Virtus.pro returns? Valve changes Outsiders’ name to VP on DPC Rankings page
Recent changes within the Virtus.pro organization and on Valve’s DPC page suggest the Virtus.pro mantle is returning.
It is looking increasingly likely that Outsiders’ will compete as Virtus.pro in The International 2022, as Valve updates its official DPC rankings to call the team Virtus.pro. Outsiders was the moniker that Virtus.pro lineups competed under during tournament organizers widespread condemnation of the invasion of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Virtus.pro’s parent company ESforce Holdings was accused of having deep ties to the Russian state. As a result, their companies were largely blacklisted from esports in 2021. Now, as first reported by Dexerto’s Luís Mira, Virtus.pro appears to be back in the picture, at least for TI11.
New CEO, new leaf for Virtus.pro?
The change on the DPC website comes days after the organization announced that Aram Karamanukyan would be the new CEO and principal investor of VP. Reportedly, Karamanukyan is now the owner of the company's trademark. It is currently unknown what remaining stake ESforce holdings have in Virtus.pro. Although Virtus.pro is no longer listed as an asset on its website.
Karamanukyan seemingly makes for a more appealing public face of the company. Although little is currently known about Armenian-based business man, shifting the ownership out of the hands of Russia will likely help the reputation of the embattled organization. Especially given the fact Armenia is currently subject to its own illegal invasion. This time by Azerbaijan, backed by western powers.
However, the spector of VP's previous owners will not go away soon. Karamanukyan's announcement tweet was flooded with replies demanding his stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Whether ESforce Holdings and ownership group VK have truly relinquished control of Virtus.pro remains to be seen. No public statement has currently been made by Valve about Virtus.pro's appearance at TI11