Electronic Arts has made the decision to bar players in Russia and Belarus from competing in both the Apex Legends Global Series and the EA Sports FIFA 2022 Global Series, according to a statement on Twitter made Wednesday.
“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,” the statement reads. “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”
The implications of banning ALGS and FIFA players in Russia and Belarus from competing are large and vary from how other tournament organizers have chosen to response to the ongoing invasion. In Counter-Strike, ESL recently announced they would bar organizations with “apparent ties” to the Russian government. This action was in accordance with sanctions that the United States and others are placing on Russia. EA has opted against targeting specific organizations and have broadly banned all players in the two countries from competing.
— Electronic Arts (@EA) March 16, 2022
As of now, it is unclear whether Russian and Belarusian players living in other countries will still be able to participate. A top ALGS team, ZETA DIVISION, fields Belarusian player Kirill “9impulse” Kostiv and two Russian players, Danila “Sunset” Soloviov and Lev “taskmast33r” Grigoriev. 9impulse, at least, is an example of a Belarusian who is living outside Belarus and playing for a Japanese organization. As of yet, EA has not clarified whether he will be allowed to compete still under these particular circumstances.
The ALGS announced on March 8 that it would pause all competition in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region because of the war in Ukraine. In contrast, competition in North America, South America, APAC North & APAC South resumed on March 12. As of now, there is no word on when EMEA competition will return.