The roster that terrorized the WEU Lower Division have been released from their organization. The news came as a bit of a shock to the community given how well Vikin had progressed in Season 2.
The time before The International is always a turbulent one for Dota 2 rosters. With the unprecedented delay of TI10, it's no surprise that major changes are up ahead - the first of which has just taken place. Vikin.gg have announced the release of their Dota 2 roster following a disappointing finish in the WEU TI10 Qualifiers.
The release of this roster is akin to your favorite series ending abruptly and horribly. The Vikin.gg team had its ups and downs, sure - but boy were they a treat to watch. For fans of the team and players - this news comes no doubt comes as a heartbreak.
The Start of Vikin.gg's Journey
The organization had plunged into the Dota 2 in late 2019, and were a strong consistent force in the Tier 2 EU scene. While Vikin.gg were always able to do well in qualifiers, the team just couldn't seem to make it past any of the other EU titans.
In early 2020, Vikin.gg bought on Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan, a Czech player who had been floating around the Tier 2/3 teams. With him as their new mid, Vikin.gg looked up a level. They claimed 1st place finishes at both BTS Pro Series Season 3, as well as DOTA Summit 13 Online.
Into The Thick of The EU DPC Regional League
As Season 1 of the EU DPC Regional League rolled around, Vikin.gg were slated to play in the Upper Division. Up against the region's top dogs though, the Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp led squad struggled to find footing.
Realising that they might need more firepower, the team signed Maurice "KheZu" Gutmann, a veteran offlaner who had most notably played on Team Secret. From there, the Vikin.gg squad went into the Lower Division of Season 2 guns blazing.
While the Lower Division teams rarely got as much attention as their Upper Division counterparts, no one could deny that Vikin.gg were looking hot. On the back of stable teamplay, the squad were a terror for their Lower Division rivals. By the time the Season 2 ended, Vikin.gg found themselves undefeated - going 7-0.
The TI10 Qualifiers - Where The Vikin.gg Ship Sank
With their first place finish, Vikin.gg had secured themselves an Upper Bracket seed in the TI10 WEU Qualifiers. Of course, this would be the team's true test, as they were once again against their old foes - OG.
Despite clawing out a Game 1 victory against the two time TI-Winners, this time it was OG that got the upper hand. OG were able to claim the series win 2-1, and sent Vikin.gg to the Lower Bracket.
For anyone who had watched the Lower Division of Season 2, the match-up was already decided. Up against Chicken Fighters, who they had handily beaten 2-0, this seemed like a straightforward win for Vikin.gg.
The ensuing series was if anything, the complete opposite. On the back of Ondřej "Supream^" Štarha's Razor, the Chicken Fighters rolled like a storm through the Vikin.gg vessel. While they had looked united throughout the DPC Regional League, there were clear signs of disconnect from the side of Vikin.gg.
With the cracks coming to the surface, Chicken Fighters grabbed the struggling Vikin.gg by the neck and continued their dominance in Game 2. Try as they might, Vikin.gg simply couldn't hold off the pressure, and with that loss were knocked out of the running for TI10.
The International - Dota 2's Biggest Boon and Bane?
With their chances at TI10 squashed, Vikin.gg's season was basically over. Interestingly, TI10 being not for another two months presents a unique situation for organisations.
While this new landscape equips the TI-qualified players with a lot more leverage, it in turn leaves the unqualified players with nothing much else left to offer. From an organizational standpoint, it perhaps doesn't make sense to pay more months of salary when there's nothing left to play for.
With this in mind, it's likely we'll start to see more announcement like this in the coming weeks. Dota 2 has always been a scene that highly benefits the top end, with little to no support for Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams/players. For the health of the scene, we can only hope that this will change by the time the next season rolls around.
Unfortunately for fans of KheZu and the boys, it's time to give them a proper viking's send-off - hopefully only for now.