- Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov is suspended over comments about the war in Ukraine
- The came after chat messages were leaked, showing Gorchakov seemingly supporting the war
- The pro responds by saying these comments were made just before the invasion began
FNATIC suspends Russian pro VALORANT player Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov over comments that support the war in Ukraine.
BraveAF is Suspended
After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, many countries applied punitive economic sanctions on the Russian state. Russian businesses, banks, and influential oligarchs had their assets frozen or seized. Following these sanctions, many non-governmental organizations also chipped in, refusing to trade with Russian companies. The world of sports did not go unchanged, as many organizations barred players and teams from Russia from participating in events. Esports followed quickly, with several Russian organizations being banned from various tournaments.
Yet another player caught up in this movement is Russian pro VALORANT player Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov, who FNATIC suspended because of his pro-Russian comments. “We are aware of an ongoing situation with one of our Valorant players, Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov,” reads FNATIC’s statement. “Effective immediately Gorchakov will be suspended from pro play at Fnatic while we launch an investigation.”
Gorchakov’s suspension comes after privet messages the pro player made have been made public by a Twitter user. The messages, written in Russian, show Gorchakov supporting the war in Ukraine, saying that Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine will again be one. But while the sentiment of similar nations uniting might be appealing, doing so by killing thousands of civilians is abhorrent.
Speaking of the civilian casualties, Gorchakov seems to be repeating the propaganda that Russian state media is spreading. “Peaceful inhabitants are not being hurt,” Gorchakov writes. “Putin said it. This is not a full-scale war.” According to an update by OHCHR, more than 1 000 civilians have been verified killed since the conflict began, with many more fatalities probably not yet confirmed.
BraveAF Responds to the Suspension
On the same day, he was suspended, Gorchakov responded to the situation on Twitter. He said that these comments were made on the first day of the invasion.
“These screenshots are from direct messages of me and Ukrainian girl,” writes Gorchakov.” We had a little chat before 24th of February and I wrote her in the morning of 24th February to know if she’s alright.”
The Russian government heavily insisted in the first couple of days of the invasion that this is a “special operation aiming to denazify Ukraine”. The initial goals were a lightning-fast war whose goal was to topple the current Ukrainian government and install a puppet regime subservient to Putin. The Russian government probably did not expect the war to drag on to the attritional situation it is in currently, which results in vast destruction and civilian casualties. Many Russians probably also did not think this would happen.
FNATIC has qualified for the VCT Masters in Iceland, taking place next month, but it’s unknown if Gorchakov will participate.