In the leadup to The International 5, Virtus.Pro has been steadily picking up steam. It does seem like the times of Na’Vi being the undoubtedly strongest CIS team are coming to a close, thanks to strong performance by the likes of Virtus.Pro and Team Empire. With Empire not managing to secure themselves a slot at ESL One Frankfurt, the hopes of Eastern Europe lie on VP’s shoulders and they are more than ready for the challenge.
fng is the only player on the Virtus.Pro roster that has attended an earlier ESL One tournament, back when he was a part of Na’Vi at ESL One New York 2014. But his support partner Lil has been garnering a lot of the attention as of late, thanks to his remarkable performances on Rubick and Visage. Add in one of the best mechanically skilled mid players in God, Illidan’s aggressive fighting style on the carry and the ever so consistent DkPhobos, and suddenly you have a team that doesn’t need to back down from anybody.
|Support||Artem “fng” Barshak (C)|
|Support||Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk|
|Offlane||Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria|
|Mid||Sergey “God” Bragin|
|Carry||Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev|
VP is coming off a wild ride at DreamLeague Season 3, where they managed to claw their way into the grand final through the lower bracket, leading to their revenge victory over Na’Vi after an impressive 3-2 series. The team is clearly in the zone at the moment and can go toe to toe with the best of them, which makes it very hard to predict the brackets at ESL One Frankfurt, as the single elimination format could very well work in their favor.
|1st (3-2 vs Natus Vincere)||ASUS ROG DreamLeague Season 3|
|5th/6th (0-1 vs Fnatic)||joinDOTA MLG Pro League Season 2|
|1st (2-0 vs Alliance)||RoG Play It Cool Dota 2 Invitational|
Current Record on patch: 20-11
|Most picked||Most banned|
In the midst of 6.84’s expected picks and bans like Leshrac and Gyro, Virtus.Pro is one of the few teams that puts a lot of emphasis on Winter Wyvern. fng had quite a few memorable performances on the hero in recent tournaments while Lil puts the fear of god (pun intended) into their opponents with his signature Visage. Both of the supports also take their turns playing a mean Rubick, so good luck to their opponents on banning out all of VP’s preferred support choices.
Virtus.Pro could not have picked a better time for their strong performances with The International 5 looming on the horizon. ESL One Frankfurt will be their chance to cement themselves as title contenders and they could very well be the first CIS team to lift the coveted ESL One trophy. Vici Gaming, Evil Geniuses and Team Secret seem to get most of the attention, but don’t sleep on Virtus.Pro!
And don’t sleep on the latest ESL One Frankfurt 2015 news by following @ESLDota2 and secure your ticket for Frankfurt, as long as they are still available. You can also find the rest of our team previews right here:
- Can Team Secret carry their impeccable form into ESL One Frankfurt 2015?
- Alliance are looking to bounce back at ESL One Frankfurt 2015
- After twice being the bridesmaid, will Evil Geniuses’ third ESL One see them finally be the bride?
- Can Cloud9 take the next step on the ESL One stage?
- Can Vici Gaming be the first back-to-back ESL One Dota 2 champions?
- Old names, new faces - Fnatic returns to ESL One Frankfurt