Virtus.Pro dominated VGJ.Thunder in a 3-0 sweep for the PGL Bucharest Major. It was the team's second consecutive title, with their first one being at ESL Katowice just the week before. The win now gives them a substantial cushion on top of the Pro Circuit leaderboards, sitting at 7197 points. Team Liquid is trailing in 2nd place, wth 4635 points. It's been a remarkable run for the CIS team, who just recently replaced their position 4 player by adding Rodjer, the apparent MVP for both of VP's consecutive title runs.
With their performance at Bucharest, Virtus.Pro has effectively secured themselves a TI8 invite. Technically, they could rest for the rest of the season and prepare for TI8. But with biweekly patches testing the ability of teams to adapt and the amount of prize money still available, the community can expect to see Virtus.Pro push to maintain their dominance in the meta.
Digital chaos announced their reentry into the Dota scene with the acquisition of Animal Planet's roster: Ritsu, Bryle, Aui_2000, Moonmeander, and team captain Stan King. The team was formerly with Iceberg Esports, but the partnership fell apart after a month. In DC's statement, Aui_2000, one of the original members of the 2015/2016 squad, wrote "We are looking forward to working with an established organization like Digital Chaos. With their commitment to teams and players we hope to have a successful Dota 2 season.”
In a closed session with Gabe Newell, Valve released a few more details about its Dota 2-based card game Artifact, including the game's first screenshots, its backing by designer Richard Garfield, from Netrunner and Magic:The Gathering fame. Fans, however, may be disappointed to learn that Artifact will not be free to play, unlike the game its based on or its most likely competitor in Hearthstone, which also has its own issues with an alleged pay-to-win model.
As with Dota's release, Valve will also invest in the esport future of Artifact, with a $1 million tournament, in early 2019. The game is currently in closed beta and is set to be public by the end of 2018, with iOS and Android versions coming in mid-2019.