Categories: Video Games

A Dota 2 team was disqualified for drawing the letter Z pro Russia in-game

A Russian Dota 2 team was disqualified from an eSports tournament after one of the members drew a Z, symbolizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The player claimed to have drawn the letter “by accident”, but the justification did not prevent expulsion from the ESL One Stockholm Major.

Russian Dota 2 player draws a Z on the map to support Russia

Russian player Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko and the rest of the roster have all been disqualified from qualifying for the ESL One Stockholm Major. During a break in the game, Moskalenko drew a “Z” on the minimap. His teammates immediately started scribbling it, but the gesture did not escape the tournament organizers (Valve Corporation). Recall that in Russia the letter Z is used to express support for the invasion of Ukraine. Moskalenko’s team (the Outsiders) was also involved in a match against the Mind Games, a team that has several Ukrainian players among its ranks.

The player immediately denied having specially designed the symbol. “There was a long hiatus in the game, the kids and I were talking and drawing on the minimap,” explained Moskalenko. “When we realized that I had inadvertently drawn a Z we tried to erase it. I didn’t want to offend anyone, it all happened by chance “.

The consequences of the gesture

Despite the explanations given, the tournament organizer immediately disqualified the team from the competition. In the meantime, the Outsiders club – whose real name is Virtus.pro, a Russian team that has changed its name to get around the ban on Russian teams – has terminated the contract with Moskalenko. Below is the official statement:

“Any action has consequences, whether intentional or not. Virtus.pro has always opposed any form of hate speech in esports. Therefore the club has decided to terminate Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko’s contract, as his actions led to his disqualification from the tournament and caused serious damage to our relationship with the world esports community ”.

Despite this iron sentence, Virtus.pro added that “the severity of the punishment is shocking”. The team said they disagreed with Valve’s decision to disqualify the entire Dota 2 team “based on a design on the minimap.”

Published by
Marco Dellapina

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