The US State Department has imposed sanctions against the former head of Virtus.pro, Anton "Sneg1" Cherepennikov, and several other officials from Russia. This information appeared on the official website of the body.
Cherepennikov got on the list as the owner of ICS Holding, affiliated with the Russian government. The company develops various technologies in data storage systems, information security, and others, and works on making SORM hardware, needed for following the Yarovaya law in telecommunication industry.
Sneg1 is a prominent figure in Eastern Europe esports. He is a former Counter-Strike and Quake professional player. In 2010 he got 3rd place in the WCG qualifier under the IronWill tag, playing alongside current Cloud9 coach Ivan "F_1N" Kochugov. The following year, Sneg1 revived Virtus.pro and led the club as owner and investor until 2019.
In 2015, together with NAVI founder Oleksandr "ZeroGravity" Kokhanovkyy, he created ESforce Holding, which included Virtus.pro, partially NAVI and at some point, SK Gaming. Later, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov invested $100 mln in the company, and Sneg was the one who reportedly convinced him. In 2018, Cherepennikov sold the holding to Mail.ru Group.