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Earlier in the month, Virtus Pro withdrew from the Dota Summit 11 Minor to allow their players more time to practice together. The team’s decision left a CIS spot open for the first event of the 2019-20 Dota Pro Circuit, but it seems as though a replacement has been found.
With a little over a week left before the Minor begins, jfshfh178’s position four player Danil “Bignum” Shehovtsov revealed the team was approved for US visas and would be attending Summit. The team’s participation in the tournament has yet to be confirmed by Beyond the Summit. But after VP withdrew from Summit, the tournament host said it was working with jfshfh178 to secure them visas so they could fill in as replacements.
This puts a stack with a few CIS veterans into the space of one of the most recognizable Dota 2 brands on the planet, trading out International level experience with what equates to barely a Tier 2 squad. Of course, it wasn’t up to BtS to make this call, but VP pulling out is likely to hurt the overall viewership for the Minor at least a little bit.
It’s awesome to see players like Nikita “Palantimos” Grinkevich and Bignum get back to a big stage, and there was really nothing Valve could have done to spice the bracket up without ignoring the results of the qualifier. Jfshfh178 seems like a good team being thrown out to the slaughter against other competitors like Ninjas in Pyjamas and Invictus Gaming who have better rosters and more experience.
The jfshfh178 stack will go into Dota Summit 11 as massive underdogs, with a chance to upset everyone and claim not only a good chunk of DPC points but a ticket to the MDL Chengdu Major when the Minor begins on Nov. 7.