Russian esports organizations Gambit Esports, Virtus.pro, forZe, Team Unique and Team Empire made an official appeal to the fans. In particular, the clubs shared their opinion on the current events and talked about the difficulties they and their players are currently facing.
From the very beginning of the aggravation of the situation around Ukraine and Russia, we opposed the start of a "special operation." Until recently, we did not want to speak out on this matter and thought that esports would always be out of politics, but everything turned out differently. Now, when the situation in the world is tense to the limit, we are forced to report that we were left with no other choice but to submit a number of documents to the appropriate authorities (European Court of Justice, VALVE, ESIC, CSPPA, etc.), and ask that not to make us outcasts.
Everyone must clearly understand that we do not make any decisions at the state level and are in no way connected with the state, that all actions of the Government of the Russian Federation and other state bodies are not coordinated with us, and that we cannot influence these decisions in any way. Many people, especially in the West, are subject to terrible misinformation and think that if some organization or company has its office in Russia, then they will definitely support the actions of the Russian authorities and agree with them. We are forced to disappoint you, but this is not so.
We do not always agree with the actions of the authorities, and in this situation we, of course, stand exclusively for world peace. It is no longer possible to remain silent, it is time to stop the Russophobia that has spread throughout the world, which is why we turned to everyone with whom we have at least some connection.
If now you disqualify all Russian players and all Russian teams, then the esports scene will very quickly fall into decay and will undoubtedly collapse, because there are Russian players on the TIER-1 scene in both CS: GO and Dota 2 and many other esports games.
We hope for your understanding, all the world.
Recall that earlier ESL suspended the Virtus.pro and Gambit Esports teams from participating in their tournaments, including ESL Pro League Season 15. The tournament operator explained his decision by the fact that the organizations are somehow connected with the Russian Government. However, ESL did not restrict the players and allowed them to compete in the championship, but under a neutral status.
In addition, the tournament operator BLAST also announced a ban on teams from Russia from participating in their championships. Similar changes are observed in other disciplines. For example, the Virtus.pro team was forcibly removed from GAMERS GALAXY: Invitational Series Dubai 2022, which took place from March 2 to 6. Also, the Gambit Esports VALORANT roster does not take part in VCT 2022: EMEA Challengers 1, as the organizers have removed matches involving the team from the schedule.