Dota Pro Circuit 2021/22 regional finals have been held in three regions: Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and South America. Next in line are Eastern Europe, China, and North America. Of course, for us, the CIS finals will be the most interesting. The four strongest teams in the regional league got there: Team Spirit, PuckChamp, Virtus.pro, and HellRaisers. There's a 99% chance Team Spirit will become the winner. This team won The International 10, after which it didn't relax and continued to show good results. The Dragons finished the DPC league with a score of 7-0, so there's no reason to think that any team from the CIS can stop them now. But there will be a fierce struggle for second place. Three teams are approximately at the same level. Each of them can take second, third, or fourth place. Read who is the second favorite and the main underdog of the DPC regional finals in the CIS in the material of Cybersport.Metaratings.ru.
The tournament format
The regional finals of the professional 2021/22 season in the CIS will be held on February 18-20. Four teams that made it to the top 4 during the season will take part in it. There will be no group stage. The season will start with the playoff. It will be a Double Elimination competition, which means that each team will be able to make a mistake (to lose) only once. In the first round, the first-place team in the league will play against the fourth-place team and the second-place team will play against the third-place team. Thus, the teams that distinguished themselves during the season will have a slight advantage.
The tournament prize fund
Over the three days of the tournament, the teams will fight for 100,000 USD and 380 DPC points. With these prizes, Valve decided to compensate for the lack of the major for the teams that took first place at the end of the first season of the league. All four participants will gain the money prize, but only the two strongest teams will get the DPC points. The distribution of prizes is as follows.
- 1st place — 50,000 USD + 250 qualifying points;
- 2nd place — 25,000 USD + 130 qualifying points;
- 3rd place — 15,000 USD;
- 4th place — 10,000 USD.
The tournament participants
In the CIS, the league's top teams were Team Spirit (7-0), PuckChamp (6-1), Virtus.pro (4-3), and HellRaisers (4-3). The last two teams managed to decide their place in the DPC League only in replays. All the other odds during the season were very predictable. Nobody doubted Team Spirit would win. "The Dragons" are also the main favorite of the regional finals. However, even they can lose, although there are no prerequisites for that. Anyway, the fight for the DPC points will be serious. Let's learn about the participants of the regional finals.
At the moment, Team Spirit is the strongest team in the world. "The Dragons" became The International 10 champions, after which their level of play declined, but not a lot. The team took second place during the fifth season of the OGA Dota PIT for the CIS and Europe, having lost to Tundra Esports in the grand finals. The team was tired, and its enthusiasm waned. Nevertheless, nobody from Team Spirit took an indefinite leave. During the first DPC season, the team had its usual roster which is as follows.
- Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk (carry);
- Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek (mid);
- Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov (offlane);
- Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov (position four);
- Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov (support).
Team Spirit ended the first DPC season with a score of 7-0. The Dragons lost only one map during the league — against Natus Vincere which didn't even become the strongest team. All the games were easy for Team Spirit. In each series, the team looked head and shoulders above its opponents who were like children playing in a sand-pit compared to the Dragons: so different their game was.
Team Secret always prepares for its opponents, it doesn't underestimate them. Therefore, the Dragons always play at their best against the CIS teams, though they play much better.
I think we can have difficulties with each team in the CIS. Winning DPC in the CIS is more difficult than winning The International.
Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek
Considering all of the above, it's hard to imagine that Team Spirit can lose to a team from the CIS. Theoretically, one loss could creep in because of bad drafts or "sleepy" play. But the regional finals are a Double Elimination competition, which means the Dragons can make only one mistake. In such circumstances, Team Spirit must take first place, as it has absolutely everything to do so. Most likely, that's what will happen.
During the second (and last) Dota Pro Circuit 2021 season, PuckChamp took only fifth place, having lost to Team Spirit, Virtus.pro, AS Monaco Gambit, and even Team Unique. After that, there were changes in the team. Now, this tag is represented by the following players.
- Alexandr "krylat" Krylatov (carry);
- Nikita "young G" Bochko (mid);
- Abdimalik "Malik" Sailau (offlane);
- Genadiy "Astral" Motuz (position four);
- Andrey "Dukalis" Kuropatkin (support).
