Russian & Ukrainian Dota 2 squad Virtus Pro will be sticking together through 2019 after signing an extension of their contracts with the organization.
In announcing the news Virtus Pro said that the team’s contracts would be extended all the way until the end of the next calendar year. That means it will take in the next iteration of The International, as well as the full Pro Circuit cycle.
“Long-term contracts are rare in the esports world, but they are key to long-lasting partnerships,” Virtus Pro general manager Roman Dvoryankin said in a press release. “This way, we’re taking another important step in the direction of enforcing a more rigid set of rules that are already universally accepted in traditional sports.”
This development comes as absolutely no surprise considering that Virtus Pro dominated the Pro Circuit season. The current roster, led by team captain Alexei “Solo” Berezin, won five ranking events this season, ending with a whopping 12,372 qualification points for TI8. Together, they won a total of $2,540,000 in prize money from Pro Circuit events alone, and have a great chance to win it all at The International 8 on Aug. 15.
“As obvious as it may sound, Virtus.pro is our second family,” Solo said. “As we approach TI8, the contract renewal is extremely important for us. At the moment, we’re giving our best in practice. We’re sure we’ll approach the tournament in our best form.”
Their placement in the leaderboard makes them the number one contender for the International title this year, with their closest rivals being defending champions Team Liquid and Chinese team Paris St. Germain-LGD Gaming.
Should they indeed go into TI8 firing on all cylinders, seeing them take the Aegis of Champions home to Russia would not be a shock at all.