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Russia – Putin’s cyberchampionship to exclude CS:GO

By - 1 June 2023

According to multiple news outlets, Russian President Vladimir Putin has sanctioned the creation of an esports annual tournament. The competition is said to feature popular Russian titles such as World Of Tanks, a game from the World Of War series, along with other domestic hits. However, games like Valve’s Counter-Strike will be excluded from consideration due to their ‘one-sided coverage of political events within the game universe.’

Due to the war, numerous Russian esports teams have faced restrictions, including being blacklisted from sponsorship deals and competitive events. In response, the PRussian resident recently revealed his decision to establish a ‘cyberchampionship’ during a visit to an exhibition of creative industries at Moscow’s Zotov Centre. 

The esports titles will be under the control of Lesta Games, as Wargaming transferred its entire Russian and Belarusian gaming business to them following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gaukhar Aldiyarova, an executive at Lesta Games, told Kommersant that the championship would exclusively feature games from Russian developers and those from friendly nations, providing examples, mentioning League Of Legends, which is owned by the Chinese publisher Tencent.

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