The 2017 season was a heartbreaking one for Virtus.Pro. They took home solid tournament wins, but when it came to the majors, VP always came up just short of the mark. After this weekend in Hamburg, the CIS team can feel a little vindicated by opening their 2018 campaign with a statement: Things won’t be the same as last season.
After a close loss to OG at the Kiev Major and an elimination at the hands of Team Liquid at The International 2017, Virtus.Pro had a bevy of top showings but no majors to its name. At ESL One Hamburg, they finally got the chance to prove they can be a major-winning squad, taking the grand finals 2-0 over Team Secret and winning the first major of the 2018 Dota 2 season.
Virtus.Pro took vengeance in the tournament on teams like Liquid in the group stage and against Newbee in the semifinals—both teams had surpassed them at The International. In a grand finals match against Team Secret, VP showcased some aggressive fighting and excellent play, especially from Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko and captain Alexei “Solo” Berezin. Just look at this save from Berezin, using Bane’s Nightmare to save his core.
Virtus.Pro now takes the lead in circuit points with the win, putting them at $500,000 in overall earnings and an early lead towards securing an invite to the 2018 International.