The team we got used to seeing in almost every major tournament is coming back to Dota 2.
At the last-chance qualification for The International 11, Russian Dota 2 players Danil “gpk” Skutin, Dmitry “DM” Dorokhin, Daniyal “yamich” Lazebnyy, Egor “Xakoda” Lipartiya, and Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev will play under the moniker Virtus Pro rather than Outsiders.
This situation happened because the Outsiders’ name has been removed by Valve from the official Dota Pro Circuit standings for Vice President. The organization’s trademark owner and Armenian investor Aram Karamanukyan was appointed CEO of VP, which led to the name change.
The Ban Backstory
Due to the organization’s allegedly close ties to the Russian government, Valve and tournament organizers like ESL had sanctioned VP for using its name in their esports events. That was because the ownership group VK of VP includes Sogaz, a state-run insurance firm in Russia. Valve and ESL issued sanctions in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The company had to resort to using the neutral name Outsiders throughout all esports competitions because the sanctions forbade VP players from using the organization’s name and wearing their particular jerseys in games.
VP stated that all of their squads will play “exclusively” under VP’s tag in all games, according to a press release given today to Escorenews. As of right now, it appears that Valve is the only party to have modified its position.
October 8 marks the beginning of the final qualifying round for TI 11 that the VP will take part in. The company is also scheduled to participate in the IEM Rio CS:GO Major Europe Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event in October, and should ESL also ease the restrictions, its CS:GO players might compete under VP rather than Outsiders.