Ivan ‘Pure’ Moskalenko from Virtus.pro got himself and his entire team disqualified from the Eastern European qualifier for the ESL One Stockholm Major Dota 2 tournament. The disqualification was issued as Moskalenko was seen drawing a 'Z', which is a symbol used in support of Russia's barbaric attack on Ukraine. Footage from Ukraine showed Russian military vehicles painted with the letter Z.
As reported by Yahoo, Moskalenko drew the symbol using a feature that allows players to draw on the minimap in order to discuss strategies. He drew the 'Z' which was immediately scribbled over by his teammates when they noticed it. It occurred during the upper bracket semifinals match against Mind Games, a team which includes two Ukrainian players.
Virtus.pro, who played under the name Outsiders, had actually won the match. However, upon reviewing the incident, organiser Beyond the Summit announced that they had been retroactively disqualified, leading to an automatic win for Mind Games.
"Outsiders is disqualified from the DPC EEU Tour 2 Regional Playoffs. Mind Games will receive a retroactive forfeit win for their match earlier today," said a statement by Beyond the Summit. "All future matches Outsiders would have played are forfeit as well. We will share an updated schedule soon."
According to Moskalenko however, the whole thing happened by accident. "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," he said via a video on Twitter immediately after the match.
In a separate statement, Virtus.pro announced that Moskalenko's contract had been terminated, "The severity of the punishment is shocking. Valve has a certain history of imposing disciplinary measures, but disqualifying the whole team from a DPC tournament based on a drawing on a minimap by single player sets up a whole new precedent.
"Any actions have consequences, whether intentional or not. Virtus.pro has been consistently opposing any cases of inciting hatred in esports. The club terminates contract with Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko for his diminishing actions that led to disqualification from the tournament and caused a great deal of harm to our relationship with the worldwide esports society."
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