posted by Brasozial,
Virtus.pro finished 2018 with fireworks, as the Russian squad won The Kuala Lumpur Major. This was the fifth Major victory for the squad led by Aleksey 'Solo' Berezin, which makes them record Major winners — surpassing OG. Solo has already been an important member of the CIS region for some time. He played for teams such as Moscow Five*, RoX and Team Empire*, but his biggest success started when he joined Virtus.pro and switched to position five as captain of the squad.

Without a doubt 2018 is the year in which Solo finally proved why he's one of the best captains and drafters in the current Dota 2 scene. Virtus.pro won four of their five Major titles in 2018 — the only blemish is that VP could have done better.


"If you dominate the DPC, it's not good for TI



Solo and his teammates were the favourites to win The International 2018, but finished 5-6th place in the tournament — a disappointing moment for the Russian squad. The tournament meta surprised Solo and he couldn't prepare his team well enough.

The captain explained in an interview with joinDOTA that all teams prepared for VP's strategy since they dominated the DPC.





However, this didn't stop them from winning the first Major of the second DPC season, too. Virtus.pro beat Team Secret 3-2 in an exciting series. The game was played on the same patch teams played at TI, with only small changes made since.


One of the best captains in Dota 2



Asked about the hero selection in different games Vladimir 'No[o]ne' Minenko and his other team-mates revealed that Solo, Roman 'RAMZEs' Kushnarev and the new coach Arsenii 'ArsZeeqq' Usov concentrate on the drafting and they trust them blindly.

Solo has built himself a legacy. He's on the same level as Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov, Kuro S. 'KuroKy' Takhasomi or Peter 'ppd' Dager. He has a team surrounding him that listens to his calls and plays like clockwork — the only thing missing is lifting the Aegis.


Only one spot in the trophy room is empty



In Dota 2, everything is still concentrated on The International. If you can't win the mega tournament, you won't be considered one of the best players of all time. While OG finally beat this curse by winning TI8, does Solo still need to aim for that trophy.

His attempts at The International are actually surprisingly rare. He just attended TI twice, both with the current VP squad. In 2017 and 2018 Virtus.pro was one of the favourites to lift the trophy, but finished on 5-6th position. This is already a big achievement for Solo.



He was in every Western/ European qualifier since 2013, but didn't make it to TI before. He finished third in 2013 and 2014's qualifier with RoX and got a ticket to Seattle in 2015 with Vega Squadron (EU).

However, the CIS squad didn't make it through the Wild Card and lost against MVP Phoenix*. 2016 was a disappointing year on the other hand: Vega didn't even come close to qualifying for TI. They finished 6-10th.

His chances of winning TI increased by joining VP. His team is at the very top, and even learned to fight back after a depressing stage. Maybe it's time for Solo to prove that 2019 could be even a better year than 2018.


Can Virtus.pro win TI in Shanghai?




Photo credit: ESL - Adela Sznajder

  • Brasozial
    Brasozial

    Brasozial

    Mike Koch
    Staff
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