BLAST Premier, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s second-biggest tournament organizer, announced that no Russian-based teams will be invited to participate in all BLAST events for the foreseeable future.
“Due to the conflict in Ukraine, no Russian-based team will be invited to play in our events for the foreseeable future,” the organization’s announcement on Tuesday reads.
— BLAST Premier (@BLASTPremier) March 1, 2022
In the same announcement, BLAST Premier stated that the CIS qualifier would also be canceled. Prior to that statement, WePlay Esports, the organizer for the CIS qualifier, announced on Feb. 26 that it would be terminating its cooperation with all partners from the Russian Federation.
The three most notable teams to be affected by the BLAST Premier decision include Team Spirit, Gambit Esports and Virtus.pro. These teams are no longer eligible for qualification to the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2022, the organization’s biggest event in the first half of the year. It is notable to mention that not all players from the affected teams are Russian.
ESL, the biggest event organizer in CS:GO, has yet to comment on its stance regarding Russian-based teams. This comes the week after IEM Katowice, where both Gambit Esports and Virtus.pro reached the quarterfinals.
♥️ @s1mpleO#IEM pic.twitter.com/nQjH576Cqa
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) February 25, 2022
Natus Vincere also announced that it would be breaking off cooperation with ESforce Holding, the parent company of Virtus.pro, Ruhub, Epic Esports Events and Cybersports.ru, citing that “ESforce Holding publicly denies the horror that is now happening in Ukraine.”
NA’VI’s most recent match came as a defeat to runner-up G2 Esports in last week’s IEM Katowice. It is unclear what will be next for the Ukrainian-based team.
— NAVI (@natusvincere) March 1, 2022