WePlay! Pushka League, with a $255,000 prize pool, took place on April 16 - May 12. The event featured 22 teams from Europe and CIS, including the champion and runner-up of The International 2019, as well as other distinguished participants with multiple titles.
Congratulations to Team Secret on their victory. The team won $70,000 and proved to be the strongest in two very competitive regions. WePlay! Pushka League was officially cast by studios and independent streamers in English, Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, French, German, and Spanish. The event was featured by Forbes, Reuters, and other prominent media outlets. According to analytical service Esports Charts, on average over 71,000 viewers were following WePlay! Pushka League. The most viewed match was Team Liquid vs. Virtus.pro, which drew over 188,000 viewers at its peak. It’s really important to say here that Esports Charts does not gather data from China.
Division 1 prize pool distribution:
Team Secret swept VP.Prodigy 3-0 in the grand finals to end the three week tournament with an overall 20-3 game score. Team Secret’s dominance at WePlay! Pushka League was expected, but the big surprise came from the youth team of Virtus.pro. VP.Prodigy placed third in their group, and once they entered the playoffs stage, they cruised up to the upper bracket finals where they encountered Team Secret for the first time. They lost 2-0 and came back from the lower bracket for a chance at taking a match from the European overlords. Unfortunately for them, Secret gave them no chance at revenge, boasting now a 5-0 record over VP.P. The grand finals series started with what most of you hate to see in your pub games: a support Sniper. While this might be a pub ruining experience, in the hands of Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat, the choice looked absolutely legit. He obviously went for a rushed Aghanim’s Scepter first item, followed by Ghost Scepter to stay safe from the potential right click coming from Prodigy’s core Clinkz, Mars and support Windranger.
In the winner’s interview at the end of the series Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainenen was asked how much YapzOr had to beg to get to play Sniper support in a competitive match and he said that he brought it up for about two weeks, but because they never really practiced, he was kind of ignored up to the grand finals. Yapz0r finished with a personal K/D/A of 6/2/23 reminding his fans that this is not the first time when he claims a title with an unconventional hero in the support role. Back in January 2019, Team Secret won the Chongqing Major with a support Luna.
After the dominant game one, Team Secret hit even stronger in game two with a carry Chaos Knight, a hero that was played only once before in the whole tournament, and with a support five Weaver. The game went down way too fast for any of the heroes to actually get big items, with Secret taking the 2-0 lead in the series in just 17 minutes. The last game featured a Clement “Puppey” Ivanov special: Chen paired with a safe lane Nature’s Prophet, played by Michał “Nisha” Jankowski, and a mid lane Troll Warlord for Matumbaman. VP.P tried to match the aggression with an Axe and a Void Spirit in the carry position, but although they had a better laning stage than in the previous matches, they didn’t have any real lockdowns for the Troll and gut crushed in under 30 minutes.
This was VP.Prodigy’s first major tournament, and the youth team of Virtus.pro has shown they’re capable of great things. Advancing further than their sister team, and even making it to Finals showed how talented this group is. Secret cruised to the finals without dropping a single game in the playoffs, and just three games in the entire tournament. It was an incredible display from a fantastic team that continues to be the very peak of European Dota in a time while other top teams are falling out of relevance.
WePlay! has once against put on an incredible tournament, despite difficulties from the ongoing worldwide situation. With remote casters, great on-air talent, and slick production, they’ve again shown how talented an organization they are. It will be exciting to see what they can bring. If you’re worried about missing top-quality Dota with this event ending, have no fears! The next big EU and CIS event already began with the AMD SAPPHIRE DOTA PIT Online EU/CIS Region tournament.