Not sure if you’ve heard, but Russians are largely personae non gratae right now. We can’t figure out why.
Certainly for the Polish government, who have previous with invasive regimes, apparently, have banned Russians from entering the country — which is a large issue given IEM Katowice is in Poland.
We’ve got all the facts today.
ESL aren’t more powerful than the Polish government, as you might have initially thought, but they have confirmed that the Russian players will be fine to go to Kato. Not because they’ve tricked the Polish government, but because the Russian players are already in the Schengen area.
We know, it’s a boring answer. We thought ESL might be like the Stonecutters from that Simpsons episode, but it turns out that the rules just allow for it.
At least we get the Russian players in Poland. It wouldn’t feel like a top event without… chopper.
This is particularly important for two reasons; one, that one of the invited teams already is Outsiders, with quite a few more CIS teams expected, and two, one of ESL’s big sponsors, 1XBET, are based in Russia. 1XBET probably wouldn’t be particularly happy without any Russian players.
Still, it’s bad news for Heroic, who can’t win events when Outsiders are there, and ZywOo, who can’t be the best player at the event if s1mple is there. Or Jame. Or sh1ro. Or…