters also upset Team Nigma (2-1) and swept Team Spirit (2-0), yet were unable to overcome Vikin.gg (1-2). Nonetheless, the European-mix finished the ESL One tournament at fourth place, which was a massive achievement on its own. Despite holding onto the tag as the favourites, however, Chicken Fighters were unable to defeat OG.Seed in round one of WePlay! Pushka League Season 1: Europe Qualifier, where Petu "Peksu" Vaatainen and co. picked up a commanding 2-0 win with relative ease.After defeating Chicken Fighters, OG.Seed were slated to meet with Vikin.gg, who were seen as the main favourites of the qualifiers, considering they just recently picked up a bronze medal at ESL One Los Angeles 2020 - Online: Europe & CIS, where they defeated Team Secret (2-0).
The match between Vikin.gg and OG.Seed began with the Romanian squad picking up the first map with a commanding performance, which saw them end the match with 24-8 kill lead and 13.7k gold lead. Much of their success came down to the impressive performance of Miroslav “BOOM” Bičan who looked unstoppable on Templar Assassin.
Despite their dominance in game one, the next game of the series was much closer, as the two sides looked equally matched in the early-mid game, but once all the dust had settled, it was OG'Seed who looked stronger. Omar “Madara” Dabachach and his performance on Phantom Assassin proved pivotal in his team success, as he tore through Vikin.gg's defences, who had no answer ready to stop OG.Seed's advances. The second match of the series ended in just under 35 minutes, with OG.Seed pulling out ahead with 31-22 kill lead and 13k gold lead.
The third and final match of the series was just like the second map very close from minute one. Teams went back and forth and although Vikin.gg looked slightly stronger for most of the first 25 minutes of the match, it was OG.Seed who won a couple of crucial teamfights in mid-late game to get themselves ahead. This time it was Rasmus "Chessie" Blomdin on Void Spirit (10/1/19) who proved to be a huge nuisance to deal with and with the help of his team produced a remarkable comeback to win the game in exactly 36 minutes, with a 33-16 kill lead and 10.6k gold lead.
With an outstanding run through the qualifiers, OG.Seed are now set to join Team Nigma, Team Spirit, Team Liquid, Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas and their main roster OG, in their journey at WePlay! Pushka League Season 1: Division 1.
WePlay! Pushka League Season 1: Division 1 is scheduled to run from Thursday, April 23 to Tuesday, May 12. The 14 teams have been divided into two regional groups of seven, where a round-robin Bo3 format will be in place. Each win will award a team with two points, whereas a loss awards no points, with the top four teams from each group advancing into the playoffs. The bottom three teams are eliminated. The playoffs will run from May 7-11, featuring a double-elimination bracket, where all matches will be played in Bo3, with the exception of the grand finals, where a Bo5 match format will be in place.
OG.Seed's first match of the tournament is slated for Thursday when they will meet with Ninjas in Pyjamas, who recently signed Chicken Fighters' roster, while VP.Prodigy's first match will be played on Monday when they will meet with Team Spirit.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.