Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko claims the drawing was a mistake, but consequences were dished out.
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A Russian Dota 2 esports player, Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko, has been cut from Virtus.pro. This comes after Moskalenko drew a large letter "Z" on the minimap during a qualifying tournament for the upcoming ESL One Stockholm Major.

A report from Yahoo says that Virtus.pro was playing under the name of "Outsiders" in order to evade an ESL ban on Russian-based esports teams. The match was being played against Mind Games. During the match, a very clear "Z" was drawn on the map by Moskalenko and was visible to players and spectators for a few seconds. Shortly thereafter, the "Z" was hastily scribbled over.

The letter "Z" has significance due to its very prominent use by the Russian forces as they invade Ukraine. It is also used by some Russian citizens and others over the world wanting to show their support for the Russian forces, who continue to murder and rape innocent civilians throughout Ukraine. Though the letter is not actually found within the Russian alphabet, some have suggested that the letter is more of a symbol, one that stands for "zapad." PC Gamer includes a bit about what this may mean.

Some have theorized that it stands for "zapad," an Anglicized version of "запад"—meaning "west"—or it could be just makeshift insignia aimed at helping poorly-trained soldiers differentiate between Russian and Ukrainian units.
Moskalenko took to Twitter this past weekend to say that "it all happened by accident" during an extended pause in the gameplay. However, just looking at the video above makes it pretty clear that it was no "accident." Moskalenko even took a moment to go back and extend the bottom of the "Z" to make it more uniform.

After a review of what took place, Valve and tournament organizers Beyond the Summit, didn't buy that excuse. They disqualified all of Virtus.pro from the tournament.

A day later, Virtus.pro ended their contract with Moskalenko. He has only joined the team back in November 2021.

Virtus.pro issued a statement concerning their termination of Moskalenko's contract while also lashing out against Valve. Virtus.pro says that this disciplinary action carried out against an entire team based on the actions of one player "sets up a whole new precedent." Let's just ignore the fact that Virtus.pro was only in this tournament because they circumvented a ban on Russian esports teams being allowed to participate.