With the DPC season well underway, one player has had standout performances in every game thus far: Danil "gpk" Skutin
. Regarded as the best mid laner in CIS, gpk has steadily climbed to the top since he was first acquired by Gambit Esports back in August 2019 where he made a name for himself and officially joined Virtus.pro
last November. His impressive mechanical skills and consistent high-level play allow him to dominate anyone he lanes against and he is certainly a step above any other midlaner in the region. gpk is certainly the MVP of the CIS Upper Division
Hero pool and playstyle
So far this season, gpk has played seven unique heroes in eight games, only having played Void Spirit twice. He excels on fast-paced mobility cores such as Puck or Void Spirit that are able to gank and create immense amounts of space for his carry and offlane. However, he can also play heroes like Viper who are less mobile and more of a tanky lane bully in order to draw enemies away from the other lanes. Either way, gpk ensures enough time for Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko
to come online and finish the game.
Over the eight games that Virtus.pro played, gpk did not die in half of these and had double-digit assists in all of them. gpk consistently outplays his opponents in lane, leading to an early level six and quick item timings, like an 11 minute Orchid of Malevolence on Void Spirit. Because gpk gets most of his gold from ganking and killing enemy heroes, he completely opens up the map for Nightfall, letting him quickly become the most farmed hero on the map. This synergy works well together as gpk rarely picks greedy middle heroes, and Nightfall plays heroes such as Wraith King, Ursa, and Phantom Lancer who need items before they feel comfortable taking engagements.
You can try to ban gpk’s heroes, but his expertise in all aspects of the game allows him to crush any CIS mid laner in any matchup. Though he has only played against CIS players this patch, he will certainly be a threat to any team he comes across at the upcoming major, as Virtus.pro sits undefeated at the top of their region.
If you’d like to see gpk completely dismantle a team in less than 22 minutes, check out game two of Virtus.pro versus Team Empire
. On Monkey King, an incredibly powerful hero this patch, gpk scored a stunning KDA of 12/0/14. He was able to grab a Desolator at 13 minutes and a Black King Bar at 20 minutes, though the game was beyond over at this point. After a dominant laning stage against Void Spirit, gpk seemed to be everywhere on the map at once. Roaming from as early as five minutes, he ran from lane to lane and used his TP scroll whenever it was off cooldown to secure even more kills.
After back to back team wipes, Team Empire was forced to gg out in 21 minutes.
Virtus.pro’s next series takes place on February 14 against Team Spirit
. gpk’s lane matchup for this series is Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek
, a rising star who has unfortunately been underperforming this DPC season but has shown moments of brilliance in the past. Nonetheless, this should be an excellent series as both players are incredibly aggressive and play many of the same heroes. Don’t miss this intense matchup!