BLAST Prohibit Russian-Based Teams From Future CS:GO Events Amid Ukraine Conflict
Amid the horrific Russian invasion of Ukraine, BLAST has followed in the footsteps of major mainstream sporting governing bodies by prohibiting any Russian-based teams from competing in their tournaments for the 'foreseeable future'. BLAST become the first tournament organisers in esports to make the decision.
In response to Vladimir Putin's regime invading Ukraine in a violent attack on the major cities, mainstream sports have begun to ban any Russian involvement from their events; Formula 1 first revealed that they will boycott the Russian Grand Prix in the 2022 calendar and beyond. FIFA also reversed their feeble restrictions of the national anthem and naming rights by banning the country from the upcoming World Cup (and qualifiers) and pulling any Russian teams from international competitions, such as Spartak Moscow in the Europa League.
Now, BLAST has become the first esports to restrict Russian involvement in their events, prohibiting organisations and players based within the country from competing and cancelling the CIS regional qualifiers for the 2022 Summer Showdown Finals.
BLAST Ban Russian Orgs From Upcoming Tournaments
In a statement released on social media, the TO revealed that "no Russian-based team will be invited to play in our events for the foreseeable future", before adding that the CIS qualifier would not be "appropriate" to go ahead at this time.
The affected teams consist of Gambit Esports, Virtus.pro, Team Spirit, and ForZe, all of whom play out of Russia.
Will Russian Players Be Allowed To Compete In BLAST Events?
BLAST's ban on Russian-based teams will also extend to players within the country, although any Russian-born players that do not currently reside in their home country can continue to play, as confirmed by reputable journalist, Luis Mira.
Mira took to Twitter to update the CS:GO community following the announcement, stating that BLAST will allow teams such as Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) to compete. The Ukrainian organisation, and arguably the best team in the world at this current time of writing, boast a predominantly Russian lineup, with three out of five players accompanying two further Ukrainian stars. Recently, the three Russian members of Na'Vi stood side by side with Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev who has called for peace between the two countries.
As the first to make this step, the likes of Riot Games have yet to comment on their upcoming VCT EMEA Challengers event, which has already been postponed due to the conflict.
The global prohibiting of Russia's sporting prowess comes as a result of their violent attacks on Ukraine, in a bid to take a hit at their economic status that funds the armed forces.