Virtus Pro signs ArtStyle as Dota 2 coach

The legendary coach returns.

Image via Virtus Pro

Virtus Pro, one of the most dominant teams in the 2019 Dota Pro Circuit, has been going through a rebuilding process over the last eight months. After replacing some of its key players and finally getting back on track to success, the team announced it’s bolstering its ranks with the coaching skills of Ivan “ArtStyle” Antonov.

Virtus Pro parted ways with former coach Anatoly “boo1k” Ivanov in March, and the team has been playing in online tournaments without an official coach since. Virtus Pro were notably struggling to get results during last winter but slowly picked up pace around April, defeating teams like OG, Team Nigma, and Liquid in various tournaments.

“Glad to welcome Ivan in our club,” Virtus Pro’s general manager Sergey Glamazda said. “He already helped the team to reach an incredible level in the past and we are sure that his experience and understanding of the game will allow us to improve once again.”

The announcement also marks the start of ArtStyle’s second stint with the team. He previously coached Virtus Pro during one of its prime eras between 2017 and 2018. The team went on to win major tournaments like ESL One Hamburg, Katowice, Birmingham, the Bucharest Major while placing fifth in both year’s Internationals. Despite a phenomenal track record, ArtStyle parted ways with the team shortly after the International 2018. They failed to meet fans’ expectations during both TI seasons, and ArtStyle went on to coach popular CIS teams like Winstrike and EXTREMUM during his time away from Virtus Pro.

Image via Virtus Pro

Before becoming a coach in 2016, ArtStyle was an active competitor in the scene and also a part of the legendary Natus Vincere squad that won the first International in 2011. He returned to the team as a player in 2015, but the team’s last iteration couldn’t rekindle flames of the 2010 Na’Vi.

Virtus Pro’s Dota 2 squad currently consists of:

  • Igor “iLTW” Filatov
  • Vladimir “No[o]ne-” Minenko
  • Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok
  • Bakyt “W_Zayac” Emilzhanov
  • Alexey “Solo” Berezin
  • Ivan “ArtStyle” Antonov

Fans won’t have to wait long to see the complete roster in action since the squad is scheduled to participate in the Immortal division of Omega League: Europe, kicking off on Aug. 14. Virtus Pro will go up against teams like Evil Geniuses, Alliance, and Na’Vi, making the tournament an excellent test for the roster.