The International 2018: VGJ.Storm

If there’s one thing that unites fans of esports and fans of regular sports, it’s that we all love underdogs. Like The Mighty Ducks. And VGJ.S are the Mighty Ducks of NA. The team was formed from what was seen as NA’s T2 pool of players, who had never really seen success. Their biggest asset was SVG, who has seen most of his success as a coach and is held in high regards in the NA region due to this. As a player, he still has a lot to prove though. When the team re-formed at the beginning of the year, he had to perform miracles in a very short time. And he sort of did. Under his leadership, VGJ.S grew quickly. Inching closer to the top NA teams every week. But he couldn’t do it with the pieces he had. It took an outsider, an Adam Banks, to take the team to the next level. In Resolut1on, they found that player. And just like in the movie, it’s not necessarily Reso that carries the team, but he gives them a sense of security by just being on the playing field.

VGJ.Storm’s story this year is a lot shorter than that of their regional rivals in EG or OpTic. Their season only really started in February when the team was completely reformed. Even though they had such a short time to get results they have been able to win a minor and place 2nd in a major. Impressive seeing as how they beat teams like Secret, Fnatic, and PSG.LGD in those tournaments. The only result that should have fans worried is in the last tournament of the season. At the Dota 2 Supermajor, the team was eliminated in the second round of the brackets after a loss against TNC Predator, a team that has a lot of potential but haven’t really shown that off this year. The new roster saw some initial success as VGJ.S won two out of their first four qualifiers but everything wasn’t going as smooth as they would’ve hoped. The team had high expectations on themselves and visa issues for their mid player Enzo "Timado" Gianoli held them back. As he couldn’t live with the team, practice was hard. If they wanted a shot an international success, they had to have all players in one spot. So when they were presented with the opportunity to sign Resolut1on they didn’t hesitate. While there’s no way of telling if they would’ve had the same success with Timado it’s doubtful that they would have. With Resolut1on on their roster, they won a minor and placed сецондin a major, in short succession. Suddenly, players such as SVG, MSS, and Sneyking players who weren’t seen as top tier got a boost that allowed them to elevate their play to a whole new level. The biggest hurdle that stands between VGJ.S and a great placement at TI8 is their underdog status. While we could go into detail about why fulfilling the underdog prophecy can be a thing, Sneyking himself said it best in an interview with When asked about their failure at the Dota 2 Supermajor he said:

“However, after these two events [MDL Changska & GESC: Thailand Ed.], all of those underdog expectations were gone and people come extremely prepared in matches against you. When this happens to you, the games become much harder to play and a mistake or two will be the end of your tournament.” They have the building blocks on the team. They have the mind of SVG, the skill of MSS, the x-factor in Sneyking, the talented mid in Yawar, and the man who has had more success as an underdog than anyone: Resolut1on. In the previously mentioned interview Sneyking gave VGJ.S a 5% chance to grab the Aegis. I’ll agree with that. But they’ll have to fight for every one of those percent.

(1/2) Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok
(1/2) Yawar "YawaR" Hassan
(3) Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu
(4) Arif "MSS" Anwar
(5) Avery "SVG" Silverman 
The International 2018: VGJ.Storm The International 2018: VGJ.Storm Reviewed by Jesi Max on 09:09 Rating: 5

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