OG just won the Kiev Major by defeating Russian team Virtus.pro in a grueling 5-game series. With this victory, the European powerhouse has won 4 out of 5 Major events (Frankfurt, Boston, Manila, and Kiev). Their only fumble was 2016’s Shanghai Major, where they finished 7th-8th.
Virtus.pro had a strong outing in the Group Stage, finishing 3-0. They had convincing 2-0 victories against SEA teams Faceless and TNC. They also took down Team Random 2-1, comprised of players from the TI6-winning team Wings Gaming. VP also breezed through the main stage, coming up with 2-0 victories against iG and iG V, and a 2-1 game against Team VGJ.
OG had rough start in the tournament. They finished 3-1 in the Group Stage, and their victories all came in the form of 2-1 matches against SG Esports, Hard Random, and Thunderbirds. Their one loss came in a 2-0 against iG V. They looked to gain momentum going forward in the Main Event, and after 2-1 victories against Team Random and Team Faceless, they faced TI5 Champs Evil Geniuses. EG dragged OG into their long-game playstyle (Game 1 lasted 51 minutes, Game 2 was an hour-long game. EG also came from a 3-game series against SG esports which were 2 66 minute games and a 54 minute game.), OG came out on top 2-0.
Although both semifinal games were clean sweeps, by no means were they stomps. VP was up against iG, who were fresh from winning the DAC, and looked to ride their momentum to Ukraine. Game 1 saw the two teams go back and forth until around the 28-minute mark, where VP get 3 unanswered kills and start snowballing to the win. Game 2 was similar, but the trigger went off earlier, where VP kept getting picks around the 15-minute mark. Roman “Ramzes666” Kushnarev went off on Faceless Void in Game 1, ending with a 12/1/11 KDA. In Game 2, it was Vladimir “Noone” Minenko who had the spotlight with an 18/3/12 KDA on Templar Assassin. iG’s Ye “Boboka” Zhibiao and Ou “Op” Peng also had stellar performances on a 10/3/12 Riki and 9/7/13 Ember Spirit.
The second semifinals series saw two Western titans clash. Two games painted similar pictures, with OG getting early game picks and snowballing from there. In Game 1, a 3-for-2 teamfight 13 minutes in put OG up 6-2 in kills and a 2, 000 gold lead. Their biggest lead was 22.5k gold at the 45-minute mark. In Game 2, it was 22.4k. Anathan “ana” Pham went off in the series, going 11/3/12 on Ember Spirit and 11/6/14 on Templar Assassin. Sumail “Suma1l” Hassan had an amazing 14/4/8 Death Prophet in the second game.
OG were the favorites coming in to the Finals. In the last two seasons, OG have been in all six Valve-hosted events, being invited to five and qualifying for one. VP were in four, getting a direct invite to two, and qualifying for the other two. But being the underdogs didn’t get to Virtus.pro’s heads. They took the series to five games when they were predicted to lose in a sweep.
Game 1 look to be in Virtus.pro ‘s way, with their scary teamfighting comp with Tusk, Magnus, and Warlock to set up and Slark and Ursa to clean up, but OG showed just why they were the reigning and defending Majors champs. VP played OG’s game, getting early game picks and snowballing into a 17k gold lead at 40 minutes. All looked right for VP until a decisive teamfight that ended 4-for-0 in OG’s favor slingshotted them back into the game to take the win.
Virtus.pro looked to clean up their next games. They sat down and looked at their mistakes in game 1, and applied their strengths to the next games. Picking up the Magnus and Warlock from Game 1, they picked up Terrorblade in place of Slark for the splitpush and siege potential. They played the same way they got their lead in Game 1, and although two aces in the late game wiped VP to put OG back in the game, VP came back with a wipe of their own to make OG call the gg in 35 minutes to take Game 2.
OG tried to bounce back in Game 3 and one of their strongest moves was taking away the Magnus from Pavel “9Pasha” Khvastunov and giving it to Gustav “s4” Magnusson. s4 currently holds the record for most games played on Magnus professionally, with 110, on an impressive 72.73% win rate (h/t @NahazDota). VP got the first blood, and from minute 0:00, they never gave OG the lead. In an almost mirrored game, they snowballed like they did in Game 2, OG won 2 big teamfights in the late game, before VP won a teamfight of their own to secure Game 3.
Virtus.pro were one win away from becoming kingslayers.
VP tried to play it like they did the previous games; get early game leads and snowball. It didn’t work out too well as OG got the first blood onto Ilya “LiL” Ilyuk’s Monkey King. One of the key components in OG’s Game 4, and the whole tournament, was Terrorblade. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein picked it up and finished with a 5/1/7 KDA. A 10/3/9 Ember Spirit performance by ana also helped. Another OG comfort pick in Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka’s Earth Spirit was also vital, bagging a game-high 14 assists. From the get-go, OG played VP’s aggressive playstyle and it payed off. VP called gg after 33 minutes, and they were headed to Game 5. This was only the second Game 5 Grand Finals in a Valve event, the first being The International 2013’s between Alliance and Na’vi.
Again, VP played their VP style. This time it went a lot better. VP got first blood. They were winning their lanes. At the 38-minute mark, theywere up 10k gold, and 22-5 in kills.
Then one decisive teamfight turned it all around.
In the blink of an eye, 4 of the Russian members were dropped by OG. It was a mix of lightning quick decision making, pure skill, and a little bit of luck.
This would be the teamfight that made OG overcome a 10k gold deficit, net them their 4th Major Championship, $1 million, and a direct invite to The International 2017.
Feature image from OG Facebook