The IEM Rio Major 2022 saw a series of upsets leading to a dark horse victory for Outsiders that most people definitely didn’t see coming. Alongside the fame and riches, the Major champions have now qualified for the BLAST Premier World Final, with the opportunity to take home another $500,000 place for first place.
The Outsiders roster, formerly known as Virtus Pro, won their right to attend this tournament, but there were some conditions that could’ve prevented them from attending.
BLAST welcomed Outsiders to the tournament with the only requirement being that they compete “under their neutral name and identity.”
Outsiders originally played under the Virtus Pro banner. Due to the Russian and Ukrainian conflict, several tournament organizers allowed squads to attend their events under the provision that they remove ties to their former organization if there was any connection between them and the Russian government.
Virtus Pro, similarly to Gambit, had ties to the oligarch. The squad has since played as Outsiders for the last 14 events, including qualifiers.
On Sept. 17, Aram Karamanukyan became the CEO of the former oligarch-tied esports organization. However, Blast seems to be holding strong in its stance.