Bear Circus: The Former CEO of Esforce Became the Head of Virtus.pro a Day After Leaving the Holding
The management of the club did not change after the "relocation."
Armenian club Virtus.pro announced that Nikolay Petrosyan became the head of the organization. A day earlier, he left the post of CEO of the sanctioned holding Esforce.
Yesterday, Nikolay Petrosyan announced his departure from the sanctioned Esforce holding, which previously owned the Virtus.pro club. Today, he announced that he became the CEO of Virtus.pro, while the former head, Aram Karamanukyan, remained in the position of an investor.
The Story of the Non-standard "Relocation" of Virtus.pro
After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russian companies began to fall under sanctions. One of them was the Esforce holding, which was found to have ties to the Russian government.
This Russian holding owned the Virtus.pro team, which after the imposition of sanctions, was forced to play under the neutral Outsiders tag. However, the management of Esforce found a brilliant solution: to sell the club to an unknown Armenian investor and present it as a relocation. Thus, Aram Karamanukyan became the CEO and leading investor of Virtus.pro.
Virtus.pro even performed at The International 11 under its tag. Still, other tournament operators did not believe in the lightning-fast "relocation," even though VP everywhere said they were an Armenian organization.
"Relocation" looked implausible - the club kept all partnerships, and nothing was known about the management's movements except for the CEO change. And now VP finally gave up and returned their head, who had just left the club's native holding company.
We have a stale scheme that even a blind person can spot:
- Since February 2022, Petrosyan has held the position of CEO of Esforce, which included the Virtus.pro organization.
- After the start of the war, the holding was caught by sanctions. Only the site and the club remained of the main subdivisions of the holding (e.g., tournament activity, lighting studio, club, site).
- On September 16, Virtus.pro was bought out by an unknown "investor" from Armenia and kept all partnerships and contracts of the club.
- On December 12, Petrosyan left Esforce.
- A day later, he assumed the position of head of Virtus.pro.
The circle closed. If the tournament operators ignore this signal, then it is possible to finally put an end to the moral principles of the leading esports business's "whales." The most important thing is that PGL and Valve once allowed VP to perform with the same tag for the World Championship in their other game. It will be a shame for eSports CS:GO if this happens again.