Several Russian players may be unable to take part in the deciding qualifiers.
As the war in Ukraine continues and sanctions on Russia increase, visa restrictions for the country’s people have been extended. As a result, CSGO players in the region are finding it difficult to obtain international passes to participate in the IEM Road to Rio Regional Major Rankings (RMR) in Malta.
Four teams are set to participate in the RMR consisting of Russian players – 1WIN, K23, Benched Heroes and Aurora. In light of the new rules, they may not only be missing some players at the event, but are unable to play outright. For now, it only affects the Rio Major, but the problem could extend to other events, if the situation in the world remains unchanged.
The updated guidelines for visa processing, which were instituted on 9 September, have given visa processing consulates to prioritize any non-essential travel from Russia to European countries. In addition, they have increased the decision-making period from 15 days for other countries to 45 days for the warring nation, with additional documents supporting the application in many cases also required.
As reported by Cybersport.ru, Arora currently lacks visas for her manager, coach and one of her players. 1WIN, meanwhile, is only for two players. Benched Heroes player Owen “Ismoias” Butterfield said two of his players could also miss, but one of them, a Turkish resident, is a different matter. It also featured the young Eugene “Ankere” Karyat, who tweeted about the matter.
hey guys..maybe i will remember my dream RMR Malta
I have some problems with VISA but trying to fix it rn😎
I have a chance to come on game day for example or game vs NAVI . the day before
— Eugene Karat (@Aunkere) 23 September 2022
The ESL rulebook states that any substitutes must be registered by the teams by the 8 September deadline, which means that many teams may have to withdraw under circumstances. If a sub was not registered, coaches could be considered substitutes, but many coaches are not in shape to play at the highest level.
ESL’s rule book does not offer much flexibility; Only one option is allowed, and they must be submitted before the roster lock on September 8. With the visa changes due on 9 September, it is a difficult situation for the teams to find themselves in.
If some teams cannot participate, replacement teams will be invited according to their placement in the final Open Qualifier. That being said, while the Illuminar and Forward are lined up for qualification, the last 8 teams of the qualifiers finished 9-16th. Meaning if four teams withdraw or are disqualified, the question of who will join becomes a very real conundrum. In the event that replacement teams are invited for seeding, they will take the seed of the team they are replacing, regardless of their own.
Dust2.dk said they contacted ESL about the status of Visa, and while the organization acknowledged the gravity of the situation, they did not comment on it.
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