Dota 2: Virtus.Pro Pick Up Antares

Eastern European organization Virtus.Pro has recruited former 9 Pandas support player Vladislav “Antares” Kertman. He will replace Oleg “sayuw”... Owen | 30. April 2024

Eastern European organization Virtus.Pro has recruited former 9 Pandas support player Vladislav “Antares” Kertman. He will replace Oleg “sayuw” Kalenbet in the team’s starting five.

Antares is a position four player of the new Eastern European generation who has proved his worth during his time in 9 Pandas, where he played under the leadership of Alexey “Solo” Berezin. 

During his one-year tenure at 9 Pandas, Antares solidified himself as a Tier 1 player known for playing Techies, Rubick, and Skywrath Mage. It is apparent that he has incredible mechanical skill and a knack for making rotations accordingly. 

With the 9 Pandas squad, Antares had a fantastic year for his international debut:

  • 3rd place at ESL One Berlin Major 2023
  • 7th place at DreamLeague Season 20
  • 5-6th at The Bali Major 2023
  • 5-6th at Riyadh Masters 2023
  • 7-8th at DreamLeague Season 21
  • 9-12th at The International 2023

Though the 9 Pandas organization was going through a rebuilding phase after some roster issues, Antares decided to stick around and qualify for the Elite League with the team. However, Antares and the organization decided to part ways before the million-dollar tournament began.

Just weeks later, Antares landed a spot in Virtus.Pro, which is considered a massive upgrade for the 21-year-old, considering the main players of the successful iteration of 9 Pandas were no longer in the team.

The CEO of Virtus.Pro shared a few words on the recruitment of Antares:

“High expectations lie on our Dota 2 players’ shoulders, as there are victorious traditions and legacy to uphold, the ones that our club has built over the years. Achievements are impossible without changes, and now is the best time to make them. The team has clear goals of qualifying to EWC and TI.”

Virtus.Pro has consistently been the third-best Eastern European team, trailing behind Team Spirit and the BetBoom Team, considered the region’s two titans. Usually, most international events would only feature two teams from the EEU region and Virtus.Pro would always be one placement short.

Despite being of similar age, Antares looks to bring his experience playing Tier 1 tournaments and his incredible laning-stage skills to his new home. He will work with Artsiom “Fng” Barshak to create an influential support duo to give their core players a good time. 

Virtus.Pro has just received an excellent addition of firepower, and on paper, this new roster looks very scary. Honestly speaking, this should be the best iteration of Virtus.Pro in a while, as the lineup has the potential to outdo Team Spirit, who is not performing well as of late.

The updated Virtus.Pro lineup includes:

  • Ilya “Kiritych~” Ulyanov
  • Ilya “squad1x” Kuvaldin
  • Evgeniy “Noticed” Ignatenko
  • Vladislav “Antares” Kertman
  • Artem “fng” Barshak
  • Sergey “G” Bragin (coach)

The new squad is looking to qualify for two major upcoming events: The International 2024 and the Esports World Cup. 

Header: Virtus.Pro