Russian esports organisation Team Spirit has announced that it will open a new office in Belgrade, Serbia following Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Through an official statement made by Team Spirit, the organisation noted that will ‘abandon plans to expand the infrastructure in Moscow’.
According to an interview by Team Spirit’s CEO Nikita Chukalin for Escorenews.com, the organisation searched for a new country in which to open a new headquarters, and Serbia was selected for a number of reasons. This included the geographic location, in order to optimise logistics and latency while playing, economic reasons, and the availability of legalisation of residence.
Team Spirit is a well-known Russian esports organisation and most recently won Dota 2’s The International in 2021.
Team Spirit said in a statement: ” 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 like the only right one.”
Chukalin also noted that, as of now, around 60 per cent of Team Spirit’s rosters and employees are in Belgrade, and that the company will organise a new office and bootcamp space there.
It is yet unclear how long will Team Spirit stay in Serbia or whether this will be a permanent move.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, a multitude of tournament organisers have issued esports sanctions. ESL Gaming suspended Gambit and Virtus.pro, citing ties to the Russian government, in early March 2022.
WePlay Holding has also severed ties with Russian partners, plus a number of other esports tournament organisers sanctioned Russia-based teams, as well. These include Beyond the Summit, Elisa Esports, BLAST, and others. Team Spirit has remained unaffected by most sanctions to date and has donated prize money from its GAMERS GALAXY finish to the International Red Cross. The team also expressed its anti-war stance publically.