What just happened? A Russian DOTA 2 player got his team disqualified from a tournament and contract terminated after demonstrating support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during a live broadcast of a match.

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Dot eSports reports that the incident took place during the Eastern Europe Regional Finals of the Dota Pro Circuit last weekend. During Virtus.pro’s (under the name Outsiders) semi-final match against Mind Games, one of the former’s players, Ivan “Clean” Moskalenko, used the mid-match pause to draw what looked like a “Z” on the playing field. map. The letter was used to show support for the Russian troops and their actions against the neighbor.

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You can see in the video above how Moskalenko seems to realize what he has done and suddenly starts drawing the letter. His teammates, while painting with different colors, also began to cover up the image, suggesting that they were aware of its effects.

Another factor in all this is that the team that Virtus.pro played for, Mind Games, has two Ukrainians in its roster.

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What Moskalenko did was noticed by many. The ensuing backlash led the player to provide an explanation, claiming it was an “accident”, though he never apologized in his video.

“There was a long pause in the game, the guys and I talked and drew on the minimap. When we realized what exactly my drawing turned out to be, we tried to hush it up.

But, like most viewers, Valve and the organizer of the Beyond The Summit tournament did not convince Moskalenko and kicked his team out of the tournament. They also granted Mind Games, who lost the match, a forfeited victory.

Virtus.pro released a statement following an investigation into the incident. The team called the punishment “shocking” and stated that “disqualifying an entire team from a DPC tournament based on a mini-map art drawn by one player sets a whole new precedent.” But he added that intentional or not, actions have consequences. Therefore, he terminated the contract with Moskalenko.

Virtus.Pro was disqualified from the Gamers Galaxy: Dota 2 Invitational Series in Dubai earlier this year due to the Russian organization’s refusal to condemn the invasion of Ukraine.