Russian eSports team Virtus.pro stole the victory at the IEM Rio Major
The team Outsiders has won in the CS:GO tournament called IEM Rio Major. As the matter of fact, the team consisted of members of Virtus.pro, a Russian team that did not enter the tournament due to sanctions. After the win, they posted the unboxing of the trophy on their official Twitter account.
Legally, Outsiders are considered an Armenian team. Even the local Ministry of Economy congratulated them on their recent victory. There is no information on the tournament website about the country that Outsiders represents. It competes under neutral tags.
However, one of the organizers, Michal Blicharz, reported on Twitter that the trophy for the IEM Rio Major went to Armenia. The Outsiders lineup consists of former members of Virtus.pro. Most Russian media also call Outsiders a Russian team, adding Virtus.pro in parentheses.
In April, several GS:GO tournament organizers condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and banned Russian-affiliated teams from competing. Teams Virtus.pro and Gambit Esports also came under these sanctions.
Virtus.pro members actually created a separate legal entity in Armenia and were able to bypass the restrictions. However, they couldn’t resist posting a video with the trophy on the official Virtus.pro Twitter account. It looked strange, considering that the Russians themselves pass off both organizations as two different teams.
One of the organizers of the IEM Rio Major, Michal Blicharz, made a response to this video. He explained that it was an unpleasant surprise since Virtus.pro did not win the title at IEM Rio. A team is not allowed to change the results of IEM Rio in their favor.
Once again, Russians bypass restrictions in front of the whole world. This time they don’t even hide that their deception worked. It is surprising that the organizers of the tournament still allowed the entire team and management of the team, which was directly related to the Russian Federation, to compete. Then they expressed their sincere surprise at the fact that Virtus.pro was flaunting their victory.