IESF set to lift restrictions on Russian players, says Russian Esports Federation

IESF set to lift restrictions on Russian players, says Russian Esports Federation

Image credit: International Esports Federation (IESF) via Twitter (X)

The International Esports Federation (IESF) has voted to let Russian players compete under their own name and flag, according to the Russian Esports Federation.

IESF members initially voted to suspend Russian players from competing under their country’s name and banned the Russian flag and symbols in April 2022 after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement on its website, the Russian Esports Federation stated that during a meeting on August 28th, IESF members voted to strike down IESF’s original April 2022 decision to bar Russian representation from international competitions.

The statement claims 32 delegates voted in favour of Russia’s re-admittance, while 13 voted against and 25 abstained. Russia’s statement additionally claimed that a separate proposal put forward by Ukraine’s esports federation to suspend Russia’s esports federation from IESF entirely was rejected.

IESF has not publicly confirmed that such a meeting or vote took place. Esports Insider has reached out to IESF for confirmation but the organisation has not yet responded.

Dmitry Smith, President of the Russian Esports Federaton (or Russian Computer Sports Federation), said in the translated statement: “Sport should unite, and any form of discrimination against athletes based on nationality and any other grounds is unacceptable. Therefore, we are glad that we were able to achieve the cancellation of the previous decision, and our team will finally compete under its own flag.”

The meeting reportedly took place during IESF’s ongoing World Esports Championship 2023 in Iași, Romania.

Additionally, according to a report by The Esports Advocate, motions related to gender equality and LGBT topics were also presented and rejected during the meeting.

Many esports companies severed ties with Russian esports organisations and companies in the wake of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions. The invasion is still ongoing a year and a half later.

Prominent Ukrainian companies such as WePlay terminated business ties completely with Russian entities, while Western stakeholders largely cut ties with companies that had government links or that publicly expressed support for the war.

Last week, Swedish esports organisation Ninjas In Pyjamas drew widespread backlash after Richard Lewis revealed the organisation had scrubbed all statements and comments in support of Ukraine in order to appease its Chinese business partners.

Jake Nordland

Jake is Esports Insider’s Features and Trending News Editor. Part of the ESI team since early 2021, he’s interested in politics, education and sustainability in esports.

Full Story »


Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

More in News

Oil protest disrupts Tekken 7 tournament at EGX, sparks online backlash

While two of the best British Tekken 7 players were ...

Katsumi leaves VALORANT Game Changers to pursue mixed-roster Challengers qualification

One of the most accomplished players from the North American ...

Everything announced in Minecraft Live, from Star Wars DLC to mob vote winner

Minecraft Live, developer Mojang's annual livestream celebration of Minecraft, has ...

TFT player leads the pack for esports streamers across mid-2023

Many esports competitors’ footprint extends beyond tournaments or qualifiers, with ...

The Van Gogh Museum will not restock that Pokémon card amid safety concerns

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has confirmed that it ...

Trending on Esport Chronicle

Kai’Sa TFT Set 9: Best Build, Comps & More

There has been a revived sense of interest in Teamfight ...

Diablo 4 Season 2 Will Soon Let You Experiment On Target Dummies

Diablo IV's Season 2 update is a big one, but ...

Striking Hollywood Writers Could Meet With Studios As Soon As August 4 To Resume Negotiations

Hollywood writers have been on strike since May, but now ...

Baldur’s Gate 3 preloads start for PlayStation 5 on 31st August

Don't worry PS5 owners, you too get some preload news ...

Life is Strange: True Colors comic picks the right ending to continue

One of the many optional endings in Life is Strange: ...