Blast Premier has Barred Russian Region due to Ongoing Russia Ukraine Conflict: The tournament organiser, BLAST Premier, announced today on their Twitter handle that they have decided to stop sending invites to teams based in Russia due to the growing tensions caused by the ongoing Ukraine-Russian conflict. For the time being, teams from the Russian region are barred from competing in the tournament. This decision has been planned for the foreseeable future, which will result in tournaments missing out on notable teams such as Virtus.pro and Gambit.
This decision follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in a bloody and brutal six-day war in the Eastern European country. Since the conflict began on February 24, thousands of soldiers and hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed.
In a social media post today, the event organiser apologised to fans and players from the region and stated that the event was not “appropriate” at this time. “Gaming and esports unite people of all races, countries, and beliefs,” according to BLAST. “We hope that the global situation reflects this as soon as possible.”
— BLAST Premier (@BLASTPremier) March 1, 2022
In addition, the CIS qualifier, which was to determine teams participating in the BLAST Spring Showdown and included Virtus.pro, Entropiq, K23, and forZe, has been cancelled as a result of this decision. This also means that the qualifier for the WePlay CIS Masters Spring has been impacted and will not take place until the current political situation is resolved.
Several esports events, including Apex Legends Global Series, League of Legends Continental League, VCT 2022 EMEA Stage 1 Challengers, and PUBG Mobile Pro League CIS 2022, have been postponed or cancelled in recent days due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Furthermore, Valve has postponed the start of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021/2022 spring season in Eastern Europe for an indefinite period of time.