2017 marks the most successful year in Virtus.pro's history. Our players claimed Majors, won major tournaments, earned more than $3,500,000 in winnings and even played some real football! Let's reminisce the start of the year, its most defining moments and relive the emotions brought to us by Virtus.pro in 2017.
DreamHack Masters Las Vegas
Grand-final against SK Gaming, Mirage, the deciding moment of the match – in order to claim the title, Virtus.pro needs to tie the score in the 26th round. Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas is left in a 1 v 2 situation against Epitácio "TACO" de Melo and Ricardo "boltz" Prass. The Brazilians are going for a trade, but the experienced Pole stays cool and eliminates his opponents one by one. Judging by TaZ's face, his entire Counter-Strike career flashed before his eyes in these seconds. Just watch the video – it'll keep you on the edge of your seat as well!
TaZ's clutch crushed SK Gaming's morale and allowed Virtus.pro to claim the remaining rounds and $200,000. This moment can be matched only by an episode in a game against other Brazilians – Team One. pashaBiceps' three-shot AWP ace – unbelievable two collateral kills in a row!
The Kiev Major
You might have forgotten No[o]ne's powerful play right before the Kiev's Major by now. Our team faced Natus Vincere in The Kiev Major qualifier's semi-final. The score was tied 1-1, but the victory in the deciding match took only 28 minutes for Virtus.pro. Right before the game's end, Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko scored his notorious ultrakill!
The Kiev Major brought so many emotions and beautiful plays that it's hard to pinpoint the very best, but we'll still try: a beautiful counterattack to turn the tables in the deciding match of the quarter-final. One of the best moments of 2017, for sure!
The Summit 7
The Summit 7's grand-final against Team Secret will always be remembered for Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev's rampage. The guys from Virtus.pro not only defended their champions title but showed their mastery of the entire Dota hero pool. If Oxxxymiron was interested in Dota, he surely would call All Hero Challenge something historical.
Post-ESL One Cologne football
ESL One Cologne wasn't too successful for Virtus.pro, but the Cologne tournament was something truly special. Right after its conclusion, our Poles and Brazilians from SK gaming met at the FC Cologne stadium and played a real football match. The detailed footage from the locker room and tons of jokes from our players can be read here. The match turned out to be quite dramatic: Snax and pashaBiceps scored two goals each, so the Poles were leading 2 goals right before the final whistle, but blew their lead right in the end.
But ESL One Cologne was important not only because of the football match: the Poles did a great bootcamp in Cologne and were well prepared for the Krakow Major.
PGL Major Kraków
Our team showed that everything is OK and that Las Vegas is near. Great performance in the group stage, victory over North in the first round of play-offs – one step away from the finals. It seemed that Immortals had no chance in the semi-final against such great home-turf support Virtus.pro had. Alas, 5:16 on Inferno and 5:11 on Mirage – it wasn't Virtus.pro's day. Later that day, however, the most touching episode of the year happened. pashaBiceps recorded a message to the fans, in which he stated that without them, the Polish e-sports would have never achieved such greatness. Even now, we don't advice sentimental people to watch this video.
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💪🏻❤️ @pashabiceps : «Но мы не смогли. Я до последнего надеялся, что это все - сон, который скоро закончится. Но реальность такова и то, что произошло на Арене в Кракове, навсегда останется в памяти нашей команды. Вы показали нам, что вы великие люди, которые умеют получать кайф от… Как они там это называют? «Компьютерные игры». Игры должны объединять, а не разделять. Я хочу еще раз поблагодарить каждого из вас, вы проделали фантастическую работу, без вас польский киберспорт не стал бы таким великим. Спасибо. Мы скоро увидимся. Я пока не знаю, где, но когда это произойдет, мы будем сражаться до конца, вот увидите! PashaBiceps в этот раз проиграл. Сейчас я возвращаюсь к своей семье, и я очень счастлив. Пока!»
