Team Spirit have moved their offices to Belgrade, Serbia, according to a Twitter announcement made on Thursday. The original plan was for the team to expand infrastructure in Moscow, but the recent invasion of Ukraine caused the team to change their plans.
— Team Spirit (@Team__Spirit) March 24, 2022
In the statement, Team Spirit cited the accessibility of esports as its unique feature while pointing to how the invasion stripped many from the ability to participate in the industry.
“Wherever you live, whatever you do, whatever you believe in, the doors to esports have always been open for you,” the statement read. “However, everything is changing, and one of these changes is the current situation between Russia and Ukraine, where many of our players and employees come from. Given the circumstances, both practical and ethical, the decision to relocate seems liek the only right one.”
Team Spirit moves offices from Moscow to Belgrade
Team Spirit, just like many other Russian-based teams, have been caught in the middle of the Russia-Ukraine conflict since it began. The team has been vocal about its stance regarding the conflict, releasing a statement on Feb. 24 saying they are against war and violence, and that “peace is the only thing worth holding onto.”
Just like most Dota teams who have players from both Russia and Ukraine, Team Spirit’s players were forced to make adjustments. As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, Team Spirit were set to participate in the GAMERS GALAXY: Dota 2 Invitational Series Dubai 2022. However, since Ukrainian citizen Miroslaw “Mira” Kolpakov was unable to participate in the tournament, Team Spirit were forced to use a replacement in Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosian.
The previous International winners did decided to use their platform during the tournament to raise awareness regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict. As the Team Spirit players walked on the stage, they sported white tees with the word “PEACE” written on them.
— Team Spirit (@Team__Spirit) March 4, 2022
On the other side, several Ukrainian organizations have taken a stand against the invasion. WePlay, the tournament organizer for GALAXY GAMERS: Dota 2 invitational, refused to allow Virtus.Pro players to play under the organization’s name. Virtus.Pro are owned by ESFORCE Holding, a company owned by Russian oligarch and supporter of the invasion, Emin Antonyan. In the VALORANT Champions Tour, members of Team Gambit were forced to do the same since ESFORCE Holding also owns them.