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Published: March 3, 2022

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • He also calls for Russian esports teams to be removed from events
  • “In 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers and missiles,” says the minister
  • Various other esports and traditional sports organizers have already banned Russian teams

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov says Microsoft and Sony should leave Russia temporarily, as the war continues to escalate.

Fedorov Urges Microsoft and Sony to Leave Russia

The war in Ukraine takes many dimensions. Tanks and aircraft are important, but on the modern battlefield electronics warfare and cybersecurity also take their rightful place. Furthermore, one waging war has to think of the economic toll it will entail, especially when foreign nations refuse to trade with you or impose sanctions to stifle your economy.

These sanctions can include even digital services, and recently Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov urged western game developers to temporarily pull out of the Russian market, and block Russian and Belarusian esports teams and players from participating in esports events.

Tagging Microsoft and Sony on social media, Fedorov wrote “You are definitely aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now. Russia declared war not [on] Ukraine, but [on all of the] civilized world. If you support human values, you should [leave] the Russian market!”

Fedorov also called for any international events in those regions to be canceled in solidarity with Ukraine as Russia attempts to invade the country. Some organizers have already taken such actions, such as Valve who indefinitely postponed the Eastern Europe Dota Pro Circuit.

Organizations Are Banning Russian Athletes from Competing

The terrible events happening currently in Ukraine have already claimed the lives of thousands – soldiers and civilians alike. This war already has effects reaching outside of the conflict area’s borders. With a huge refugee crisis on the EU’s eastern border and skyrocketing oil and gas prices, the world will feel the war’s effects.

In response to Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, many other countries have imposed heavy economic sanctions, designed to stifle Russia’s economy and bring it to the negotiation table. In a show of both solidarity and an effort to destabilize the standing of many of Putin’s oligarch friends, sports and esports organizations have also banned Russian teams from competing. This includes FIFA suspending Russian clubs from participating in events.

Esports organizers are following the example of their traditional sports organizations. For example, CS:GO is very popular in Russia, but BLAST Premier, the second-largest CS:GO organizer in the world, has banned Russian teams from participating in any of its events. Event hosts are also continuing to crack down on esports organizations with apparent Russian government links, with Vitus.Pro becoming the latest target of disqualification.

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