Virtus.pro arguably has the longest and strongest history in Dota of any modern esports organization. Though many brands jumped into Dota once publisher Valve threw its weight behind the game, Virtus.pro was competing in Defense of the Ancients back in its days as a WarCraft 3 mod.
Competing against the likes of SK Gaming and Meet Your Makers, Virtus.pro faced some of the best teams of DotA’s early years. Roster turnover saw Virtus.pro’s competitions become less frequent with time, but the organization became a mainstay in 2012 following the release of Dota 2.
The team was on a constant grind in Dota 2’s early years, playing in a myriad of events. In 2013 the team made its debut at The International and finished in last place.
This led to a steep decline for Virtus.pro as much of its roster departed after that disappointing finish. 2014 would ultimately be a rough year for Virtus.pro with a number of poor performances being capped with another last-place finish at The International. This prompted Virtus.pro to undergo another significant roster shakeup and to launch a second Dota 2 brand, Virtus.pro Polar.
Virtus.pro Polar only lasted six months as the primary lineup was released and the Polar roster took its place. That move paid off as the team quickly won a number of events and received a direct invitation to The International 2015, finishing there in the top six.
This prompted VP to retain its roster following the event, but the team hit the skids from there. Disappointing outings at the Frankfurt Major and Shanghai Major were followed by the team failing to qualify for both the Manila Major and The International 2016. This led to Virtus.pro cutting its entire roster and forming a new team comprised of stars from a number of other CIS squads.
The new team was successful, entering the Boston Major as one of the favorites to win. Though it fell short of that goal, Virtus.pro would later reach the grand finals of the Kiev Major before losing to OG. This positioned the team for an exceptional 2017 that included another top-six finish at The International and the organization’s first ever major victory at ESL One Hamburg 2017.
Despite being in top form, the organization shocked fans by tinkering with its longstanding roster by trading support player Ilya "Lil" Ilyuk to Natus Vincere in exchange for Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosyan. Though some questioned if it was wise to mess with success, RodjER silenced those doubts by helping the team to win the ESL One Katowice 2018 major in his debut with the organization.
Picking up two major victories within the span of four months firmly established Virtus.pro as an elite Dota 2 team, and the organization would remain at that level for some time to come. The team was consistently strong in Dota Pro Circuit majors, winning ESL One Birmingham 2018 and The Kuala Lumpur Major while placing top-three at several others.
Even at its peak, greater success at The International remained elusive for Virtus.pro. The team only finished in the top six at TI8 despite being a favorite to win, which was followed by a disastrous performance at The International 2019 where the team finish 12th.
That prompted Virtus.pro to release most of its successful roster and start over for the 2019-2020 season.