BLAST bars Russian teams

BLAST bars Russian teams

March 2, 2022

BLAST Premier to not allow any teams from the CIS region.

Esports tournament organiser BLAST has announced that no Russian team will be invited to play in BLAST events in the near future as result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

BLAST has also announced that it has cancelled the upcoming CIS qualier for the Spring Showdown. Additionally, the WePlay CIS Masters Spring will also be put off, and it is unclear as to when the tournaments can or will be held again.

As result of BLAST’s decision, renowned teams such as Gambit and Virtus.Pro will miss out, while teams such as Entropiq, K23 and forZe amongst others will miss the qualifiers.

The BLAST Spring Showdown was scheduled to be hosted by WePlay Esports, whose European headquarters are in Kyiv, Ukraine. WePlay earlier had announced that it had ended its partnership with the Russian Federation, which would see WePlay stop advertising the Russian brands in the broadcasts. WePlay also terminated all its partnerships with Belarusian companies as well.

BLAST released a statement that read:
“Due to the conflict in Ukraine, no Russian-based team will be invited to play in our events for the foreseeable future.

“Our CIS qualifier, has now also been cancelled. We are sprry to the fans and players from the CIS region for this decision, but we do not think it is appropriate that this event goes ahead, at this time.

“Gaming and esports unites people from all races, countries and beliefs. We hope the situation on the world stage reflects this as soon as possible.”

BLAST’s decision, though, will not affect the world number one team NAVI. Although they do have Russian players in their roster, the team are based in Ukraine, and that means they are free to compete.

By putting a ban on the Russian teams, BLAST becomes the first esports organiser to take the step amid the sporting world taking stern steps and sanctions against Russian teams. The esports world has seen Riot Games’ VCT 2022 EMEA and its League of Legends Continental Leagues, Tencent’s PUBG Mobile Pro League CIS 2022 Spring and EA’s Apex Legends Global Series all cancelled as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Both Russian teams Gambit and Virtus.Pro are scheduled to play in the upcoming ESL Pro League Season 15, which is set to get underway from March 9 in Germany.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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