EPIC League Division 1 is entering week 2 today and 12 exciting matches await, spread over 4 competitive days. In this article I’ll take a brief look at them but first, let’s take a look at what happened during week 1.
EPIC League Division 1 First Week Results
Week 1 of EPIC League Division 1 was full of unexpected results. For example, Team Liquid, the winner of the recent ESL One Germany 2020, lost 3 matches in a row and is currently sitting at the bottom of the rankings table. By contrast, Natus Vincere, the Grand Finalist of that tournament, won its first 3 matches and is leading the pack.
Another team that played well was Vikin.gg. Its first match was against Team Liquid, a team they had defeated before in the Grand Final of DOTA Summit 13 Online: Europe & CIS. But their second victory was even more impressive: 2 – 0 against Team Secret. Nobody could have predicted that. I think it’s pretty obvious that something’s going on with Vikin.gg these days. Not that many months ago, they were a provincial nobody. Now they’re winning trophies and matches against the world’s best competitors.
Many upsets took place during the first week. Apart from Secret losing to Vikin.gg, Nigma lost to mudgolems in spite of having KuroKy in the captain role again. Another match that could be considered an upset was Virtus.pro versus OG, which ended with a clear victory in favor of VP. In both of their games, they played with the same 3 heroes: Magnus, Void, and Enchantress.
Keep in mind, this is Virtus.pro’s former academy team, VP.Prodigy. The main roster was released and the junior squad took their place, in a very unusual move made by the management of the club. To be fair, VP.P had better results than the official team, so what Dmitriy did makes perfect sense. But I still feel like losing Solo and No[o]ne is going to be detrimental in the long run. These players know an enormous amount of Dota and managed to win many Majors together. VP could have at least tried to sell them to another organization.
The complete results of the first week of EPIC League Division 1 are the following:
- 1st : Natus Vincere: 3 V – 0 L
- 2nd: Vikin.gg: 2 V – 0 L
- 3rd: mudgolems: 2 V – 1 L
- 4th: Virtus.pro: 1 V – 0 L
- 5th: Team Nigma: 1 V – 1 L
- 6th: Team Secret: 1 V – 1 L
- 7th: Just Error: 1 V – 2 L
- 8th: OG: 1 V – 2 L
- 9th: Alliance: 0 V – 2 L
- 10th: Team Liquid: 0 V – 3 L
Second Week Predictions
The second week of EPIC League Division 1 promises to be just as thrilling as the first. Some of the key teams to watch during this week are Team Secret, Virtus.pro, and Just Error.
Secret is always fun to watch and it’s interesting to see if they can maintain their dominance in the region. With the exception of ESL One Germany 2020, an event in which they finished 4th, Puppey and his squad won almost everything else and totally ruled over Europe and CIS this year. Now they’re heavily contested, even by teams like Vikin.gg. So I’m curious if they can fight back and improve their strategies. Some of the things they do, including timings and drafting patters, seem the have been read by their competitors. Some variations are required and Puppey will be put to the test this week.
Virtus.pro is a great team to watch because they missed from the radar for so long. Back when they were competing in every event, they were doing much better than people usually expect from an academy team. VP.P won 3 tournaments this year and was in the top 3 of 3 other events. If this team can maintain its momentum, I’m pretty sure they’ll get a deep run at EPIC League Division 1.
Finally, the third exciting team to watch is Just Error. This is practically the former Virtus.pro squad plus SumaiL and Zayac. SumaiL is famous for his abilities in the mid role. As for Zayac, he still needs to prove himself. But the roster as a whole looks amazing: RAMZES (carry), SumaiL (midlaner), No[o]ne (offlaner), Zayac (roamer), and Solo (support).
The only big issue I see with this lineup, apart from Zayac not being the type of roamer that can truly impact a game, such as RodJER or GH, is the fact that No[o]ne plays position 3. I would have liked to see SumaiL play that role, given that he used to do that in the past, and let No[o]ne play his usual midlane heroes. It’s hard to tell at this point how well this lineup is going to perform, but that’s why the upcoming matches are so exciting.
- pro – Error: Virtus.pro is the favorite
- gg – mudgolems: mudgolems has a big advantage
- Nigma – Alliance: Nigma should easily win this match
- OG – Vikin.gg: Vikin.gg shoudln’t lose to OG in their current form
- Nigma – Error: With KuroKy back, Nigma should win this
- Secret – Liquid: No chance that Secret loses here, against a 0 V – 3 L Liquid
- pro – mudgolems: Even match
- Alliance – Vikin.gg: Vikin.gg has a big advantage in its current form
- Secret – Error: Secret should win this match with a score of 2 - 0
- OG – Natus Vincere: Based of what we’ve seen so far, Na’Vi will win this
- Liquid – Alliance: Liquid is the favorite in theory, but their form is abysmal
- pro – Nigma: Virtus.pro looks perfectly capable of winning this match