Why Virtus Pro (VP) Could Win The International 2017 (TI7)

by Mark Ryan
on July 25, 2017

China has their super teams, Europe has their super teams, and now Russia has their very own super team: Virtus Pro. They had a disappointing finish at The International 2016, so this premiere esports organization dropped their entire Dota 2 roster and added 5 new players. With a combined MMR of over 40 000, RAMZES666, No[o]ne, 9pasha, Lil, and Solo are your Russian super team.

has come out that Virtus Pro has extended the contracts of all their players until the end of 2018. This confidence and trust is huge. The organization and the players have created a wonderful relationship which was founded with one simple goal: winning. The current squad has been winning games like few other teams have and it makes sense to keep that streak going with confidence.

Bet365 Odds For Virtus Pro To Win TI7 +350

Bet365 has made the odds for Virtus Pro +350 as of July 13, 2017. Along with Evil Geniuses, VP is the most likely teams to win it all. They are ahead of other great teams that some may argue are better than Virtus Pro like OG or Team Liquid.

In my opinion, it is a bit of a shocker that this squad has the best odds to win it all. It just shows you the level of dominance they have achieved since joining together in August 2016 and the expectations everyone has of them.

VP’s Record In Tournaments For The Past Year

The current squad has played in 20 tournaments and qualifiers together. Of those 20, VP has won 1st place in 11 of them. They have a ridiculous 55% rate of winning it all since this super team has joined forces. They also finished 2nd place in 4 tournaments, making it 15/20 tournaments where they have won 1st or 2nd place.

High Skilled Team

This is a truly dominant squad in professional tournaments or public games. They boast 2 players with MMR over 9000 in Ramzes and No[o]ne. 9000 MMR is a number reserved for the elites and if you reach this level, it’s a good bet that you’re one of the world’s best players. Having your carry and mid player at 9000 MMR is a pretty encouraging fact if you’re rooting for Virtus Pro.

Versatility

The versatility of this roster is ridiculous. At The Summit 7, their most recent tournament, Virtus Pro picked 81 different heroes in a pool of 112 heroes. That means 72% of the hero pool is available to them and considering they won the tournament, they can win with those picks as well.

The benefits of a huge hero pool is huge, tournament winning even. The Dota 2 world saw how Wings Gaming, the legendary but short lived team from China, dominated teams with their unique and unorthodox drafting style. Wings Gaming would win The International 2016 while drafting non meta heroes the entire way.

When you have a large hero pool, your opponents have to do much more preparation to face you. If your team is known to play only 40 heroes, then your opponents only have to practice against those 40 heroes or ban them. When you play 80 heroes effectively, it is much harder to practice against that or draft confidently. Most teams are also used to or expecting meta based heroes since that’s what’s in style. If you make picks different from the meta, it can throw your opponents off their game since they aren’t used to playing against non meta heroes.

When you have a large hero pool you gain flexibility and have a serious advantage over less versatile teams. Dota is a game of match ups and getting counter picked can be game losing. By having more heroes to play with than your enemy, you are more likely to avoid getting out drafted or counter picked which can influence the outcome of the game like few factors can.

Legendary Coach

artsyle
Every great team needs a great coach. OG has 7ckingmad, Evil Geniuses have Fear and Virtus Pro have Artstyle. The legend Artstyle was a part of the original Navi squad which is the most famous team in Dota 2 history. He won TI1 with Navi and would continue to have a legendary career until joining Virtus Pro as a coach in March 2017.

Very few teams have this level of coaching talent available to them. For example, a team like Team NP has Stan King as their coach. Stan King has not achieved any notable success in the Dota world. Artstyle is a legend in the Dota world and for him to be coaching this super team makes them much more dangerous.

Record Against Other Top Teams

Versus the 5 other invited teams to TI7 since patch 7.0, VP has the following record:

  • VS Evil Geniuses, 0 wins 2 losses.
  • VS OG, 2 wins 5 losses.
  • VS Team Liquid, 1 win 2 losses.
  • VS Invictus Gaming, 4 wins 1 loss.
  • VS Newbee, 1 win 2 losses.

Virtus Pro does not have a good record against the other invited TI7 teams. With losing records against all except Invictus Gaming, that is not a great sign. Is this team dominant against every tier 2 team but not notably better than the other tier 1 teams?

The Dota scene is one where any team can win in any game. We saw this at The International 2016 when TnC beat OG, and when Digital Chaos beat Evil Geniuses. Maybe it was luck or maybe it was skill but the numbers show Virtus Pro struggle against tier 1 teams. No doubt they can win any game, but so can the other teams like Team Liquid, OG, or Newbee. The only thing that matters is who shows up when the game counts.

The Young Carry Ramzes


This 18-year-old kid from Russia is one of the game’s top carries. A stand out performer at the Kiev Major, the skill of Ramzes is a driving force for the team’s success. Here are some interesting statistics comparing Ramzes666 to the other 5 carries on the invited team’s list since patch 7.0 in professional games.

Ramzes is 2nd in win rate percentage compared to the other 5 carries. 2nd in kills per game, 1st in deaths per game, 1st in kill death assist ratio, 1st in gold per minute, and 1st in experience per minute. These are some very promising statistics if you are a Virtus Pro fan. Of course, these numbers are separated by minuscule amounts but the average statistics can tell a story.

Is Ramzes the best carry out of all the invited teams? The numbers might say yes but the numbers can only tell so much. This young carry will be playing at his first ever TI tournament. Like so many other first timers, performance may be affected. Virtus Pro will need Ramzes to not be afraid of the big stage and bust out a god like display of dominance if his team is going to win it all.

Arteezy of Evil Geniuses, Burning of Invictus Gaming, Moogy of Newbee, Matumbaman of Team Liquid, N0tail of OG, every single one of these carries are seasoned veterans who have played in at least 1 TI or more, except Moogy. Ramzes is 18 years old and a baby not only in age but in experience. This is not to say young players cannot dominate. We saw a 16-year-old Suma1l of Evil Geniuses dominate at TI5 to win it all. Ramzes and Sumail are the same age so maybe we’ll see a repeat of a young star bullying old men to win it all at TI7.

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