The Russian CS2 team will add more depth to their playstyle.

Virtus.pro will be a different CS2 team at ESL Pro League season 19 this week than we're used to. At least, this is what rifler Petr "fame" Bolyshev alluded to on Monday, April 22 when asked about the blockbuster signing of Denis "electroNic" Sharipov ahead of one of the biggest CS2 tournaments of the year.

The Russian team officially announced electroNic on April 15, shocking the Counter-Strike community. Though nobody saw the transfer coming, everybody now expects Virtus.pro to be more than a solid top 10 team in the world and become a real title contender as electroNic is one of the best riflers of his generations and won many trophies with Natus Vincere, including the PGL Stockholm Major in 2021.

Esports.gg sat down with fame on ESL Pro League season 19's media day and discussed the arrival of electroNic.

Virtus.pro acted on the opportunity

Nobody saw electroNic leaving the Cloud9 project this abruptly after the PGL Copenhagen Major in March and analysts didn't predict Virtus.pro would change too as they almost reached the playoffs of the Major with Nikolay "mir" Bityukov in the lineup. But, it all came down to a player of the caliber of electroNic becoming available, according to fame.

"It's electroNic, he's a very good player," fame said in an interview with esports.gg. "When you have a chance to take a player like this, you should use your chance. That's what I can say."

Not only that but electroNic is the perfect replacement for mir as they play nearly all the same roles across the maps. The difference is that electroNic historically pulls up better numbers in the fragging department. This year, for example, electroNic averaged a 1.15 rating with Cloud9, according to HLTV, while mir averaged a 1.0 rating with Virtus.pro.

Fans can expect a different Virtus.Pro already at ESL Pro League

Over the past years, CS2 fans have associated Virtus.pro with a slow and safe playstyle. Their tight playbook made them a solid top 10 team in the world and most notably led them to win the IEM Rio Major in November 2022 despite being mere dark horses ahead of the tournament.

However, with the addition of electroNic, fans expect Virtus.pro to gradually change their approach towards the game—and they can expect a change of pace this week at ESL Pro League season 19.

"You're going to see some fast rounds, some more aggressive things," fame said. "We didn't have a lot of time to practice [with electroNic], so in some moments, we're going to make some plays on the fly. "I think you're going to see a lot of aggressive stuff and a lot of fast rounds. With time, we'll add more and more aggressive stuff and we'll kind of change our playstyle."

ElectroNic's contribution is beyond just frags

Virtus.pro are about to enter a new era (Image via Virtus.pro)
Virtus.pro are about to enter a new era (Image via Virtus.pro)

Another element of eletroNic's arrival to Virtus.pro, according to fame, is that he'll have a strong voice in the team and chime in when it's necessary. He's been a secondary shot-caller for years and even took the in-game leadership role at the end of his stint with Natus Vincere and for some months at the beginning of Cloud9's project.

"It feels nice to play with electroNic because he speaks in the middle of the round, he helps us a lot, and he's very confident in his role," fame said.

Though having vocal players to assist the in-game leader is usually great, some teams also have crumbled because of too many strong voices. This isn't a concern for fame, however, as he explained there's a "good communication hierarchy" in Virtus.pro. If this confirms, we should see electroNic merely helping the captain Dzhami "Jame" Ali with mid-round calling, but not extending to the point he becomes the shot-caller on certain maps.

We'll see the first glimpse of the new Virtus.pro tomorrow April 23 at 4:30 a.m PT. Fame, electroNic, and the rest of the Virtus.pro CS2 squad will debut in ESL Pro League season 19 against Fnatic in the group A opener.

That's all for now. Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest CS2 news and updates.

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