Sanctions Imposed on Russian Esports Athletes by the IESF
People who bet on eSports at online casino and sportsbook sites should know that some things are changing. The International Esports Federation or IESF imposed some sanctions on Russian eSports players. The committee members held what they called an Extraordinary General Meeting or EGM. At this meeting, they decided to impose sanctions on Russian players in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Below are key takeaways from the meeting:
Russian athletes are suspended, temporarily, from participating in eSports events and tournaments bearing their name or country. This temporary suspension only applies to events organized by the IESF. It means that Russian players can still participate, but they will not bear Russia as the country they represent. As an alternative, the Russian players will compete under the name “Team IESF.” They also have to wear the colours and jerseys of IESF, not Russia’s colours.
All symbols of Russia are not allowed, such as:
- National symbols
- Military insignia
- Russian letters
- Sign languages interpretations
- Portraits of people
- Russian illustrations
- National quotes of Russia
- Russian language.
The team from Russia also cannot use the country’s flag. In addition, they are not allowed to use any flag from the Russian region.
The member federations from Ukraine and Russia were present during the meeting. Therefore, they had an opportunity to present their views on the situation. They discussed matters, and this discussion culminated in a vote. The vote was only open to the representatives of the Member Federations of the IESF.
The president of IESF, Vlad Marinescu, said that IESF held a meeting in accordance with the statutes of the organization. According to Vlad, these statutes were shaped by their member federations. The meeting concluded with a democratic vote.
The meeting is an example of how an organization should promote peace and development in the eSports industry. This move will affirm the commitment of the organization to the support of the Ukrainian people.
Furthermore, Vlad said that the athletes would provide Ukrainian athletes with direct slots and wildcards. They will do this in the coming 14th WE Championships. The goal of IESF is to promote a safe and supportive environment. The organization will also ensure that players have the tools and resources to perform at their highest potential.
What Companies Are Supporting Russian Teams?
This decision is important not only to fans and supporters of eSports but also to companies that support Russian players. Right now, there are still several companies that continue to work with Russian players.
Valve and PGL
Valve is an American company, yet it supports Russian players despite the stance of America against Russia’s move on Ukraine. Valve has never made any public comment on the events, specifically Russia’s invasion attempts of Ukraine. In addition, Valve also did not impose any sanctions or restrictions against Russian players. Valve, however, froze the second tour of Dota Pro in Eastern Europe. They did so without notice. There is no information about the event on the official site of the championship.
PGL, on the other hand, is a Romanian organization. It actively cooperates with Valve and has organized many events for Dota 2 and CS:GO. The organization also held The International 10 and the
PGL Major Stockholm. Like Valve, PGL has not issued any official statement on the events unfolding between Russia and Ukraine. They are silent about the issue, and no sanction or restriction is in place for Russian players.
CS: GO and Dota 2 are extremely popular games in Russia. In these games, Russian players are the most effective and successful. In 2021, three Russian members comprised Team Spirit, one TI10 and the NAVI. It is this situation that is probably holding back the organizations from commenting or taking action. It is also probable that they are not interested at all because it can affect their business.
One thing of note is that two majors are happening under Valve. These are Dota Major and PGL CS: GO. The CS: GO event will occur in Antwerp in 2022. The participants in the European RMR comprise eight teams.
Will Russian Players Get Banned from eSports?
No, a ban is not likely to happen. The IESF made it very clear that the organization’s thrust is peace.
In addition to this, Russia is a big aspect of the eSports business. By country, Russia is second to the United States in player number. There are almost 4 million Russian players of CS: GO, and this number accounts for 11% of the game’s player base. The US has a little over 5 million, accounting for 14% of the game’s population.
If anything, Russian players could get banned if they did something against the policies of the IESF. For example, if they broke the rules of the sanction, they would definitely receive penalties. It is also safe to assume that if a Russian player says something, or tweets something, that is offensive to Ukraine, this player can be banned. At best, Russian players should keep their opinions to themselves about the war.