Electronic Arts have banned Russian teams from competing in its FIFA and Apex Legends pro leagues. The ban is in protest of Russia’s continuing assault on Ukraine. The decision comes just two weeks after esports operator ESL made the same decision. The ban also applies to teams in Belarus.
EA said in a tweet, “We continue to be shocked at the conflict that is unfolding in Ukraine and join so many voices around the world in calling for peace and an end to the invasion. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”
According to the March 16th tweet, the ban against Russian and Belarus was immediately put into effect. “We have made the decision to remove Russia and Belarus as eligible countries in our esports programs. Effectively immediately, players and teams in Russia and Belarus are ineligible to participate in the Apex Legends Global Series and the EA Sports FIFA 22 Global Series.” Electronic Arts said.
ESL recently chose to suspend Russian teams Gambit and Virtus.pro from the ESL Pro League. ESL, however, will let Russian players and teams compete without logos or national colors and under neutral names.
Esports, Gaming And Supporting Ukraine
While Russian esports teams are facing bans from competitions, the Ukrainian esports team, NAVI, refuses to leave its home country. Gaming bigwigs like metaverse pioneer Microsoft and Sony have halted all sales in Russia. Nintendo also halted sales to Russia after the service it uses to process payments stopped accepting Russian rubles.
Likewise, the Japanese gaming giant chose to delay the release of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp due to the plot being too similar to current events.
In a similar vein, CD Projekt Red donated funds to support Ukraine. Additionally, John Romero, co-creator of Doom, is selling a new game map for Doom 2 in order to raise funds for Ukraine.