The Virtus Pro eSports clan is one of the best-known organizations in the scene. Especially in CS:GO Counter Strike, the players have achieved several successes in the past few years. Virtus Pro is a Russian team, and that is exactly the problem now due to the war in Ukraine.
However, after some back and forth and tremendous upheaval behind the scenes, a decision has now been made. The Virtus Pro players will participate in the ESL Pro League season 15.
The decision of the ESL
The responsible persons of the ESL Pro League have made a clear decision a few days ago. All Russian teams are excluded. The sanction mainly affects Virtus Pro and Gambit. The clan is said to have direct connections in Russian government circles. The exclusion of the team is therefore understandable and correct.
On the other hand, the ESL Pro League has made it clear that there will be no sanctions against individual players. Bets will continue to be accepted.
ESL Pro League Tournament: The Details
The season tournament will be held from March 9 to April 10. As usual, the League consists of several phases. In total, the ESL Pro Tournament is about a prize money of 823,000 US dollars.
Outsiders without label and without advertising
The former CS:GO Virtus Pro team will enter the games under a new tag. The “Russians” are participating as teams under the name “Outsiders”. It is forbidden for the players to wear Virtus Pro advertising or a brand of another Russian organization. The decision to participate under the label “Outsiders” was ultimately made by the gamers themselves. The entire line-up of the team will compete, specifically:
- Dzhami “Jame” Ali
- Alexey “qikert” Golubev
- Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis
- Timur “buster” Tulepov
- Evgeny “FL1T” Lebedev
Huge noise in the background
Once again to the upheavals in the background. All sports organizations worldwide have excluded Russia. The sanctions could not stop at eSports. Of course, the ESL Pro League has not met with any sympathy from Virtus Pro. The clan speaks of Cancel Culture and has also published an official statement. Quote:
“ESL refuses to communicate with the club management and prefers to talk directly to the players. We will not respond to this aggression with aggression of our own by banning our players from playing in this tournament. They spend a lot of time trying to become professional players, and unlike some tournament organizers, we’re not willing to invalidate someone else’s efforts.”
These are harsh words, of course, while on the positive side, Virtus Pro Clan explicitly allows its players to participate in tournaments.
Gambit confirmation still pending
It is currently still unclear how the second top clan affected, Gambit, is behaving. There is currently no official confirmation that Gambit players will enter the tournament under a different label. Neither the organization management nor the gamers have commented yet.
Outsider victory not impossible
Due to Virtus Pro’s decision, an interesting constellation, specifically a pun, naturally arises in eSports betting. It is by no means impossible that the “Outsiders” (outsiders) will ultimately emerge as tournament winners. However, the bookmakers will certainly know how to correctly assess the strength of the “new team”.