PuckChamp finished the DPC season with a score of 6-1, having lost to Team Spirit (0-2). We cannot say the other matches were easier for it. PuckChamp managed to win the series against Virtus.pro, Mind Games, and Team Empire only on the third map. As we have said, this team can take any place from second to fourth in the regional finals. All will be decided during the matches.
Last year, Virtus.pro was the strongest CIS team. However, during The International 10, it lost to Team Spirit and took only 5-6th place at the main tournament of the year, which is also an incredible result for such a young team. Nevertheless, after the tournament, two players who can be called the team basis quit the team. Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko went to Evil Geniuses, and Vitalie "Save-" Melnic hasn't found a new team and still "rides the pine" in Virtus.pro.
In this regard, two new players joined Virtus.pro before the start of the new DPC season: Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko and Daniyal "yamich" Lazebnyy. The former has never played in a professional arena, and the latter was only in tier-2 stacks. Several weeks after the league began, Illias "Illias" Ganeev also left the team. According to his teammates, he had health problems and burnout from Dota 2 and had to take a break.
Illias was replaced by Egor "Xakoda" Lipartiia who also hasn't played in large esports organizations. What is amusing is that the club representatives promised that Illias could return to the roster at any time when he resolved his problems. And Xakoda let it slip: he was told that if the results of the team are worthy, he can stay in the roster. As we know, temporary substitutions often become permanent. Anyway, Virtus.pro will be represented by the following players during the regional finals.
- Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko (carry);
- Danil "gpK~" Skutin (mid);
- Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin (offlane);
- Daniyal "yamich" Lazebnyy (position four);
- Egor "Xakoda" Lipartiia (support).
At the beginning of the DPC season, Virtus.pro lost to PuckChamp (1-2) and HellRaisers (1-2) and then was defeated by Team Spirit (0-2). But when Xacoda came, the team started to play much better and won in the remaining games, as well as took revenge from HellRaisers, outplaying with a score of 2-0. Virtus.pro improved a lot during the season and now can be called one of the strongest teams in the region. Xacoda played a huge role in it.
Xacoda's playing style is actually very interesting. It's amazing when a fresh, new player comes and does such simple, trivial things that everyone kind of understands, but for some reason, he makes them 5-10% better. It's interesting to watch him. I'm by no means saying anything bad about Illias, but it was obvious that someone like Xakoda was missing to make the roster work. I don't know if that's because of his hero pool or he gives good information, but the team has really started to play better since he came.
Artsiom "Fng" Barshak
During the regional finals, Virtus.pro should fight with its opponents and take revenge. Of course, playing against Team Spirit will be extremely difficult, but the Bears can outplay PuckChamp. Among all the teams, Virtus.pro is the most likely to get second place and the desired DPC points.
Last season, HellRaisers played in the second division. At the end of the league, the team got into the first division but not The International 10, so the management decided to disband the roster. Before the new DPC season, the HellRaisers roster was built from scratch. It consists of the former B8 Esports players, as well as other young and promising players. Now the HellRaisers roster looks as follows.
- Alimzhan "Watson" Islambekov;
- Maxim "re1bl" Afanasyev;
- Yaroslav "Limitless" Parshin;
- Geogrii "Gilgir" Svistunov;
- Arman "Malady" Orazbayev.
HellRaisers started the season with four consecutive victories, but then lost to PuckChamp (0-2), Team Spirit (0-2), Team Empire (1-2), and was defeated by Virtus.pro in the replays. That makes us think that HellRaisers was strong only at the beginning of the season when all the teams with new rosters were just getting used to each other. And when they did it, HellRaisers started to lose.
Therefore, we do not want to bet on HellRaisers to win in the regional finals. Taking even second place would be difficult for the team. And if it plays like that at the end of the DPC season, it will take only last place.
Who is the main favorite?
From all of the above, we can conclude that Team Spirit is the absolute favorite for the DPC CIS Regional Finals. Hardly anyone can beat the Dragons. PuckChamp and Virtus.pro will most probably fight for second place. And the Bears will be the favorites in this confrontation. HellRaisers will have to play at their best so as not to take fourth place during the regional finals.