In a major development for the competitive Counter-Strike scene, Virtus.pro is set to compete under their own name again at the upcoming tournament, BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic 2023. This marks the organization’s return to their namesake brand after over a year of participation under the neutral tag “Outsiders”.
Earlier this year, Virtus.pro officially parted ways with its Russian ownership group, and it was later announced that Armenian investor Aram Karamanukyan was the new CEO and primary investor of the organization. The situation was somewhat complicated, as the organization had ties to the Russian government and to sanctioned entities. Initially, Virtus.pro resisted using a neutral tag and even labeled measures of renaming the organization as “cancel culture”.
Despite some uncertainty around the sale of Virtus.pro, the deal was eventually finalized. VK Group, which has extensive ties to the Russian government, announced that it had sold the organization to Aram Karamanukyan for 174 Million rubles ($2.9M USD). However, the optics of the sale were somewhat clouded when Virtus.pro hired Nikolay Petrossian, the former CEO of ESforce and former owner of Virtus.pro, as their new CEO.
It is a noteworthy development that Virtus.pro will be competing under their own name in the Counter-Strike scene once again, thanks to the BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic 2023 tournament organizers. However, the recognition of Virtus.pro’s official separation from sanctioned entities by BLAST and ESL still remains to be seen, as they are currently reviewing recent changes in the ownership and structure of the organization.