EPIC League Division 1 is finally over and its winner is the same team that won the tournament’s Group Stage. In that sense, the result was not a big surprise. But if we reset all expectations and go back to the start of the competition, before anyone knew what to expect from this dark horse, I think it’s safe to say that VP performed much better than people had imagined.
EPIC League Division 1 Results
Overall, the results of EPIC League Division 1 were the following:
- 1st place: Virtus.pro
- 2nd place: OG
- 3rd place: Vikin.gg
- 4th place: Team Liquid
- 5th – 6th place: Team Secret
- 5th – 6th place: Natus Vincere
- 7th – 8th place: Team Nigma
- 7th – 8th place: Yellow Submarine
The entire Playoffs Stage was spectacular. Let’s take a quick look at how the two finalists reached the final act, before looking at the Grand Final itself.
This roster, made up of 5 relatively unknown players who used to represent the organization’s academy team, started the Playoffs with a match against Team Secret, the squad that won the esports team of the year award for winning 7 tournaments in a row without winning a single game in any of their Grand Finals.
Instead of getting completely destroyed, VP won the match with ease.
The first game took 33 minutes and the second one just 28. The only common hero between the two drafts was Lina. Save-‘s squad clearly loves this hero and they were going to use it again in the Grand Final.
After defeating Secret, VP went on to defeat Vikin.gg in two difficult games in which the CIS squad used the same strategy twice, a rare occurrence at this competitive level. In both games, they picked Faceless Void and Crystal Maiden and had to play against the same trio: IO + Tidehunter + Doom. Vikin.gg’s idea wasn’t bad, but in both games they lost the game towards the end because of the damage inflicted by the Faceless Void during the Chronospheres.
With this second victory, VP was now qualified for the Grand Final.
Unlike Virtus.pro, OG started the Playoffs Stage in the Lower Bracket and had to win 4 matches in a row to play in the Grand Final.
The first match was an easy one, because Yellow Submarine is a tier 2 team that qualified via the Play-In Stage, in which they managed to beat Just Error. SumaiL’s squad was completely out of shape and lost to this opponent, but OG didn’t even break a sweat. Ceb’s crew needed 28 minutes to end game 1 and 37 to end game 2. In both of these games, they used Sven as their position 1 carry hero.
The second match was supposed to be much harder, because the opponent was Natus Vincere. But just like before, they dominated both games with ease. Their IO pick proved to be quite inspired and it reminded everyone why OG won The International 2019 with it.
The third match was a Bo5, although nobody knows why, and OG won it against Vikin.gg without losing a single game. Apart from abusing Morphling a little bit, OG used very different drafts and strategies and proved its versatility against their less-experienced opponent.
The Grand Final of EPIC League Division 1 was one of the best of this season. Virtus.pro started game 1 with a victory, even though they were playing into some of OG’s favorite heroes: Morphling, Enigma, and Earth Spirit. It still took them 42 minutes to end it, but they eventually won and by that point, it looked as though the match would end rather quickly.
In games 2 and 3, VP drafted the same Lina + Sven combo that they used in game 1. And, to no one’s surprise, OG responded with Morphling, Earth Spirit, and Enigma where it was possible. Game 2 ended in 36 minutes with OG’s victory while the 3rd one ended in just 18 minutes. This complete stomp made VP switch to a completely different playstyle. Unfortunately for OG, their comfort picks got banned and they just couldn’t cope with their opponent’s late game tactics.