Virtus.Pro’s Mass Exodus Continues: CEO Leaves The Organization
Virtus.Pro (VP) has parted ways with its Ukrainian CEO Sergey Glamazda, who had been part of the organization since February 2020. The company noted that this change is due to a “need of reorganizing and systematizing the workflow in Virtus.pro” and that the CEO position has been made defunct. The general management of the company will now be handled by a team of managers from its parent company ESForce Holding.
In his departing statement, Glamazda said he was grateful to the organization, and thanked the players and fans. He added that he will keep cheering for “the bears” moving forward.
Virtus.Pro is under fire for its ties to the Russian government
2022 has not been a good year for the Virtus.Pro organization. The ESForce-owned organization has been under the scanner ever since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022. Shortly after the invasion escalated, one of ESForce’s holdings, that stated, "Ruhub, Epic Esports Events, Virtus.pro, and other units of [ESforce] holding support the decision to send troops to Ukraine."
Ukraine esports organization, NAVI labeled its parent company as a group that “publicly denies the horror that is now happening in Ukraine," calling the group's actions "unacceptable and inhumane," and cut all ties with the group.
Because of its apparent ties with the Russian government, the company was barred from participating in tournaments such as GAMERS GALAXY: Dota 2 International Series Dubai 2022, BLAST Premier and the ESL Pro League. Then in a move that can only be described as a PR disaster, . Eventually, it seemed like it had distanced itself from esports for the time being, with its rosters competing under ‘The Outsiders’ tag.
However, its Dota 2 player Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko drew the pro-war symbol ‘Z’ in an official Dota 2 Pro Circuit game when playing against Mind Games, a Ukrainian organization featuring several Ukrainian players, which lead to the player getting fired and VP calling the severity of Valve’s punishment for this incident “shocking.”
Virtus.Pro also announced that it was parting ways with its coach Anatoly “boolk” Ivanov as a result of “declining and disappointing” results. With gpk also possibly leaving the lineup, it looks like the Virtus.Pro Dota 2 dynasty is falling apart.
Now the parent company, ESForce will be handling the general management of the club. This decision has already drawn a mixed response on social media handles. ESForce is currently owned by VK, formerly known as Mail.ru which was previously owned by Uzbek Billionaire Alisher Usmanov who has been a long-term ally of Putin. In December, state-run insurer Sogaz bought Usmanov’s share for an undisclosed sum. Shareholders in Sogaz include banker Yuri Kovalchuk, whom Putin has publicly called a personal friend.