The former Winterfox roster, which contained players from Australia and New Zealand, has been disqualified from the ongoing season of the ESL Pro League.
The ruling comes roughly two weeks after the former Winterfox roster, now known as Animal Squad, inherited the league slot from the North American organization. The squad was forced to play a series of Pro League matches from Australia, after Winterfox management were unable to secure a U.S. work visa for any of the players—effectively stranding the team. The roster left Winterfox on April 28, but were allowed to continue competing in the league as Winterfox chose to award the squad its slot.
But now, the team is undergoing what it describes as “lineup issues,” and will be forfeiting their remaining two games of the season. Due to already forfeiting two previous matches in the season, however, the roster has been disqualified from the competition, and will receive none of the prize money they have acquired throughout the season.
Prior to their disqualification, the team achieved little success in the North American division of ESL Pro League, winning only two maps during the nine weeks they appeared in competition. Although ESL have not commented on the fate of Animal Squad’s former tournament slot, the team was already looking at a bottom placement in the league—which would have resulted in the team being demoted to ESEA Premier.
The ESL Pro League Season 5 group stage concludes on May 11. Six teams per region will advance to the LAN finals in Dallas from May 31 to June 4.