Virtus Pro (VP) are somewhat of a Unicorn in esports. Since the formation of their new CS:GO team in 2014, VP has had the same original five man roster. This is a feat that very few organization can claim. The Polish team currently find themselves among the top flight in Europe, and are considered to be in the top five teams in the world in terms of team play.
Virtus Pro heading into 2016 looked to be among the stronger teams in Europe. They were always known as a team that couldn’t be counted out in tournaments, and always had a good chance due to their resilience. However, for 2016, Virtus Pro found themselves with a string of lackluster finishes.
VP started off 2016 slowly, taking five months to snag their first tournament title of the year. Not only that, but the first five months were spent with agonizing finishes, as the team was not performing up to standards. Their team play was lacking, and whenever they needed someone to step up for a key round, they always ended up falling short.
Virtus Pro picked up their form in the middle of 2016. They managed to take first place at the E-League Season 1 finals, and VP later went on to win Dreamhack Bucharest against Cloud 9. Both of them were confident 2-0 wins. In these matches, they showcased great ability to control their emotions and play with a level head.
However, as 2016 went on, so did VP’s decline. At the end of 2016, Virtus Pro found themselves having a series of bad finishes. In November, VP were in the ECS Season 2 tournament and had a disappointing 9th place finish. In the tournament, their play was unrecognizable. They were sloppy and looked like someone had taken five silver players and gave them VP jerseys.
Things were looking grim for VP, and they were even considering roster changes.
When 2017 rolled around, VP finally decided to wake up. The team put their mind to it and really put in the hours to make a tournament run. Virtus Pro started off very strong with a second place finish in the E-League major. However, they lost to Astralis in the Grand finals. Their progress as a team was never more obvious than here.
It was beginning to look like a new era of play for Virtus Pro. Granted, they did exit to Astralis and did not take home a Major. Virtus Pro still reasserted their prowess as a top team in Europe. They looked in command of every game they played against Astralis.
Nerves were going crazy while watching the finals, as it was potentially the first time the Danes would win a Major. It was an extremely back and forth series, and neither team looked definitively ahead. Even though VP lost, they were able to carry their momentum into the next tournament. Dreamhack Las Vegas was next, and the Polish Plow was in full effect, wiping out every team in their path, ending in a first place finish.
Not only were they able to accomplish that, but they were also able to get promoted back into the main league for ECS, after their 9th place exit last year. So far, Virtus Pro has been taking 2017 by storm, and I anticipate them to be a huge threat going into the next Major.