The Ukrainian Esports Federation (UESF) has reportedly banned Team Spirit’s The International 10 (TI10) winning players Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk and Myroslav “Mira” Kolpakov for playing alongside Russian players on the same squad. As per reports, these sanctions mean that Yatoro and Mira will not be able to compete in any tournaments organized by the UESF hereon, and they will also not be allowed to travel outside the country for tournaments when martial law is in place. Team Spirit is currently headquartered in Belgrade, Serbia. UESF’s actions come at a time when Ukraine and Russia have been at war since the latter invaded their country in Feb 2022.
The Ukrainian Esports Federation reportedly bans Yatoro and Mira for playing with Russian players
Yatoro and Mira were reportedly banned along with Ukrainian esports players Igor “w0nderful” Zhdanov and Myroslav “zont1x” Plakhotja for playing on the same team as Russian players.
Team Spirit, a Russian organization, has players from Ukraine and Russia. Yatoro and Mira are from Ukraine, while the other three are from Russia. However, in March 2022, the organization made a decision it deemed both ethical and practical by leaving behind its infrastructure and plans in Moscow and relocating to Belgrade. Serbia has been Spirit’s base of operations ever since.
— Team Spirit (@Team__Spirit) March 24, 2022
Meanwhile, Ukraine has been under martial law since Russia invaded it on 24th Feb 2022, which means that if Yatoro and Mira return to Ukraine, they will now have a very challenging time leaving the country again due to this ban. In addition, the two players are no longer permitted to represent Ukraine in esports.
In regards to the ban, neither Yatoro nor Mira has expressed any opinions. It remains to be seen whether other esports players on the same team as Russians will face similar bans from the UESF.
Yatoro and Mira, on the other hand, have been in excellent form recently with Team Spirit, winning the Riyadh Masters 2023, the event with the largest prize pool so far this year. In the grand final, the team defeated Team Liquid 3-1 to earn $5,000,000 USD in prize money.
The team is currently enjoying a break having already qualified for The International 12 (TI12) based on Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points. Unless a large third-party tournament takes place, Spirit will now be seen playing at TI12 in October 2023.