- The tournament’s organizers announced that the Russian squad will not be able to attend
- Instead, fntaic have been invited to compete in their place
- This is not the first time Virtus.pro has been faced with such a problem
Due to several Virtus.pro members being unable to obtain visas, the team will not be able to participate in the upcoming IEM Dallas 2023.
Fnatic Replaces Virtus.pro
Less than two weeks separate us from the start of the Intel Masters Extreme Dallas 2023 and the organizers are busy making final preparations for the CS:GO event. Participants from around the world are also making last-minute plans, but it seems one of them, Virtus.pro will not be able to attend the tournament due to some technicalities.
The Russian team announced yesterday that it will be withdrawing from the IEM Dallas 2023 following the inability of a few of its players to obtain visas for the American event. Instead, the tournament’s organizers revealed that fnatic have been invited to play in the place of the Russian squad.
The ESL’s rules allow the next available squad from a bracket to replace a team that has withdrawn from the tournament after the qualifier stage. Luckily for fnatic, they placed fourth place in the closed qualifier behind OG, Cloud9, and Astralis, all of whom have already either been invited or qualified for the event.
IEM Dallas will start on May 29 and run to June 4 and will see 16 teams from around the globe duke it out for the $250 000 prize pool, $100K of which will go to the winner. The winners will also fight for a notch in the Intel Grand Slam belt as the race for the fifth season of ESL's premier prize got started with Vitality's win at IEM Rio in April.
Unfortunately for Virtus.pro, the team will once again be unable to participate in the event. Last year, the Russian squad also did not attend the tournament for similar reasons. Perhaps players were unable to receive visas due to diplomatic tensions between Russia and the USA over the ongoing war in Ukraine. Many Russian teams have faced backlash from the international community over the matter, with Virtus.pro even facing disqualification from Gamer Galaxy last year. This is not the only major update that the organizers of the IEM Dallas have announced this week. Earlier on Wednesday, it was announced that OG was invited to the tournament instead of an unnamed participant. The team’s Abdul “degster” Gasanov will also be replaced by Iulian “regali” Harjău due to the former taking time off after the Paris Major.