Virtus.pro have dropped Dota 2 pro Ivan ‘Pure’ Moskalenko from their roster after the team, competing under the name Outsiders, was disqualified by Beyond the Summit. The disqualification came as a result of Pure allegedly drawing the pro-Russian war symbol, Z, in-game.
Outsiders, the Virtus.pro Dota roster competing independently of the org following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have been disqualified from the Dota Pro Circuit Eastern Europe Playoffs after one of their players reportedly drew a Russian pro-war symbol during their match against Mind Games.
“Outsiders is disqualified from the DPC EEU Tour 2 Regional Playoffs. Mind Games will receive a retroactive forfeit win for their match earlier today. All future matches Outsiders would have played are forfeit as well,” the BTS Dota account said on Twitter.
The moment was highlighted by several Twitter users and prompted Virtus.pro to release a video before the ban with the player who drew it, Pure, explaining what happened.
“There was a long pause in the game. The guys and I were talking and drawing on the mini-map. When we realized what exactly me drawing turned out to be, we tried to cover it up. I didn’t mean to offend anyone, it all happened by accident. Peace to all,” Pure said in the video.
Despite his explanation, on April 30, Virtus.pro released a statement confirming they had parted company with Pure because his actions led to the disqualification.
Their statement said: “We were notified that the final decision [disqualification] was up to the publisher. The severity of the punishment is shocking… Virtus.pro has been consistently opposing any cases of inciting hatred in esports. The club terminates contract with Ivan ‘Pure’ Moskalenko for his diminishing actions that led to disqualification… and caused a great deal of harm to our relationship with the worldwide esports society.”
They confirmed that roster changes will be announced in due course.
Because of the disqualification, Outsiders will miss the ESL One Stockholm 2022 Major, the first Major of the season for the esport.
The Virtus.pro Dota lineup was competing under the name Outsiders to continue to compete in the Dota Pro Circuit due to tournament organizers and esports developers keeping Russian-state-backed organizations out of their competitions.
Gambit Esports has had to do the same thing in Valorant and Counter-Strike, before the team moved to Cloud9, with its rosters.
This is not the first time the Russian organization has been in hot water, as it also incurred a ban from the ESL Pro League in March 2022.