Eports event organizer ESL Gaming has announced they decided to exclude all teams with “ties” to the Russian Government of participating in their ESL Pro League CS:GO. They stated this in their latest release and pointed at organizations like Virtus and Gambit to be in their Crosshairs.
This ban has its effect on all (Esports)Organisations or individuals who are included in the EU-sanction list as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.
On the upcoming ESL Pro League, we made the decision that organizations with apparent ties to the Russian government, including individuals or organizations under alleged or confirmed EU sanctions related to the conflict, will not be allowed to be represented (currently we identified two teams – Virtus.pro and Gambit).
We recognize that players are not complicit with this situation, and we do not think it is in the spirit of esports to impose sanctions on individual players. The Virtus.pro and Gambit players are therefore welcome to compete under a neutral name, without representing their country, organization or their teams’ sponsors on their clothing or otherwise.
Furthermore, out of respect for the situation, we decided to pause all scheduled competitions in the CIS region and they can be played at a later point in time.
As ESL Gaming stated the identified teams are still able to compete in the events but must do so under a neutral name or any visible sponsoring.
ESL commented on their action in the press release: “We are all shocked and saddened by the Russian invasion into Ukraine and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution. After monitoring the situation, we are now putting an initial set of actions in place.
ESL Gaming is also pauzing all events in the CIS-region (Commonwealth of Independent States).