The popular Russian organization Virtus.pro has recently announced that its lineup of Ubisoft’s shooter Rainbow Six will be able to play under its original name in the 2023 season.
Recall that many organizations were banned from top-level competitive esports circuits due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Virtus.pro is one of these organizations, and it has been made known by the club’s CEO that these sanctions were lifted in the R6 scene, and they will be able to use their name again.
However, this only happens in the Rainbow Six division because, as we already know, the CS:GO guys, for example, are still playing under the Outsiders banner.
Virtus.pro announces it will play under its original name for the 2023 Rainbow Six season
As we mentioned, through an official statement on its blog, also shared on its official Twitter account, the organization announced that it would be able to play under its original name in the 2023 season of R6. Virtus.pro said:
“Good news for R6S fans 🔥 With the beginning of Season 2023, Virtus.рro esports club has been allowed to compete in the Rainbow Six Esports circuit under its own name. See you soon in the new season!”
Good news for R6S fans 🔥
With the beginning of Season 2023, Virtus.рro esports club has been allowed to compete in the Rainbow Six Esports circuit under its own name.
See you soon in the new season!
Read more: https://t.co/DCPDfHuAck pic.twitter.com/PA07rjNdoz
— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) February 27, 2023
On the other hand, Virtus.pro CEO Nikolay Nikolai Petrossian said:
“We have taken multiple steps over the past year to be able to comply and compete under the Virtus.pro banner and have done a great job documenting every step we took. We thank our fans for their patience and urge them to cheer for Virtus.pro in the next season.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine affected several organizations
Since spring 2022, many tournament organizers, such as Valve, Riot Games, and Ubisoft, banned Virtus.pro from participating in tournaments using their name. This is due to the organization’s ties to the Russian government. As a result, we have seen a “new” team in different esports divisions playing under the Outsider’s name.
Valve was the first to lift the sanctions because, since last September, Dota 2 players started using the name Virtus.pro. In addition to the names, it was also possible for them to use the uniform with the sponsors’ logos.
Virtus.pro’s ties to the Russian government were through its parent company, ESforce Holding. The parent company of this organization was VK, the largest social network in Russia, and the European Union and the United States had sanctioned its managers.
However, in September 2022, VP announced that Aram Karamanukyan, a citizen of Armenia, had taken over as CEO of the organization and claimed to be the complete owner of the Virtus.pro trademark and assets.
Hey everyone. I am the new CEO and investor in @virtuspro. We are looking into the victorious future ahead of us. #GOGOVP
— Aram Karamanukyan (@VP_Aram) September 16, 2022
Several esports experts questioned this adjustment because they believed Virtus.pro could use it to circumvent sanctions.
However, in December 2022, former ESforce Holdings CEO Nikolai Petrossian was announced as the new CEO of Virtus.pro. Karamanukyan said:
“We decided to move forward with a more experienced CEO…. Nikolai was an obvious choice.”
Apparently, tournament organizers and developers are already being a bit more flexible with the issues of sanctions on Russian teams. We will have to wait and see if these decisions will impact something extra-sporting or if they will gradually remove these sanctions from the rest of the organizations.