Vitalii Nikolaevich ‘v1lat’ Volochai confirmed earlier on Tuesday that multiple Dota 2 players have been denied entry to Ukraine for the StarLadder Dota 2 Minor.
In his initial tweet, the Russian esports caster and analyst confirmed that all five players from Old But Gold were denied entry to Ukraine. Following his revelation, other personalities also came out with the same news. OG’s offlaner, Sébastien ‘7ckingMad‘ Debs, later confirmed that their carry, Igor “iLTW” Filatov, was also denied entry to Ukraine. Just a few hours later, Gambit Esports also revealed via Twitter that nearly their entire Dota 2 team also suffered the same fate. However, Gambit Esports later confirm that they had already passed border control and were already settling into their hotels.
According to v1lat, the staff members of StarLadder are currently working towards a resolution.
The StarLadder Dota 2 Minor is the third Minor of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit. It will feature eight teams fighting over a $300,000 prize pool and a slot at the next Major, DreamLeague Season 11. The Minor will be held at the Cybersport Arena in Kiev from March 7 to 10.
Participating teams include OG from Europe; Gambit Esports and Old but Gold from the CIS region; Flying Penguins from North America; Demoltion Boys from South America; Royal Never Give Up and Vici Gaming from China; Boom ID from the SEA region.
Click here for our preview of the StarLadder Dota 2 Minor.
Why Are Players Being Denied Entry to the Starladder Dota 2 Minor?
This latest turn of events comes after the rising political tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
For those unaware, Ukraine recently issued a blanket ban for every Russian citizen aged 16 to 60 from entering the country. This is following the events of the Black Sea incident in December where Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) coast guard fired upon and captured three Ukrainian Navy vessels who were on their way to Mariupol and were passing from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait.
Multiple Russian personalities reportedly encountered the same issues while traveling to Ukraine earlier this year. Apparently, however, their issues were resolved in a matter of days.
With only a few days to go before the Minor, the onus is on StarLadder to find a way to remedy the situation. If they can’t, then OG will have to play with an emergency stand-in. Meanwhile, Old But Gold may have no choice but to drop out of the event entirely. If things escalate even further, Valve may have to step in and possibly, revoke the Minor status from the event. Although that is highly unlikely already at this point.
What do you think of this incident preceding the StarLadder Dota 2 Minor? Do you think all teams will receive entry in time for the tournament? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.