Steven R. April 29, 2019
Paweł "byali" Bieliński is stepping away from Virtus.pro.
According to a report from Cybersport.pl, the longtime member of the iconic Polish team is stepping down. The cause is frustration over Virtus.pro’s struggles to this point in 2019, as well as his own in-game stumbles since returning to the team’s active roster in November.
Byali was a member of Virtus.pro’s dynasty years, which lasted from 2014 until 2017 with highlights including the team’s win at the 2014 Katowice Major and taking first place in ELEAGUE’s inaugural season. Despite solid success for years with the same group of players, Virtus.pro fell apart in early 2018.
Roster moves followed and haven’t stopped since, with players moving in and out of the team on a regular basis. That has hampered their performance in a profound way, with the team routinely washing out of qualifiers and struggling at almost every tournament it does compete in.
That has especially been the case in 2019, with Virtus.pro exiting swiftly from the European open qualifiers for a number of events including Dreamhack Open Tours, Intel Extreme Masters XIV Sydney, and ESL One: Cologne 2019. The only live event Virtus.pro has participated in this year was Charleroi Esports 2019, where the team immediately eliminated. Almost every member of Virtus.pro’s legendary lineup split off from the team during this extended tailspin, with Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski being the only person on the current lineup that was a part of those prime years.
Though Byali is gone, Virtus.pro seems committed to keeping up its hectic competitive schedule.
Joining the team as a substitute is Michał "OKOLICIOUZ" Głowaty. A journeyman of the European scene, he has competed in a number of regional leagues, most recently competing in the 99Liga with Euronics. He joins fellow recent addition Arek "Vegi" Nawojski, who was added to Virtus.pro following a run with PACT.
Shortly after news broke of OKOLICIOUZ’s addition to the team, the newest iteration of Virtus.pro debuted at Winners League Season 2 with a 16-11 win over the ex-TDR Gaming lineup. Virtus.pro is also also set to compete in the Kalashnikov Cup and ESL Polish Championship.
With that many events coming down the pipe, it won’t take long for fans of the team to discover whether OKOLICIOUZ was the missing ingredient to return Virtus.pro to its former glory.