[Updated] Virtus.Pro Carry 'Pure' Under Fire For Drawing a Pro-War Symbol During DPC Match
Update: Outsiders (Virtus.Pro) has been disqualified from the Eastern European DPC Tour 2 Regional Playoffs. The team will retroactively forfeit all of the games that it would have played (essentially lower bracket matches).
As a result, Mind Games will face BetBoom Team in the Winner Bracket Finals for first place and a spot in the upcoming ESL One Stockholm 2022 Major.
Virtus.Pro’s carry player Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko is under investigation after he drew the letter ‘Z’ on the minimap during an Eastern European Dota 2 Pro Circuit 2021/22 Tour 2 match against Mind Games. The letter ‘Z’ is reportedly the main symbol of public support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result. it has caused mass public outrage against the player and the team.
The incident occurred during a pause in Game 1 of the Mind Games vs Outsiders (Virtus.pro) match earlier today. During the pause, players began to draw on the mini-map with Pure drawing the letter ‘Z’. After a few seconds, the players painted over the symbol drawn by Pure in an attempt to hide it.
After the series concluded, none of the Outsiders players appeared for the post-game interview.
Incident sparks calls for a ban on Virtus.Pro and its players
Following this incident, several key figures in the Eastern European Dota 2 scene called for a ban on Pure and Virtus.Pro. Ukrainian commentator Vitalii Nikolaevich "v1lat" Volochai called for an indefinite ban on the player and the organization following this incident.
Jonathan "Loda" Berg, co-owner of Alliance, called this act “disgusting.” While Team Spirit’s carry player Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk reportedly questioned why Pure was allowed to play the second game following this incident.
BTS and Valve are investigating the incident
Following the outrage over this incident, David "GoDz" Parker co-founder of Beyond The Summit which is running the Eastern European DPC 2021/22 Tour 2 playoffs stated that the incident is currently being investigated. He also mentioned that Valve was also informed about the situation.
Virtus.Pro Pure says that the drawing was accidental
After the announcement of the investigation, Virtus.Pro’s carry player Pure issued a statement on the organization’s Twitter handle.
“I’d like to comment on the incident that occurred during game 1 vs Mind Games," he said. "There was a long pause in the game. The guys and I were talking and drawing on the minimap. 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.”
Neither Valve nor Beyond The Summit has issued a statement on the outcome of their investigation at the time of writing. Hopefully, the two organizations will address the situation before Outsiders (Virtus.Pro)’s next match, which is scheduled to take place against BetBoom Team later tomorrow.