ESL has confirmed that any organisations with “apparent ties” to the Russian government won't be allowed representation at ESL Pro League 15, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Stating that its "shocked and saddened" by the recent invasion, ESL releasing an official statement, advising:
On the upcoming ESL Pro League, we made the decision that organizations with apparent ties to the Russian government, including individuals or organizations under alleged or confirmed EU sanctions related to the conflict, will not be allowed to be represented. (currently we identified two teams - Virtus.pro and Gambit)"
ESL Bans Organisations "With Apparent Ties" To Russian Government From Pro League 15
For the unaware, Gambit is owned by Russia’s largest telecom company, MTS. As for Virtus.pro, that team's owned by VK, a group who Sogaz - a state-run insurer recently sanctioned by the European Union - has shares in. However, ESL confirmed these players can still compete, providing they do so "under a neutral name" and without representing Russia.
It's far from the only response we've seen across the games industry this last week. We've seen statements of support from 11 bit Studios, CD Projekt Red, Gameloft, GSC Game World, and Crytivo, while Wargaming recently sacked World of Tanks' creative director for supporting this invasion.