Beleaguered CIS organization Virtus.pro today announced the departure of their CEO Sergey Glamazda, the man known in the org as "The Genius". Glamazda joined Virtus.pro in January of 2020, initially working with their Rainbow Six Siege team, before moving into a more senior role in 2021.
Glamazda will not have a single direct replacement. Instead, the org stayed that his role will be taken over by “a team of top managers from VP’s parent company ESforce Holding.” His departure from the org comes at a turbulent time for the group, which has been thrust into the limelight by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and public speculation as to which CIS orgs are supportive of Putin’s aggression.
This has been amplified by a number of incidents, not least of which was a situation last week that saw one of VP’s Dota2 players draw a "Z" on the minimap during a competitive game, leading to the disqualification from the tournament of the entire team. Several VP teams have already been forced to compete under neutral banners, including their talented Counter-Strike roster, who are playing as "Outsiders" at the moment.
Glamazda was Kyiv-educated
While it may not be relevant to his departure, it is interesting to note that Glamazda studied in Kyiv for a number of years, receiving both his Masters and Bachelors Degrees in Marketing from Kyiv National Economic University. VP’s decision to replace him with ESForce managers, or maybe ESForce’s decision, is also noteworthy.
Natus Vincere, the CIS region’s premier esports organization, cut all ties with ESForce in March of this year after the company made statements denying the "horror" of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A now-deleted tweet also claimed the group as a whole was supportive of the invasion, which VP denied, but their failure to condemn the violence sits in stark contrast to other CIS orgs like Na’Vi or Gambit.
With all of this in mind, it seems as though VP are going in a more pro-Putin direction if anything. This, and the fact other groups have already sanctioned ESForce over their stance on the situation in Ukraine, likely also means that ESForce's decision to take more direct control over the org could lead to further sanctions against Virtus.pro in the near future.