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BLAST to exclude Russian-backed teams from tournaments

Organizer BLAST has announced that for the "foreseeable future" no Russian-based teams will be allowed to participate in their tournaments.

The war in Ukraine increasingly begins to affect the esports industry. Tournament organizer BLAST has officially excluded Russian-based organizations from their tournaments.

Video – The Rise of CIS CS:GO and why it matters

The Danish tournament organizer BLAST has released a statement on Twitter, excluding “Russian-based” teams from their events in the “foreseeable future”.

In concrete terms this led to the cancellation of the WePlay CIS Masters: Spring 2022 scheduled in March that would have awarded a spot in the current BLAST Premier Spring. Russain teams Entropiq, forZe, K23 and Virtus.Pro were participants hopefuly for a spot at the BLAST Spring Showdown.

Statement from s1mple

Ukrainian esports organization Natus Vincere also announced the official severing of ties with Russian organization ESFORCE Holding, a group that is among the premier Russian esports organizations with various brands and segments including Virtus.Pro, RuHub, Epic Esports Event and Cybersport.ru.

NAVI criticized the holding group for denying “the horror that is now happening in Ukraine”.

Natus Vincere is one of the most famous esports teams around the world with teams in most major esport titles. Especially their CS:GO team with superstar Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev had been an outspoken critic of the current war in Ukraine.

It remains to be seen if other tournament organizers will now follow BLAST similar to how football confederations FIFA and UEFA have suspended all Russian teams from their competitions.

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Image Credits: BLAST/NAVI



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