At TI10, Virtus.pro has the chance to make big waves. But the team is quietly confident despite their rookie status at the event.

Virtus.pro at TI10 are the new blood of the CIS. A young team not quite at their peak. The narrative around Virtus.pro is filled with adages about confidence and experience. But that doesn’t seem to be on the team’s mind at all. They’re just focused on the task at hand.

“It doesn’t feel like a TI, hasn’t lived up to the hype” Says Dmitry “DM” Dorokhin. “Just a casual tournament.” But if Virtus.pro are disappointed, you wouldn’t know it from their attitude. The stack’s positivity and high-spirits shone through, laughing and joking the whole interview. If anything, they’re positively relaxed.

More relaxed than teams with double their experience. Perhaps because the expectations are for them to fall out of the tournament, and learn from the experience. In particular, their record on LAN is nothing to write home about. But the team has an explanation. Seeded into the upper bracket every Major, they think they just didn’t get enough time to prepare:

“I think there should be groups at every tournament. Because when you face your first game on LAN you face a team that’s played so many games, and they have a big advantage. You have one thing go wrong, and then your next match is elimination. It’s not a good feeling.”

DM on tournament formats

In groups at TI, VP went 5-1-2, 11 wins and just five losses. The team it seems, does better the more it plays.

Doing Things Their Own Way

But it’s also Virtus.pro’s willingness to play their own style at TI10 that’s kept them on the right track. During the group stage, the team were one of the few teams willing to play Dawnbreaker, pairing it with Bounty Hunter support more than once. The hero had mixed results… VP drew against OG with the pick, but lost against iG and T1.

When asked why the team favored the hero, they deferred to what the team called their “Dawnbreaker Enthusiast,” Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko.

“He’s like the best player in the world on this hero (Dawnbreaker),” explained Vitalie “Save-” Melnic. “So we just started picking her.”

“It’s just a strong hero that plays the map, and to pressure enemies. That’s why we picked it a few times” added Nightfall.

But the team’s losses haven’t phased them. Every team they’d lost in the group stage to is now in the upper bracket. But VP are confident in winning if they meet those teams again.

“I think we’re ready for whatever team.” Says Save-.

“We’re ready for anything, we’re ready for everybody,” DM continues.

“We’re not scared for any team.” Adds Nightfall.

CIS Supremacy

VP clearly sees themselves as the representatives of an entire region, not just one team from the CIS. When quizzed about their fellow CIS stack, Team Spirit, VP denied any chance of a rivalry.

“I dont really think there’s any rivalry between us” Nightfall explains

“We just want to play Dota well, both of us, by playing different Dota styles we want to play well and show that the CIS region is one of the strongest. So our friends from Na’Vi can get a slot for next TI, show that the CIS region is king. CIS Strong!”

DM on the CIS supremacy

As a final question, a more controversial version of the first question was asked. “Is this TI disappointing?”

The team manager says the team probably won’t answer that, but the VP players instead dodge around the question with jokes. “Everything is fine.” DM assures us.

“Especially food is good here” adds -Save

“Yeah you’re getting rice, or soup. I’m picking between rice or soup everyday.” Nightfall says.

“Or burger” adds DM before the team burst into laughter. 

The confidence and attitude of these players is hardly that of TI rookies. Virtus.pro take on Vici Gaming in the TI10 upper bracket on October 13, 12:00pm EEST.

Michael Hassall -

Michael Hassall

| Twitter: @hoffasaurusx

Michael is a UK-based content creator who caught the esports bug in 2010, but took eight years to figure out he should write about it. Throwing away a promising career in marketing and PR, he now specialises in MOBAs, covering League of Legends, Dota 2, and esports in general since 2019. When not glued to tournaments taking place on the other side of the globe, he spends time nurturing an unhealthy addiction to MMOs and gacha games.