Virtus.pro are entering the new season with three members and two stand-ins. Although the roster is not finalized, they decided to test their tryouts in the regional qualifiers of the first Major and Minor of the season rather than wait and practice in private games.
In an interview with the Russian outlet cybersport.ru, Alexey “Solo” Berezin stressed on the fact that right now the Virtus.pro roster consists of Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko, Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok, and himself. He also mentioned that he took back the leadership and that he plans to put in practice what he learned from teams such as PSG.LGD, OG or the TI9 Liquid. “I talked a lot with Team Liquid – and I know how they play. I know that PSG.LGD don’t have a captain at all. We are friends with the guys from OG, they don’t have a Puppey-like person, and all these teams achieved a lot without a designated leader. It’s very important to know what your players think,” said Solo, when he talked about how he wants to approach the new season with the team that he is trying to build.
VP will play in the CIS regional qualifiers with two youngsters, promising pub players that caught Solo’s eye post TI9. Egor “epileptick1d” Grigorenko will take the carry role and Vitalie “Save-” Melnic will play position 4 support. Asked about how he decided to take them over anyone else and why did Resolut1on joined as an offlaner instead as a carry, Solo had the following to say:
Regarding Resolut1on’s role change:
“It’s rather difficult to find offlane players in CIS. There were no obvious replacements for Pasha. Pasha has a lot of experience now, of course, but when he came to VP he wasn’t the best offlaner in the world. He became one of the best in the world with us. So, this time, we thought why not try an experienced, but at the same young player?” Reso has TI grand finals experience, he had success in NA and we came to the conclusion that in terms of personality he fits our team very well. Changing the role is not a problem as long as he wants it as well. […] He knew that we are looking for an offlaner and he applied for this role. That was a month ago. We looked at many other players from CIS to fill this role, and after a month of research we chose Roman.”
About epileptick1d and Save:
“We started to watch young players in the CIS scene right after we arrived home from Shanghai. Before TI9 we didn’t know we would need to do that, everyone thought that we will overcome the difficulties and that we will be good at TI. So, I didn’t fallow the CIS scene at all. When it became clear that we need newcomers, we firstly thought about fn. We are good friends and he already played for VP before, but…we decided not to rush things. We started to look at pub players and go with a newcomer experience. We want to grow a new player to become our carry.
[…] Save is the same age with epileptick1d, they are 17 years old and they both played together before, they know each other very well and they are friends. We followed them separately, there wasn’t a condition that they must join VP together. Save is very calm, reasonable person. In some way, he – is the opposite of Egor. epileptick1d is more impulsive, communicative, he makes a lot of calls. Save is the opposite, he is more silent, but he is doing his work on the map. He is very calm, and he looks more mature for his age. In the game – he is really good at micro and has a wide hero pool. After scrims he left us with a very positive impression. In the first games, he did some crazy things that I’ve not seen from top tier position 4 players in a long time. He is really good.”
However, the two players are not yet settled for good to join Virtus.pro. Perhaps the regional qualifiers will be the final big test for them, and while the VP fans are used to see their favorite team crushing all the qualifiers and constantly reach the finals in LAN tournaments, Solo said that “the fans should understand that the team has made significant changes.” “It would be foolish to expect results here and now,” he added.
Virtus.pro will enter the battle for one of the two CIS tickets to the MDL Chengdu Major this Saturday, October 5. They were placed in Group A along with HellRaisers, Old but Gold, MY MUTANTI and Viet Flashbacks. Group B features Natus Vincere, Gambit Esports, Positive Guys and the two open qualifiers winners timurdota2 and jfshfh178. Top two teams from each group will advance to the Major playoffs qualifiers, while the third place team will go to the Minor playoffs qualifiers. The fourth placed team in each group will be eliminated.