ESL Gaming, one of the world’s leading esports company, is not happy with Russia’s attack on the Ukraine and has taken steps to prove it.
The company issued the following statement on March 3:
“We are all shocked and saddened by the Russian invasion into Ukraine and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution. After monitoring the situation, we are now putting an initial set of actions in place.
Together with our partners and employees, we are currently working on actions to support the people suffering from the current tragedy with donations to UNHCR, paid time off for employees to volunteer for humanitarian relief and paid time off for affected colleagues.
On the upcoming ESL Pro League, we made the decision 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 (currently we identified two teams – Virtus.pro and Gambit).
We recognize that players are not complicit with this situation, and we do not think it is in the spirit of esports to impose sanctions on individual players. The Virtus.pro 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.
Furthermore, out of respect for the situation, we decided to pause all scheduled competitions in the CIS region and they can be played at a later point in time.
We will monitor and evaluate future competitions and make further decisions as the situation evolves.”