With business about to pick up in the Dota 2 pro scene, Virtus.pro is making some moves to try and be in peak form.
The organization has announced the addition of a new coach in Ivan "Artstyle" Antonov. The news was revealed across Virtus.pro’s social channels.
Artstyle is a veteran of the Dota 2 scene, with a career dating back to the days of the original DotA. He began his Dota 2 career as a part of the Natus Vincere roster that famously won The International 2011, but became a CIS journeyman in the years that followed. He returned to Na’Vi in 2015, most notably helping the team earn a controversial direct invitation to The International 2016.
He was released from the team in the months that followed TI6, which led to a transition into coaching. His first prominent coaching gig came with Virtus.pro in 2017, with Artstyle overseeing four major victories for the team.
Artstyle was removed from Virtus.pro after a disappointing finish at The International 2018. He had short stints with Winstrike Team and Extremum before finding his way back to VP.
Here's what's coming up in Dota 2:
Virtus.pro has been playing without a defined coach since March, when Anatoly "boo1k" Ivanov departed the organization. Despite being without a coach, Virtus.pro has been one of the standout performers of the summer. The team’s biggest success during that stretch was winning the ESL One Los Angeles EU and CIS League after sweeping OG in the finals.
It's important that VP now has all of the pieces in place to be a top team in Dota 2, because the stakes are about to get raised.
The online league era has been a large mashup of events with no goal beyond taking home a chunk of a medium-sized prize pool. The Omega League will be upping the ante by introducing a more sizable $500,000 prize pool for a list of top teams including Virtus.pro to compete over in Europe. The Dota Pro Circuit will then return with a set of regional leagues, with Virtus.pro likely to be one of the favorites to win the CIS event.
The bigger money and direct relevance to qualifying for The International will inspire all competing teams to put their best foot forward, Virtus.pro included.