VirtusPro will be replacing Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev with Airat “Silent” Gaziev, most recently of Team Empire. The VirtusPro roster changes will take place immediately, with only a few days remaining in the registration window for the Shanghai Major.
No official word has been released in regards to Illidan’s future plans.
— Team Virtus.pro (@TeamVirtuspro) December 2, 2015
VirtusPro have announced their roster changes for the upcoming Shanghai Major and winter season.
The changes will affect only one player: Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev will be replaced by Airat “Silent” Gaziev in the carry position.
After a relatively successful performance at The International in 2015, the team “went into hibernation”. (…) After a poor performance at the Frankfurt Major, the team made the difficult decision to take the risk and replace one of their key players. Ayrat is one of the most experienced players in the CIS community, and has repeatedly proven to be one of the best in his role in the world. I sincerely hope that Silent will become an integral part of VirtusPro and that the results of the team will improve.
– Dota 2 Manager George “drAmer” Faleeva
Illidan has been with the team for almost two years and has not made any announcements regarding his future plans or status as of yet.
Team Empire has not made any official announcement on the replacement for Silent, however this only gives way to more speculation that Alexander “XBOCT” Dashkevich will be joining their lineup.
According to an interview conducted by DotaBlast at the Frankfurt Major, XBOCT will be joining a CIS organization in the immediate future. Now that XBOCT’s former Na’Vi teammate, Gleb “Funn1k” Lipatnikov, has officially joined Team Empire, and Silent has left the carry position wide open by joining VirtusPro, it is safe to assume that XBOCT – who has been recently standing in for Team Empire, will join the Russian organization.
VirtusPro roster changes and lineup stability
A team that has historically had struggles with consistent achievements due to frequent roster and structural changes, VirtusPro has broken free of the ill fated-pattern and has soared to great heights with their stable roster.
Since they found stability in the spring of 2015, their results have been undeniable: top three finishes in numerous premium tournaments in the months leading up to The International 5.
They came in a commendable 5th-6th place at this year’s International championship and walked away with close to 1.2 million dollars.
VirtusPro was one of the few teams to keep their rosters intact at the height of the post-TI5 reshuffle period and they have continued to show strength in their recent official matches.
Since TI5, they placed 7th-8th at the Frankfurt Major, 5th-6th at Nanyang Dota 2 Championships, 5th-6th at MLG World Finals 2015, 5th-8th at ESL One New York and 2nd in the World Cyber Arena 2015 European Qualifiers.
They have recently been invited to attend The Summit 4 in Los Angeles, California, between December 9-13.
Artsiom “fng” Barshack’s strong drafting and aggressive tendencies were decisive for the CIS team during the fall season.
VirtusPro current roster:
Airat “Silent” Gaziev
Sergey “God” Bragin
Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria
Artem “fng” Barshak
Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk