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Virtus.Pro announced that it has terminated the contract of Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko on Saturday after his actions led to their disqualification from the Eastern Europe DPC Tour 2 Playoffs. The 18-year-old Russian player drew the letter “Z”, a militarist symbol used by the Russian Government, on the minimap during the mid-game pause against Mind Gamers.
The letter was visible on the mini-map for a few seconds before Pure’s teammates tried covering it. The drawing led to a public outrage from Dota fans with key figures like Ukrainian commentator Vitalii “v1lat” Volochai calling for a ban.
So this is what you get in game when you allow players from orgs that support the war in Ukraine to play in a tournaments.
Pure, Virtus Pro player, draws a Z symbol in game. Symbol that supports the war and russian army killing ukrainians
They should be banned. indefinetely pic.twitter.com/LOC6VME8f1
— Vitalii Volochai #StandWithUkraine (@v1lat) April 29, 2022
After the incident occurred, VP released a video where Pure apologized for his actions, claiming that the drawing was accidental.
“The guys and I were talking and drawing on the minimap,” Pure said. “When we realized what exactly my 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.”
Virtus.Pro disappointed with Disqualification Decision
In a statement released, Virtus.Pro severed their relationship with Pure for his action. However, they expressed displeasure at the decision to ban the entire team from the playoffs.
“The severity of the punishment is shocking. Valve has a certain history of imposing disciplinary measures”, Virtus.Pro said. But disqualifying the whole team from a DPC tournament based on a drawing on a minimap by single player sets up a whole new precedent. Any actions have consequences, whether intentional or not. Virtus.Pro has been consistently opposing any cases of inciting hatred in esports.
The Virtus.Pro DOTA 2 team were already competing under the name ‘Outsiders” due to ESL prohibition. The team looked set to advance to the Upper Finals after the win against Mind Gamers. However, their disqualification sees them exit the tournament with no DPC points gained.
Additionally, it may be the end of the organization’s roster as there are plans to announce further roster changes separately.
Jimoh Rashidat is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience. She covers FIFA, League of Legends and general gaming content.