ESL confirms Russian players will be able to come to Poland for tournaments
Tournament operator ESL assured in a comment to HLTV.org that players with Russian citizenship would be able to attend tournaments in Poland. The announcement came in response to concerns within the community about whether Outsiders, as Major champions, are able to participate in IEM Katowice 2023, which will traditionally be held in Katowice.
In September, the Polish government restricted the entry of Russians into the country in order to "address imminent public policy and security threats" amid the war in Ukraine. According to an ESL representative, the ban only applies to crossing the joint border, while Russian citizens can still enter Poland with a valid visa through the Schengen area, for example, from Germany.
As of now, there is no local law indicating that any given team or player cannot enter the premises of Poland and, therefore, not participate in the upcoming tournament in Katowice. ESL FACEIT Group remains compliant with all international laws and sanctions, and we will continue to monitor and reshape our global and local business strategies to reflect that.
IEM Katowice 2023 is scheduled to take place in early February being the first big championship in 2023. As of now, the participation of only three teams has been confirmed, namely FaZe, Vitality and Outsiders. The latter includes four Russians.