Ukraine urges esports companies to cut ties with Russian teams, EA responds

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Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has urged “all game development companies and esports platforms” to halt any business in Russia following the 24 February full-scale invasion into Ukraine.

Mykhailo Fedorow who holds the portfolio of Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation shared an open letter on Twitter, addressing the games industry as a whole. He specifically tagged Xbox and PlayStation in his tweet. Xbox parent Microsoft is assisting the Ukrainian government in battling cyberattacks from Russia.

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Fedorov requested the esports industry to block Russians from accessing any gaming accounts, as well as dropping the Russian teams from esports events and canceling any tournaments due to be held in the country. “In 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers, and missiles,” the letter read.

I am sure that you will not only hear, but also do everything possible to protect Ukraine, Europe and, finally, the entire democratic world from bloody authoritarian aggression—and I appeal to temporarily block all Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus.”

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In a subsequent tweet, Fedorov tagged Riot Games, EA, Ubisoft, and Wargaming, asking them to “please help us stop this. Close your offices in Russia! There’s no place for aggressor on the global technological map!” The plea is a part of a larger worldwide strategy to punish Russia economically for the invasion.

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The video game giant EA announced Wednesday that it’s removing Russian teams from some of its sports games amid the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. “We stand with the people of Ukraine and join the voices around the world calling for peace,” one of the statements reads.