Since its beginning, Paladins esports has been filled with stories of underdog success — and this year is no different. Embracing the underdog mentality wholeheartedly, Virtus.Pro has become a force to be reckoned with despite hosting several players who are LAN rookies. Led by the self-proclaimed “king” of free-to-play shooters Lev ‘eLvenpath’ Strokov, this is one team that’s sure to surprise everyone watching the Paladins World Championship.
Strokov’s esports breakthrough came during the Paladins Founder’s Tournament, while he played under District 69’s banner. Once known as a loose cannon, Strokov’s emotional influence on his team has at times been a double-edged sword — and perhaps why he was removed from this roster following their defeat at the hands of QG Craze during the Paladins Summer Premier.
However, Virtus.Pro’s recent LAN performance points to some serious personal growth. Entering the PPL Fall Finals as the fourth EU seed, Virtus.Pro shredded their opponents using a combination of excellent teamwork, drafting, and resource management. But following an unfortunate circumstance that’s barring their DPS player from attending the HRX 2018, things are getting shaken up for this team just ahead of their most important games of the year.
Simsiloo, one of the Virtus.Pro’s best DPS players, has fallen ill just ahead of the event and forced the tightly bonded group to find an outside replacement in order to compete. Enter Sizze, a member of Cryptik who is stepping up to complete the team’s roster and give them a fighting chance for the championship throne. But with a large portion of Virtus.Pro’s success being attributed to an extended bootcamp phase with their original roster, fans are now wondering if the team will be able to claim their title without one of their hardest hitters.