- Viral screenshot suggests Valve CEO banned CS:GO in Russia
- It turns out this is another example of fake news
- Curiously, the war in Ukraine starts having more influence on esports
As the war in Ukraine escalates, so does the spread of fake news, including CS:GO and Dota 2 allegedly being banned in Russia.
Screenshot Circulates, Suggesting CS:GO Was Banned in Russia
The world, especially Europe, was shocked when on February 24 Russia attacked Ukraine. The tension between the two countries has been mounting for months, as Russian troops were stationed along the border with the country to allegedly conduct military exercises. Of course, the source of these tensions can be attributed to the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia or even the 2013 toppling of the Ukrainian government by a popular uprising.
With even the gaming world collectively condemning Putin’s actions in Ukraine, many players and organizations have been targeting Russian gaming communities. One game that has a very large Russian-speaking player base is CS:GO, and some CS:GO fans allegedly started supporting a petition on change.org to ban the Russian gaming community from playing the game.
There was also a popular screenshot circulating the internet, claiming that Valve's CEO Gabe Newell would ban CS:GO and Dota 2 in Russia. The truth is that this is just fake news.
The popular image was not provided with a source link. Also, no reputable news outlet had reported about this incident, which would not have been the case if this was actually true. There has been no official statement from Valve regarding the banning of any games on Russia, which further refutes the claims of the widely spread screenshot. Also, the Reddit post linked above has since been deleted while the petition was also removed shortly afterward.
The War in Ukraine and Its Surprising Effect on Gaming
This is not a political news outlet, however, the ongoing war in Ukraine has already had worldwide consequences, and esports have not gone untouched by it. Many organizers have already either banned Russian players and teams from attending or straight up just postponed tournaments like the Dota Pro Circuit.
With war going on in Eastern Europe and many people having access to the Internet, it's a no-brainer that misinformation and straight-up propaganda would be circulated. The above-discussed screenshot is most likely a joke, seeing that both CS:GO and Dota 2 continue to be accessible to all players in Russia.
Curiously, other games have been involved in the misinformation campaign that seems to be going on right now. A very popular video that allegedly showed an airplane engaged with ground forces in Ukraine, turned out to be footage from Arma 3.
Meanwhile, many Ukrainian pro gamers are trying to help their nation in any way they can, like CS:GO player s1mple, who donated $33 000 to the Ukrainian army.