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Virtus.pro Roster Drop Banner And Compete As 'Outsiders' For ESL Pro League

Virtus.pro Roster Drop Banner And Compete As 'Outsiders' For ESL Pro League
HLTV

Written by 

Jack Marsh

Posted 

8th Mar 2022 11:20

Following the prohibition of Russian organisations from competing in the ESL Pro League, the Virtus.pro roster has dropped their banner to compete for a neutral team named 'Outsiders'.

The Eastern-European roster of Dzhami "Jame" Ali, Alexey "qikert" Golubev, Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis, Timur "buster" Tulepov, and Evgeny "FL1T" Lebedev will all compete as Outsiders, having recently been told this is the only way they can continue to compete in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) event.

Outsiders Formed as ex-Virtus.pro Roster For ESL Pro League

The Virtus.pro roster was banned from competing in Season 15 of the ESL Pro League - alongside any future BLAST hosted events and the Dota 2 GAMERS GALAXY tournament - following a plea from the Ukrainian government that Russian-backed organisations should not be allowed to compete in international events in sports.

Both ESL and BLAST became the first esports tournament organisers to follow the mainstream sports in banning Russian involvement, as the world condemns the invasion of Ukraine from Russia, and retaliated in an economical hit. 

However, ESL has allowed participating esports athletes who have qualified under Russian-backed organisations to continue playing in their events - barring the removal of any links to their organisations, including sponsors, clothing, branded chairs, and in-game names. 

With this in mind, Virtus.pro's CS:GO roster has now removed all ties to the organisation, and have formed Outsiders, according to a Dexerto report

 

The roster is ranked as the sixth-best team in the world currently, and have been given the all-clear by their organisation to compete, should they want to drop the Virtus.pro banner, who then began to blame "cancel culture" for the circumstances.

Gambit Esports, the other organisation based in America that would have been set to compete in the ESL Pro League, have yet to comment as to whether they will be allowing their players to ditch the brand in order to represent themselves.

ESL Pro League Season 15 is due to kick off on March 9, although Outsiders are not due to compete until March 16, with Gambit's fixtures scheduled for the week after.

 

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