Ukraine implores game companies to block Russian esports participation


“Who had ‘writing games industry roundups at the barest edge of a third world war’ on their bingo card?” MOP’s Chris marveled this morning, but here we are doing just that: People across the western gaming industry have issued financial support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion of the country, including MMO companies like Wargaming, Funcom, RamenVR, and PWE’s Embracer Group.

Now, Ukraine is asking the international gaming industry for help directly.

“I appeal [you] to temporarily block all Russian and Belorussian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus,” Ukraine’s Deputy Prime-Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, wrote in an appeal on Twitter from the Ministry of Digital Transformation. “We are sure that such actions will motivate the citizens of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression.”

Readers surely already know that multiple sports leagues and competition around the world have already blockaded Russian play because of the invasion, so extending the request to virtual esports leagues and gaming isn’t too much of a stretch beyond that, though as we noted earlier today, it’s not clear whether MMORPG companies will be willing to go that mile.

In related news, CD Projekt Red – which includes games distribution platform GOG – has formally suspend digital and physical sales and distribution to both Russia and Belarus.

“While we are not a political entity capable of directly influencing state matters, and don’t aspire to be one, we do believe that commercial entities, when united, have the power to inspire global change in the hearts and minds of ordinary people,” the Polish company wrote. “We know that players in Russia and Belarus, individuals who have nothing to do with the invasion of Ukraine, will be impacted by this decision, but with this action we wish to further galvanize the global community to speak about what is going on in the heart of Europe. To our brothers and sisters fighting for their home country – stay strong!”

Further reading:

Source: Twitter via GIbiz, GOG
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