Russian Dota 2 esports player gets his team banned and his contract ended over support for Ukrainian invasion


The gaming world has caught on to the symbolism of the letter Z already, so one has to wonder what was going through the mind of Dota 2 esports player Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko when he decided to draw the symbol during an esports competition – and was met with instantaneous consequences as a result.

During the ESL One Stockholm Major event for the MOBA, Pure is seen drawing the letter on a minimap before pausing and trying to scribble over it, along with several members of his team. We note here that Pure’s team,, is made up of Russian players, while its opponent Mind Games had two Ukrainian members in its squad.

In spite of the attempt to cover up the symbol of support for the Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine during a live esports broadcast, as well as an attempt to claim in a later video that the stunt was an “accident,” the organizers of the tournament responded swiftly, booting from the rest of the competition and forfeiting the match it was playing against Mind Games.

A statement from called the punishment “shocking” and claimed that Valve had set “a whole new precedent” with the whole team’s disqualification. That said, the statement also notes that Pure’s contract with the team was terminated “for his diminishing actions that led to disqualification from the tournament and caused a great deal of harm to [’s] relationship with the worldwide esports society.”

source: Kotaku
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