After finishing as runners-up during the 2022 Six Invitational, the Six Mexico Major, and the 2021 EU League Finals, both Dmitry "Always" Mitrahovich, Danila "dan" Dontsov, and Danil "JoyStiCK" Gabov are back in the top flight with Virtus.pro.
Out from VP are Kirill "SmashByAsh" Belozerov and Yaroslav "FMX" Kurzin.
VP are currently playing as Outsiders in the EUL.
Always and dan have been signed as players, while JoyStiCK has been signed as a coach. Transfer rules only allow the signing of two players and one coach in every mid-season transfer window, though a coach is allowed to play as a stand-in during "exceptional circumstances". It is currently unclear if VP will attempt to avail this allowance, however.
JoyStiCK has been Russia's best-known Siege player since 2018. Here, he qualified for the Six Invitational in his first attempt and won Europe's ESL Challenger League later that year to qualify for the ESL Pro League for Season 9.
A few months later, JoyStiCK's Team Empire finished as runners-up during the 2019 Six Invitational before winning their debut Pro League season title and debut Six Major in Raleigh. Dan was part of both rosters, having only been signed midway through Season 9.
After a weak 2020 Six Invitational, Empire then added Always to the roster.
While it did take a while, by 2021, Empire were back at their old heights as undoubtedly Europe's best team. They reached the grand-final of the Mexico Major and 2022 Six Invitational and were the joint-best European team at the 2021 Six Invitational.
At the beginning of this year, four of Empire's members left the team following a following a falling out with the organization. They have since played in the first EUCL qualifier, where they finished outside of the top-eight.
Now, JoyStiCK, Always, and dan have left this team and will rejoin the top-flight on Virtus.pro, whose players currently play under the "Outsiders" moniker as VP is a Russian organization.
Outsiders finished Stage 2 in eighth place, just two points ahead of the new Team Empire team, who finished in last place. They'll now be hoping to challenge for a top spot once again with this new lineup, however, even if they do qualify for a Six Major, it is unlikely the Russian players will be able to secure visas in time for the event.
The EUL restarts next Monday, Sep. 12.
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