PGL Copenhagen Major 2024: Danish Minister Of Culture Wants Russian CS2 Players Excluded


PGL Copenhagen Major 2024: Danish Minister of Culture Wants Russian CS2 Players Excluded

Aditya Singh Rawat
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Jakob Engel-Schmidt, Minister of Culture for Denmark, has criticized the participation of Russian teams and players in PGL Copenhagen Major 2024.
PGL Copenhagen Major 2024 is currently underway and its final Playoffs Stage is set to take place in front of a live audience at the Royal Arena.
Jakob Engel-Schmidt has urged PGL and Royal Arena to exclude Russians from participation.

In a controversial move, Jakob Engel-Schmidt, Denmark's Minister of Culture, has openly criticized the participation of Russian players, teams, and coaches in the eagerly anticipated PGL Copenhagen Major 2024. The major, a cornerstone event in the competitive CS2 scene, is set to light up the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, from March 17th to the 31st, drawing teams from across the globe to compete for a staggering $1,250,000 USD prize pool.

In a recent set of statements to Berlingske, a Danish national daily newspaper, Jakob shared that he believes Russian athletes should not be allowed to participate in international esports tournaments. He also urged PGL, organizers of the CS2 Major, to exclude Russians from participation.

Denmark's Minister of Culture Calls for Exlusion of Russian Players From PGL Copenhagen Major 2024

Engel-Schmidt's contention with the inclusion of Russian competitors in international esports tournaments was made explicitly clear in a series of statements to Berlingske, a prominent Danish national daily. The Minister's standpoint is rooted in the ongoing geopolitical tensions, as he highlighted in a statement to Berlingske, "As long as Russia continues its illegal war in Ukraine, I do not believe that Russian athletes should be allowed to participate in international sports. Of course, this also applies to e-sports."

The call for action doesn't just stop with the athletes; Engel-Schmidt has also put pressure on PGL, the Romanian organization behind the CS2 Major, urging them to reconsider Russian participation in the event. This plea extends to the Royal Arena, encouraging a more critical stance on the events they host amidst these contentious times.

The spotlight is now on the contingent of 16 players and 3 coaches from Russia that are competing in the Major. High-profile names such as Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov, Boris "magixx" Vorobyev, and Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov are among those who might face repercussions should PGL or the Royal Arena yield to governmental pressures.

Here's the full list of players and coaches that are now under the radar.

  1. Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov

  2. Boris "magixx" Vorobyev

  3. Danil "donk" Kryshkovets

  4. Dmitriy "sh1ro" Sokolov

  5. Sergey "hally" Shavayev | Coach

  6. Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov

  7. Dzhami "Jame" Ali

  8. Evgeniy "FL1T" Lebedev

  9. Petr "fame" Bolyshev

  10. David "n0rb3r7" Daniyelyan

  11. Nikolay "mir" Bityukov

  12. Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov

  13. Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhaylov

  14. Konstantin "groove" Pikiner | Coach

  15. Aleksandr "TRAVIS" Timkiv

  16. Igor "Forester" Bezotecheskiy

  17. Aleksey "NickelBack" Trofimov

  18. Vladislav "Krad" Kravchenko

  19. Svyatoslav "svyat" Dovbakh | Coach

These are the people and organizations who might be affected in case any action is initiated by either PGL or Royal Arena, under pressure by the Danish Government.

There are two more players from Russia who have defined themselves as non-representing Russian professionals in the competitive CS2 scene: Denis "electroNic" Sharipov and Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy.

The discourse around the participation of Russian players in international competitions isn't new to Engel-Schmidt. In February 2023, he voiced a similar opposition to Russian athletes competing in the Paris Olympics, even under a neutral flag, reinforcing a stance that Russia should be barred from all international sports as long as their military actions in Ukraine persist.

At the moment, no official statement on the matter has been made by PGL or Royal Arena, which will host the last leg of PGL Copenhagen Major 2024 from 28th to 31st March.

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Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.

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