- The war in Ukraine means the team’s in-game leader will not be able to attend the VCT
- ANGE1 lives and Kyiv and cannot leave the country due to the general mobilization
- FunPlus Phoenix finds a Polish substitute by the name of Kamil “baddyG” Graniczka
The war in Ukraine continues to cause issues even for esports, as many players, including FunPlus Phoenix's in-game leader, cannot leave the country.
ANGE1 Cannot Participate in VCT Due to the War in Ukraine
Russia and Ukraine have always been great sources of a large number of gaming professionals. However, with an active war existing between the two countries, many players are unable to participate in tournaments. Russian players are often being banned from many tournaments, such as BLAST Premier banning Russian teams from all their events. On the other hand, Ukrainian players have more pressing matters at hand, sometimes including bombs falling over their heads.
This seems to be the case with FunPlus Phoenix’s (FPX) Ukrainian in-game leader (IGL) Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow who will be unable to compete in the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT). The player is a Kyiv resident, but over the past few days, Ukraine's capital has been under constant threat by the advancing Russian forces. Additionally, the Russian armed forces have been targeting key strategic installations in and around the city, so day-to-day life is often pierced by air raid sirens.
ANGE1 will be unable to leave the country, due to the Ukrainian government placing the state under general mobilizations. This means all men aged 18 to 60 are required to stay in the country to help with the defense.
Who is ANGEL1’s Substitute?
With the situation in Ukraine continuing to escalate, it is unlikely that any players from the country will be able to attend the VCT or any other tournaments for that matter. And the same applies to Russian players as well, with the gaming world unanimously condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and many of them being banned from participation in international events.
FunPlus Phoenix is going to field a Polish player in place of ANGEL1 by the name of Kamil “baddyG” Graniczka. He was trialed with Excel Esports and Alliance in the past but could not secure a permanent position. Plying with Ballista Esports baddyG helped the team qualify for Stage 1 Masters via a VCT Europe Challengers event.
FPX had a strong start in the Valorant Champions Tour with a 2-0 start against BIG Esports and Gambit Esports, the latter organization recently being restricted to participate in international esports events due to the war in Ukraine.
Riot Games released a statement addressing the delays, caused by the conflict in Eastern Europe, stating that it is in conversation with all teams regarding their players’ well-being and individual situations.
With the war in Ukraine picking up pace there is a high probability that even more events will be negatively impacted, as teams and players stay in the country to defend it.