Virtus.pro is a team that has fluctuated in skill level since early 2015. They are capable of going out of the group stages of tournaments to winning a slightly different one just two weeks later. Sure, this may make them a team that is fairly inconsistent, but it allows for pleasurable matches that are almost always a wonder to watch. Here is the recent success of Virtus.pro featuring ELeague Season 1 and Dreamhack Bucharest!
ELeague Season 1
Virtus.pro came into this event with their standard 5 man roster consisting of legends throughout the whole team. When the event started, no one expected them to succeed in the way that they managed to. They were in a slump, on the verge of disbanding (although this would’ve most likely not happened) but they stuck through this tough time while they were under lots of heavy fire under fans, the community among other well-known people in the Counter-Strike scene.
Throughout the regular season, they didn’t do anything amazing as they didn’t even manage to qualify directly to the playoffs. However, that all changed once they got into the last chance tournament. The top 2 teams out of a total of 8 would qualify to the playoffs. Although VP were expected to win and go through, they still put up a great show to everyone watching. They breezed through the competition, winning both of their matches with a nice 2-0 convincing victory.
Once making it to the playoff stages of the whole season, people expected the usual teams (NiP, fnatic, Astralis, etc) to possibly win the event. Although no one expected Virtus.pro to actually win the event, they did expect them to go fairly far in the North American playoffs. Going into the quarterfinals, they had to face off against Swedish rivals, Ninjas in Pyjamas. NiP have been consistently been getting better, so this was going to be a true test for the Polish legends. Heading into the first map which was de_dust2, the Polish got off to a strong T-side start winning 9-6. They then proceeded to win the map with a nice convincing 16-8 scoreline. The second map went similarly to de_dust2 as the Polish won 16-9 on de_cobblestone. The match came as quite a surprise to many members of the Counter-Strike community as NiP looked to be in form whilst VP was in one of their worst slumps ever.
Even after the nice match that the Polish played against the Swedes, people were still very skeptical of how they might perform against future opponents. In the semifinals, they had to play against mousesports, a team that was very comparable in team performance to VP at the time. This time around, more people thought that VP were going to have a great game against the Germans. The fans were pleased to see another 2-0, putting them into the grand finals of the event. The scorelines were 16-7 and 16-10.
At this point in the event, more and more people were hyping VP up, regardless of if they would win the event. After beating the Germans, they got to the grand finals of the event, which would’ve been a milestone regardless. They had to face arguably one of the best (former) teams in the world, fnatic. The Swedes and the Polish have been going at it for YEARS and the only way to find out which team is actually better is by playing a 5v5 match in a competitive CS:GO match on live television. Although the match wasn’t exactly one of the most spectacular to watch, it was very surprising to many fans to see VP actually come out on top and win the first seasons of ELeague and coupled with a nice $400,000 prize.
One of the more recent events that Virtus.pro attended was DreamHack Bucharest. It was an event that featured fairly decent talent in terms of teams (8 total) and the top 3 contenders for the win were EnVyUs, Cloud9 and of course, the plow themselves, Virtus.pro.
Starting off in the group stage, VP had to play against the two lower teams in the group. Their first match was against Gambit, a team significantly lower in terms of skill level comparing with VP, but a challenge nonetheless. The Polish started off strong on de_cobblestone, winning the half 9-6. Despite Gambit’s best efforts, they couldn’t string together a comeback and handed over the win to VP 16-12.
This next match was needed in order to win first seed into Group A and it was also needed if the Polish wanted to not play against their French rivals EnVyUs. The team that they had to play against was Heroic, a rising Danish team emerging as a regional power in Counter-Strike. The map eventually came down to de_train after the veto and seemed to favour VP for the most part. After getting to start on the CT side of the map, it was almost certain that VP was going to win and they showed that by completely demolishing the Danes 11-4 before switching sides. After this, it wasn’t hard for the Polish to progress into the semifinals.
In the playoff stage of the event, VP had to face another fairly dominant Danish team, this time being Dignitas. This was going to be the first Bo3 matchup that VP actually had to play and it was sure to be a nice match overall. Heading into de_mirage, the Poles once again managed to secure a start on the CT side, giving them a massive advantage over the Danes. They completely butchered Dignitas with a quality 12-3 finish in the first half. From there, it was simple for VP to secure map 1 and have a strong lead in the series. Going into the next map, the Polish started off on the T side of de_cobblestone, giving them a nice advantage against Dignitas. They won the half 10-5, but the Danes refused to lose hope. They eventually managed to compile a comeback and successfully claimed map 2, evening up the series.
Map 3 was de_overpass, a map that both teams are very confident on. Virtus.pro started off on the CT side and won an even half of 9-6 (even due to the map’s conditions). However, Dignitas had some deja vu as they once again tried to find the comeback that they needed to make it to the grand finals of the event. It was 15-13, with Virtus.pro waiting on a reset of their economy if they lose this round. It was all left down to neo, one of the best Counter-Strike players of all time, 1.6 included. He proceeded to win a miraculous 1v5 clutch to win the map, series and the next grand final spot where the Polish would have to play against Cloud9, a steadily growing North American team.
The grand finals would determine if Virtus.pro is truly back in shape/form for international competition from their massive slump back in 2015. The first map was de_train, a map that VP is known for being good on, while Cloud9 are making it one of their current best maps. VP started off on the CT side, giving them yet another advantage at this event. They won their half 12-3, pretty much finishing the map entirely. Cloud9 almost created a comeback but was later shot down by the Polish, losing 16-9. The next map was de_cobblestone which has pretty much the same story between the teams as de_train.
This time, although once again having an advantage in terms of the sides, Cloud9 came out on top with a 9-6 half on the weaker side. However, what happened next was absolutely insane. As the Polish went on to the weaker side of the map, they somehow managed to string TEN total rounds in a row to take the map 16-9.
Virtus.pro is a team that has fluctuated in terms of skill throughout their careers in CS:GO. They have gone from being a stable top 3 team in 2014 to a horrid team in 2015 and finally back to a nice top 5 placing in rankings throughout 2016. We will just have to wait and see what happens next for the Polish, but for now, they are one of the most stable teams in the Counter-Strike scene overall.