In the Eastern Europe Dota Pro Circuit Regional Finals on Sunday, one of the former''s players, Ivan ''Pure'' Moskalenko, used a mid-match pause to create what appeared to be the letter''Z'' on the game''s map. The letter has been used to demonstrate support for Russia''s troops and their actions against its neighbor.
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In the video above, you can see how Moskalenko appears to realize what he''s done and suddenly starts drawing over the letter. His teammates, drawing in other colors, also began shading the image, implying they knew it''s implications.
Another factor in all of this is that the game Virtus.pro was playing, Mind Games, and has two Ukrainians on its radar.
Several people noticed what Moskalenko did, despite the ensuing outrage. The player issuing an explanation alleging it was an "accident," although he never apologized in his video.
Pure on the latest incident. pic.twitter.com/nv6OU168Yh
"There was a long pause in the game, the guys and I were talking and sketching on the minimap. When we discovered what exactly my drawing turned out to be, we tried to cover it up. I didn''t mean to offend anyone, everything happened by accident. Peace to everyone," Moskalenko said.
According to most viewers, Valve and tournament organizer Beyond The Summit were less than convinced by Moskalenko and kicked his team from the tournament. They also granted Mind Games, who lost the match, a forfeit win.
Following its investigation into the incident, Virtus.pro described the punishment as "shocking" and declared that "disqualifying the whole team from a DPC tournament based on a map by a single player sets up a whole new precedent." However, it added that whether intentional or not, actions have had consequences. Therefore, Moskalenko has terminated his contract.
In the wake of the Russian organization''s refusal to condemn Ukraine, Virtus.Pro was disqualified from the Gamers Galaxy: Dota 2 Invitational Series in Dubai.