Virtus.Pro have parted ways with their entire Dota 2 squad, after the team’s lamentable track record this season and failure to qualify for The International 6.
Sergey “G” Bragin, Artem “fng” Barshak, Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin, Maxim “yoky-” Kim, and Alexander “NoFear” Churochkin have been released from the organization. However, according to Virtus.Pro’s announcement, it is possible that some of the former players will be co-opted into the new roster.
Subsequently, the Russian organization has decided to bid farewell to the team’s manager, George “drAmer” Faleev, and VP’s Sporting Director Sergey “Diver233” Pisotsky. Their duties within the organization will be temporarily performed by Virtus.Pro’s CEO, Anton “Sneg1” Cherepennikov, who will personally manage the entire process of putting together a new roster.
Virtus.Pro came in a commendable 5th-6th place at last year’s International championship and walked away with close to 1.2 million dollars. After that, they struggled to find even minor success moving forward.
On December 2nd, 2015, Virtus.Pro replaced Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev with Airat “Silent” Gaziev. At first, the new chemistry seemed to have worked out. Immediately following the changes, the CIS squad placed second at The Summit 4 and won the D2CL Christmas Charity Magic tournament. Starting with January, 2016, something appeared to have snapped within the team. They slipped back, claiming 7th-12th places.
After a disappointing 9th-12th place at the Shanghai Major, they tried to mend what they thought was broken. They swapped Lil and DkPhobos for NoFear and yoky-, moved Silent to the substitute position and brought in ALOHADANCE. Unfortunately, the changes in their roster didn’t put an end to their bankruptcy of achievement.
The team continued to have a lamentable track record, failing to qualify for the Manila Major. They admitted to cheating in The Summit 5 European qualifiers Grand Finals and were disqualified. Their most recent “non-success”: they failed to qualify for The International 6, after placing 6th in the Round Robin stage.
What a trainwreck of a season it has been for Virtus.Pro! NoFear, yoky- and ALOHADANCE were merely sojourners that gravitated around VP’s core: G and fng.
For the most part, G and fng carried Virtus.Pro in 2015 and were expected to continue to do so in 2016. They both entered the orbit of Dota 2 greatness time and time again. They are both phenomenally talented players who certainly possess the ability and the resilience to lift any squad to great heights.
This season, more often than not, G and fng didn’t perform to their full potential, and every time that happened, it felt almost preordained – as predictable as this morning’s sunrise: Virtus.Pro lost.
Sure, not everything is black and white. G and fng have both had their instances of brilliance throughout the season, but every time they seemed to be getting back into their usual shape, it felt like they got entwined with some sort of larger forces that colluded against them. The sentence of Sisyphus comes to mind: they kept trying to roll the Virtus.Pro boulder up the hill, only to watch it roll back down, again and again.
It is difficult to pinpoint the mitigating factors that have contributed to their lack of form. Make no mistake, both G and fng are exceptionally talented and would be great assets to any team out there, anytime. Whether they will manage to put this season behind them and find a place in Virtus.Pro’s new roster, remains to be seen.