dastan: "If things don't work out, we'll be looking for new players in June"
The ex-AVANGAR team have been in a steady decline since peaking at No.3 in the world rankings in September following a grand final appearance at the StarLadder Major and a title-winning campaign at BLAST Pro Series Moscow.
The CIS side ended 2019 with last-place finishes at the ECS Season 8 Finals and EPICENTER, and results haven't picked up this year. Virtus.pro went out last at DreamHack Open Leipzig and IEM Katowice, with a 5th-6th place finish at ICE Challenge in between.
"We consider a reshuffle, that's normal," dastan told Gameinside.ua. "As a team we can talk about it openly: we're demonstrating poor results.
"It's just that we're in the pre-Major period and all the teams are already set, so we decided that we probably won't make adjustments before it. Probably.
"We also believe that we can demonstrate better results with our current setup, instead of trying things out with new people. If things don't work out, then we'll be looking for new players come June."
The Kazakhstani coach had previously confessed to being concerned with the sequence of negative results, revealing that the team would be making "cardinal decisions after serious talks."
His comments led to speculation that Virtus.pro would soon revamp their roster, but no moves were made as teams in the CIS region have been busy preparing for the Minor qualifiers.
"In truth, there was a period where we were curious about various possibilities," dastan added. "However, the time isn't right because players are participating in the Minors.
"As a result, it's very difficult to secure the players that you want to; the buyout system in CS:GO isn't very effective, and buying players for ridiculous amounts - even though the money is the organization's, not our own - isn't normal."
The early exit in Katowice following defeats to Liquid and MAD Lions leaves Virtus.pro at risk of sliding out of the top 20 in the world rankings for the first time in six months. dastan insists that he has seen improvements in the server but acknowledges that working with the team has been frustrating at times.
"We initially wanted AdreN to be the captain, but because we had limited time before the tournament, we decided to postpone the change," dastan said. "We still expected good results here and didn't think that we'd have to resort to it.
"We bootcamped, but we spent little time there, around a week or so. I can't say that we had enough time to make significant changes. We worked on Vertigo, we played well on it. There are improvements to gameplay aspects, but playing better and showing results are two different beasts. I see that we're playing better than we did before, but it isn't yielding results.
"I think there is a list of reasons behind why we play poorly. It's not anything specific, it's a whole spectrum of things. Some people lost motivation, so we faced that problem. Some people dropped in individual form, and we're working on that as well.
"Players have developed their personal lives, more than a single individual in the team, which also has an impact. How do you build a personal life with such a peculiar [working] format? You're constantly at events or bootcamping, and I think players are working through that.
"There are also moments when we lost with a close score, and those losses also have a significant impact on the team's morale. Of course there were whitewash scores as well, but also a fair share of close matches, too. There are sometimes important moments when you need to win those sorts of games, and you face a completely different outcome. A single circumstance can impact the team in a long-term scenario."
Virtus.pro will return to action in ESL Pro League Season 11, which is scheduled to start on March 16. They have also secured entry into the ESL One Rio Major's New Legends Stage following their Berlin heroics.