Virtus.pro Blame 'Cancel Culture' For ESL Omission
Russian-based esports organisation Virtus.pro has blamed the social phenomenon of "cancel culture" for their disqualification from the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ESL Pro League, BLAST Premier events, and the Dota 2 GAMERS GALAXY International Series: Dubai.
The collection of Tournament Organisers promptly prohibited the organisation, alongside the likes of Gambit Esport and Team Spirit, from their competitions for the "foreseeable future", due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the horrific bombing of major cities.
Virtus.pro blame Cancel Culture for esports bans
The ban on Russian esports organisations comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called for sporting bodies to prohibit teams from the country from all international competitions, in a bid to directly impact the Russian economy following their invasion of Ukraine. Sporting bodies such as FIFA and Formula 1 have already banned the national teams and representatives from their competitions, with the former removing Russia from the World Cup qualification stages and the latter boycotting the Russian Grand Prix in the 2022 calendar.
Selected esports bodies have also followed suit, with BLAST being the first to introduce restrictions; Russian-based organisations and players will not be allowed to compete in their events, namely the CS:GO BLAST Premier events. ESL echoed this action, albeit offering Russian players to compete in the events which they qualified for as long as they play under a neutral team name, disassociating themselves fully from their parent orgs. EA Sports have also removed all clubs and the national team from FIFA.
Following the restrictions, Virtus.pro have now claimed that the restrictions on their competing status are a "prime example of 'the cancel culture'", insisting that they are not connected to the Russian government.
"We can’t tolerate this kind of behaviour. There are no rational reasons to suspend us from playing in tournaments, apart from prejudice and pressure from the outside," the statement reads.
Despite their insistence that they are not connected to the government, Dust.2 report that their parent company, ESforce Holding, is a part of a larger Russian ownership that has been targeted by the U.S. and EU for their connections to Vladimir Putin and his regime.
Virtus.pro have revealed that they will allow their teams to continue playing without any association to themselves, although the rosters have yet to comment.