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How did Virtus.Pro qualify for The International 8 three months ahead of invites?

The math’s been done — and the numbers have been reached.

Virtus.Pro after their ESL One Katowice 2018 victory.
Helena Kristiansson | ESL

With another Major victory under their belt, Virtus.Pro can’t be knocked off the road for the Aegis of Champions.

VP was declared to be the first team to reach a minimum Qualifying Points threshold to qualify for The International after they won the Bucharest Major, with a VP’s win over VGJ.Thunder. The equation was set early in the season by analysts and mathematicians, and is tracked on Liquipedia. In theory, VP could kick back, drop the rest of their events and and wait out the rest of the season.

Even if there weren’t a point system in place, VP has established itself as as a terrifying contender this season. The CIS squad won three out of the five Majors that have taken place thus far and placed at least top four at all of their Minors, including a win at Dota Summit 8.

Their QP-earning victories throughout the Dota Pro Circuit were:

  • ESL One Hamburg, Major — 1st, 750 QP
  • AMD Sapphire Dota Pit League, Minor — 4th 15 QP
  • MDL Macau, Minor — 3rd/4th, 22 QP (Sub Penalty)
  • Dota Summit 8, Minor — 1st, 112 QP (Sub Penalty)
  • ESL One Katowice, Major — 1st, 750 QP
  • Bucharest Major, Major — 1st 750 QP

They earned 7197 QP total with their top three players holding onto the team’s points. (Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk was traded out for Natus Vincere’s Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosyan mid-season, but this didn’t impact VP’s score.)

In short, they spent the first half of the Pro Circuit season establishing their rule over competitive Dota 2.

What’s the math on the “invite?”

Early in the season, analyst and coverage specialist Michael “CorruptDropBear” Huffa, among other math-types in the scene, did some math to figure out how many Qualifying Points a team needs to make it to TI.

In layman terms, a team needs just about a ninth of the points available throughout the season. This is essentially “eight teams, plus the sum of the other teams unable to break in.” It parallels a “quota” voting system used in countries such as Australia.

So consider the following: If there are eight invites, and 18550 Qualifying Points available (after the cancelled events), that means:

(18550 ÷ 9) + 1 = 2062 —> for a player, which comes out to 6186 for the team.

As a reminder, VP currently has 7197 QP accounted for.

To give you a sense of how overpowering this run has been, we’re still at less than 50% of the circuit’s point value, at 47.4% QP being given. However, VP’s top earners have taken a whopping 27.26% of that — well over a quarter of the total, even after their two tournaments of substitute penalties. (If they’d won with their original rosters, that’d be up to 27.78%.)

Even if other teams try to catch up, there’s literally nothing most of them can do to knock them out of the running at this rate. So it’s safe to say that they’re safe to stay.

What does this mean for The International?

Numbers aside, there’s no doubt at all that Virtus.Pro have dominated the Dota Pro Circuit throughout the season. But success in the season doesn’t mean everything once The International rolls around, as anything can happen at the annual event.

The Kiev Major win of European squad OG came right up on the heels of TI7 invites, in May of 2017. They even took the Boston Major in December 2016. However, the squad couldn’t break the top three in the three events leading up to TI7. At the annual Valve event, OG had a tough 9-7 group stage and ended up in the lower brackets in the playoffs before being eliminated by LGD-Gaming.

Meanwhile, in the weeks following Kiev, Team Liquid was able to get into better shape. Despite a 5th-8th loss in Kiev, they won the next three consecutive events, two of which would probably be considered “Majors” in this circuit, and one “Minor,” the last event before TI7. Of course, Liquid went on to take the Aegis, even closely overcoming Virtus.Pro in the lower bracket.

Virtus.Pro really just needs to keep their momentum going into the rest of this season, and they will moving into the Dota 2 Asia Championships, the next Major and VP’s next planned event.