Virtus.pro CS:GO star Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Gaļinskis is entertaining the thought of leaving the CIS team after PGL Major Antwerp, sources have told Dexerto.
The Latvian star is contemplating his future away from Virtus.pro as Russian esports organizations face a lot of uncertainty amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
BLAST and ESL were the first tournament organizers to ban Virtus.pro and Gambit from their CS:GO tournaments over ties to the Russian government.
ESL still gave both teams the option to compete under a neutral name, with PGL, the organizer of the upcoming CS:GO Major in Antwerp, announcing on April 9 that it was adopting the same policy.
YEKINDAR has previously admitted that his future with Virtus.pro looked “uncertain” because of the war and the sanctions imposed on Russian organizations. “At the moment I really don’t know if it will be possible,” he told Latvian media outlet sportacentrs in March when asked if he would remain with the team.
Sources told Dexerto that Virtus.pro will not stand in the way of YEKINDAR if he decides to leave the team after the Major. He should have no shortage of suitors, having established himself as one of the best players in the world since joining Virtus.pro in May 2020. He was named the eighth-best player of 2021 by HLTV.org.
On April 24, North American giants Cloud9 announced their return to CS:GO with the signing of Gambit’s team – a strong indicator of the struggles Russian esports organizations are experiencing to hold on to their talent amid the war.
Outsiders, the name under which Virtus.pro’s team is currently competing, booked a spot at PGL Major Antwerp following a nail-biting series against SAW in the final round of the European RMR A tournament.
Before the trip to Antwerp, the team will play the European closed qualifier for IEM Dallas, scheduled for May 2-4.