A direct invite, tournament's favorites status and Lil's words about hoping to win TI for Solo – Virtus.pro's players arrived at Seattle full of determination. The guys ate crabs, watched a Lamborgini burn, confidently passed the group stage and defeated LGD Gaming in the first round of play-offs. Unfortunately, the Chinese from LGD. Forever Young halted their advanced, and the soon-to-be winners Team Liquid overpowered Virtus.pro in the lower bracket. Nevertheless, the world saw an excellent 100-minute long game that was regarded as the best game in the history of Dota by the entirety of Twitter.
The general manager of Virtus.pro Roman Dvoryankin regarded the 5-6 place as a justified outcome, and the guys recorded a soothing video just in case.
ESG Tour Mykonos 2017
The Greek event was the first one after a long period of vacation downtime. Everyone was afraid to see a second version of the Slovenian Portorož resort series, where the organizers managed to lose graphics cards from the players' PCs, and where the matches went all night long due to an insane amount of downtime. Thankfully, everything went much better – the Greek tournament was as smooth as this GIF.
К сожалению, поляки из Virtus.pro не дошли до финала, но запомнили Миконос одним из лучших мест в мире. Когда в Санкт-Петербурге на Эпицентре фанаты задавали команде вопросы о самом крутом путешествии, только pashaBiceps назвал Нью-Йорк. Все остальные выбрали Миконос.
Unfortunately, the Poles from Virtus.pro didn't make it to the final. However, everyone remembered Mykonos for its amazing location. During the Saint Petersburg's EPICENTER, the fans asked the team about their coolest trip. Only pashaBiceps mentioned New York. Everyone else picked Mykonos.
The following video tells the whole story behind the importance of the victory against FaZe and the group stage advancement. Filip "NEO" Kubski became the hero of the groups – he was completely unstoppable. First, he scored 73 frags in 3 maps against Gambit, and then clutched the key round in a match against FaZe.
The Poles made it to the Saint Petersburg's grand-final, but after an intense best-of-5 series the Brazilians from SK Gaming claimed the trophy. 22:18 on the final map - Yubileyny Sports Palace's visitors were going mad. “Guys, you're crazy!” - FalleN and coldzera paid respects to the Virtus.pro players post-game.
ESL One Hamburg
Alongside the Saint Petersburg CS:GO tournament, Hamburg was holding its first Major of the season, where Virtus.pro went unmatched. Team Liquid, Newbee, Team Secret – out team didn't even notice the opposition and claimed their first Major, with Solo claiming the title of the tournament's MVP and a Mercedes as a prize. Below are the six minutes from Hamburg that can be watched forever.
Paladins Premier League
This autumn Virtus.pro formed a roster in a new discipline – Paladins. The line-up with a Russian captain Lev “eLvenpath” Strokov not only won the first major tournament but taught the entirety of Europe how Paladins is meant to be played. According to our captain, many other teams borrowed Virtus.pro's draft ideas. The Paladins World Championship will take place in January, so it's high time to learn about eLvenpath and his teammates!
NaVi bring Virtus.pro to the DreamLeague
In an ironic twist of fortune, the fate of a ticket to the Swedish Major was in the hands of NaVi. In order for Virtus.pro to advance, NaVi had to defeat OG. For a moment, all hope was lost, but the guys from NaVi pushed themselves to the limit and brought us an unforgettable evening.
С детства за НАВI! pic.twitter.com/e5P6f08onY— Ilya Ilyuk (@LilJke) November 16, 2017
The Summit 8
No[o]ne claimed that he's tired of winning Summits, but we'll never get tired of telling about it. Virtus.pro claim their favorite tournament third year in the row despite ArtStyle playing instead of Solo. Worth to note that ArtStyle didn't play Dota for over a year. But the champions' title isn't the only thing to be proud of. No[o]ne and Lil arrived at the studio to perform high-quality live commentary of opponent's matches – in English. Perfect closure of the great year for Virtus.pro!
Текст: Глеб Чернявский, Антон Козлов