Virtus.pro is one of the most famous and oldest organizations in the Eastern European esports region. Founded in 2003 on the basis of the Counter-Strike team Irina “Runcha” Semena, the club quickly entered the TOP-10 of the most titled and richest esports teams in the world, earning over $18 million in prize money alone.
The history of the Virtus.pro tag, or “bears” in the community, began in 2003. Then, through the efforts of the producer of the company Virtus, Irina "Runcha" Semena, the first line-up of Virtus.pro in history was created. The debut roster of the newly formed division included Sally, Ant1killer, F_1N, Patrik and Megion. Five Russians outlined a vector for the further development of the project, and at the same time they were noted at several significant tournaments at that time: ESWC 2004, Intel ACON 5 and others.
In 2007, the business, which began as a Counter-Strike team, finally grew into a full-fledged club. Virtus.pro opened a division for Dota Allstars.
The rapid development was accompanied by the first problems: since 2009, Virtus.pro lay low and disappeared from eSports radars. The return of VP happened three years later, in 2012.
Then Anton “Sneg1” Cherepennikov joined the organization and entered his name on the board of honor of the Russian organization. Sneg1 has been the driving force behind VP's progress from his arrival in 2012 until his retirement from esports in 2019. During Sneg1's stay in esports, Virtus.pro became part of the ESforce holding, founded by Sneg1 and NAVI owner Alexander "ZeroGravity" Kokhanovsky."
In 2018, ESforce, and accordingly Virtus.pro, were bought out by Mail.ru. The deal amounted to $100 million, which was one of the largest investments in the history of esports.
In 2022, Virtus.pro performed under the Outsiders tag due to sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation after the invasion of Ukraine.
The main victories of Virtus.pro
The long history of the existence of Virtus.pro presented the Bears with its Hall of Fame. There were players of different generations and disciplines, but CS and Dota 2 rosters brought the most honor to VP.
The first major milestone in the history of VP's glorious victories was the championship at StarLadder V, when the Bears managed to beat Ninjas in Pajamas in the final. Before the meeting with VP, the Swedes held the record for series won in a row - NiP's streak lasted 84 series.
An important period for Virtus.pro in Counter-Strike was the “Polish Five”. They began their expansion in Global Offensive VP with the signing of the Polish roster of AGAiN, which included TaZ, NEO, pashaBiceps, Snax and Byali.
It was this roster that brought VP one of the main victories in the history of the club - the championship of ESL Major Series One Katowice 2014. In addition, the Polish five defended the colors of VP over the next 4 years, occasionally being reshuffled. Polish legionnaires in different periods replenished the collection of VP trophies with ESEA Pro League Invitational, ELEAGUE Season 1, DreamHack Open Bucharest 2016, DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017 cups.
In 2019, VP refocused on players from Eastern Europe by signing the ex-roster of AVANGAR. The backbone of AVANGAR brought VP the victory at Flashpoint, adding $500,000 to the club's bank.
In 2022, Virtus.pro players under the Outsiders tag became the champions of ESL One Rio Major. De facto, the team won 2 CSGO majors. There were more of them in Dota 2.
Virtus.pro's journey to Dota began in 2007 with the signing of the Magic aGe roster with NS as the captain, but peaked much later with the club's move to Dota 2. In Valve's MOBAs, VP achieved its greatest success during the "golden roster" period bears.
The first attempts at a pen in the custom modification of Warcraft 3, which grew into a separate game, turned out to be a failure: the bet on Dota veterans represented by NS and other esportsmen did not work. Cardinal changes came in 2016, when VP was headed by Aleksey “Solo” Berezin, who assembled the most combat-ready roster under his leadership: RAMZES666, No[o]ne, 9pasha, Lil and Aleksey himself.
The “golden roster” of the bears took 2nd place at The Kiev Major 2017, and then got into the TOP-6 of The International 2017. Later, the team replaced Lil with RodjER, which paid off. VP were at the top again.
The victory at ESL One Hamburg 2017, ESL One Katowice 2018, The Bucharest Major, ESL One Birmingham 2018 made VP one of the most titled and revered teams in the world. However, The International, Virtus.pro failed to win the main tournament of the discipline, although there were attempts: in 2018 and 2021, VP took TOP-6 at the tournament under the auspices of Valve.
How much has Virtus.pro earned in history?
It is difficult to calculate the exact figure of VP's earnings over the entire history of the club's existence: in ancient times, there were often overlaps with prize money, and the amount of earnings from all local and small events in the overall picture only creates a hindrance. According to the statistics provided by the Esportsearnings portal, Virtus.pro are among the ten richest esports organizations.
Over the years, VP have earned $18,385,456.79 in prize money. This figure was formed on the basis of 591 tournaments, where VP were among the prizes.