SophoS' NA Sphere: A look into the Storm, VGJ
Photo courtesy of MasGamers
Team VGJ.Storm’s roster changes have been a juggling act. However, a hot streak during a string of qualifiers may ink them a ticket to a minor and major.
UPDATE: VGJ.Storm swept compLexity 2:0 to qualify for GESC Thailand Minor and then overpowered OpTic Gaming 3:1 to quailfy for MDL Changsha Major.
Recently, VGJ.Storm has defeated Evil Geniuses, compLexity and OpTic Gaming. Their victories do come with an asterisk. CompLexity is still in the middle of a transition after the departure of Kyle Freedman. EG and OpTic are focused on a March 29 appearance at DOTA 2 Asia Championships 2018. Evil Geniuses also appear to be fighting a bug picked up from GESC Indonesia as noted by Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev's colorful description.
The new lineup has advanced to the grand finals of MDL Changsha Major qualifiers. Their opponents will likely be EG or OpTic on a date yet to be determined. Today, they are scheduled to play in the grand finals for GESC Thailand Minor qualifiers against compLexity.
If VGJ.Storm advance to either of these LANs, they will have advanced to their first Pro DOTA Circuit event since MDL Macau.
For MDL, VGJ.Storm remain underdogs against EG and OpTic despite their recent triumphs. The prospect of stealing back-to-back series from either is a grueling task. Grueling, but not impossible. We will soon find out if their hot streak is a fluke or the preamble to the creation of an additional NA competitor.
GESC Thailand Minor represents their strongest opportunity to qualify for an event. As compLexity is dealing with uncertainty in their roster with players are not meshing to the same degree prior to the changes, this creates a favorable matchup for VGJ.Storm.
GESC Thailand and MDL Major protest
VGJ.Storm entered a joint protest with compLexity over the tournament qualifiers overlapping and 'unfair' treatment and scheduling. The two teams claim that MDL and GESC admins have shown preferential treatment to certain teams, forcing others into unreasonable schedules and even competitive disadvantages. Both teams have reached out to Valve for assistance in similar, future situations.
As noted by manager Jack "KBBQ" Chen, essentially teams that had advanced into the grand finals of both events, such as VGJ, would have to play two, back to back, Bo5 grand finals. Obviously, this would create a disadvantage for the team in the second set of series and is something that is heavily avoided in professional competition.
There has been much controversy and problems with various scheduling in the qualifiers for the 2017-2018 Pro Circuit system due to the packed calendar and events occurring simultaneously. GESC: Thailand had already received backlash from the SEA teams when a last minute schedule change was implemented last week.
You may follow VGJ.Storm's twitter account to learn of match dates and other announcements.