Russia vs Ukraine : Backlash in the Esport Scene

Russia vs Ukraine : Backlash in the Esport Scene

On the 24th of February, Russia announced a special military operation in Ukraine. The military operation started in Eastern Ukraine’s Donbas. This invasion has an immensely negative effect on both sides in the political, economical, and social aspects. As a result, Russia faced international condemnation on many aspects, including the competitive esport establishment. They got “banned” in several esports games such as CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legnds, Apex Legends, FIFA 22, and Rainbow Six Siege in their respective esports competitions. 


ESL, the major esports operator, announced that “organizations with apparent ties to the Russian government, including individuals or organizations under alleged or confirmed EU sanctions related to the conflict, will not be allowed to be represented”. Among those that got banned by ESL are Russian teams and Gambit.

ESL recognizes that players are not complicit in the war situation and it is not fair to impose sanctions on individual players. “The and Gambit players are therefore welcome to compete under a neutral name, without representing their country, organization or their teams’ sponsors on their clothing or otherwise”, they added. In conclusion, ESL only restrains the Russian Esports team to compete but allows the Russian players to play under a neutral name.

Both and Gambit have no comment regarding the suspension, but they claim that the suspension does affect their team as they are under a lot of pressure. was threatened with disqualification from the nearest Dota 2 competition, GAMERS GALAXY: Dota 2 International Series Dubai 2022, which ended up with them not participating in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Gambit was still able to attend Extreme Masters Season XVI Katowice, the nearest CS:GO competition, which takes place in Katowice, Poland. Regardless of the CS:GO team, the amount of pressure the organization got from the media is the same as


Electronic Arts, also known as EA, announced that esports players and teams based in Russia and Belarus will no longer be allowed to compete in Apex Legends and FIFA 22 pro leagues. The decision was made due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“We continue to be shocked at the conflict that is unfolding in Ukraine and join so many voices around the world in calling for peace and an end to the invasion,” EA tweeted. “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

EA’s decision to ban Russia and Belarus from pro play was made after the ESL Pro League season 15. Both gave almost the same treatment to the Russian Esports team, the difference is ESL didn’t say anything regarding whether a Russian player could play competitively under a neutral name or not.


Ubisoft made a similar decision as ESL in the Rainbow Six Siege pro league. They tweeted “In light of the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine, all official competitions on our games portfolio in Russia, such as the Russian Major League on Rainbow Six Siege are suspended. Russian players will still be able to compete in regional and international competitions if they choose to, but will be required to compete under a neutral banner, and have accepted to do so.”

Riot Games

Riot games didn’t ban or suspend Russian teams or players, but the Russian Ruble (RUB), the official currency of the country, is worth less than one Riot Point, the in-game currency of Riot’s games when the invasion occurred. At that time, the fall of the Ruble makes 1 Euro equal to a little more than 150 rubles. The cost for 310 Riot Points is €2.50. If that same amount is converted to RUB, you would receive around 375 Riot Points, which makes RUB worth less than Riot Points.

Further more, Riot also decided to cancel this years spring split of Eastern Europe’s region League of Legends (LoL) competition, League of Legends Continental League (LCL). The reason of this cancellation is due to the war between Russia and Ukraine and most players in the league are from those both countries (36 out of 46 players).

Penulis: Kevin Sachio Hasudungan

Reporter: Kevin Sachio Hasudungan 

Editor: Fareez Eldacca

Foto: Twitter @EA @R6esports @virtuspro @GambitEsports

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