So, in tribute, here are three reasons why we're going to miss them as The International 2018 progresses:
The underdog dream is over…
“This is one of the door teams that formed as a result of people being kicked or left behind in a sense. It’s a team of rejects is what people would normally call it.”
That is how captain Avery 'SVG' Silverman described a roster which is a collection of players who weren’t so successful at previous teams. Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok was kicked from OG, SVG was kicked from Evil Geniuses, “MSS is always getting kicked from a number of teams…” But together, they formed something special.
They started at the very bottom. Winning through the North America Open Qualifier #2, they then stomped the group at the The International 2018: North America Qualifiers to earn a seat at the table in Vancouver.
They swiftly became a team that everyone wanted to root for — especially when they finished top of Group B, ahead of the likes of Virtus.pro, Team Secret and fellow North Americans OpTic Gaming.
However, a swift loss to OG in the Upper Bracket sent them to Lower Bracket hell, and despite a sweep of Winstrike, Secret would get their revenge.
The Resolut1on show fails to go on…
If VGJ.Storm characterise the underdog, then the epitome of that is carry Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok. The former Virtus.pro star has impressed at several major events over the years, notably taking Starseries XI with Team Empire. His story is something of an inspiration.
He is perhaps best known for an epic Lower Bracket run at The International 2016, where he announced his arrival on the biggest stage by helping plucky Americas qualifiers Digital Chaos* to second place. He also tasted success at ESL One Genting 2017.
He also showed up at The International 2017. Originally named as a member of the Russian talent team, he ended up standing in for Team Empire after Vladimir 'Chappie' Kuzmenko had failed to obtain a visa. The side overperformed massively before being eliminated by eventual winners Team Liquid to finish 7th-8th.
This time, he has shown up massively. Insane mechanical plays, rampages aplenty — he’s carried games like a true superstar of the game. In the Group Stage alone he had the highest KDA of anyone attending TI8 and led the charts in average GPM. Sadly, it was just not meant to be for the Ukrainian, as we’ll no longer get to see his prodigious talent grace the remaining games.
The Battle of the Brothers is no longer a thing…
Finally, the elimination of VGJ.S means that our dream Lower Bracket final is no longer possible — we had wanted to see the Storm take on Evil Geniuses. The two sides had not met at TI8, being kept apart in the groups, so we didn’t get to see what would have been billed as a ‘battle for North America.’
But most of all, we didn’t get to see the Battle of the Brothers. EG star Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan is an Aegis winner and superstar of the game, but Yawar 'YawaR' Hassan has come out of the shadow of his illustrious sibling with some stellar performances. Which brother would have been the more supreme at TI8? I guess we’ll never know…
It was an epic run, and we’re sure we’ll see VGJ.Storm bounce back in the upcoming DPC season. For now, we’ll leave you with the wise words of the captain:
"I am really proud of my teammates, we have come really far. I am glad we got to put on a good show" - @SVGDota— Team VGJ @ TI8 (@Team_VGJ) August 23, 2018
Header image courtesy of VGJ
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