Valve renames Outsiders back to Virtus Pro in official Dota 2 ranking

The change comes after Armenian investor Aram Karamanukyan took over VP's control.

Dota 2 Russian players Danil “gpk” Skutin, Dmitry “DM” Dorokhin, Daniyal “yamich” Lazebnyy, Egor “Xakoda” Lipartiya, and Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev will play under Virtus Pro at the last-chance qualifier for The International 11 instead of using the tag Outsiders.

This is because Valve has replaced the Outsiders name on the official Dota Pro Circuit rankings for VP. The name change comes after the Armenian investor Aram Karamanukyan was appointed the CEO of VP, in addition to owning the organization’s trademark.

Valve and tournament organizers like ESL had sanctioned VP for using its name in their esports events due to the organization’s allegedly close ties to the Russian government. This is because Sogaz, a Russian state-run insurance company, has a stake in VP’s ownership group VK. The sanctions imposed by Valve and ESL were a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The sanctions prohibited VP players to play under the organization’s name and use their respective jerseys in matches, which made the organization resort to playing under the neutral name Outsiders across all esports events.

At the moment, Valve seems to be the only one to have changed its stance, but VP said all of their squads will play “exclusively” under VP’s tag in all games, according to a press release sent today to Escorenews.

The last-chance qualifier for TI 11 that VP will attend kicks off on Oct. 8. The organization is also due to attend the IEM Rio CS:GO Major Europe Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event in October, and its CS:GO players may also play under VP instead of Outsiders should ESL also lift the sanctions.

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