The Russian CS:GO players of Benched Heroes, 1WIN, Aurora, and K23 might not attend the Europe Regional Major Ranking (RMR) for IEM Rio Major due to visa issues, according to reports by Dust2.dk Cybersport, and HLTV.
This is because the European Commission tightened the visa processing for Russian citizens earlier this month. Russian citizens who are after short-stay visas to travel within the European Union are facing problems because the consulates are now allowed to deprioritize non-essential travel, extend the decision from 15 to 45 days, and request additional documents.
The Europe RMR will run in Malta from Oct. 4 to 9 and the participation of the Russian players on K23, 1WIN, Aurora, and Benched Heroes is uncertain, according to the reports. These teams have run into visa issues and the list of players who could miss the competition includes Denis “deko” Zhukov (1WIN) and Eugene “Aunkere” Karyat (Benched Heroes).
In case the Russian players of these teams do not secure their visas in time for the RMR, it’s unclear whether they’ll be allowed to seek last-minute replacements. ESL’s rulebook for the tournament states that teams are only able to use one substitute and they must have been submitted before the roster lock on Sept. 8, meaning that teams that need more than one stand-in may need to withdraw.
In case one of the teams end up withdrawing from the RMR, ESL will pick the next team in line from the fourth and final open qualifier that took place in August. All-Polish team Illuminar are first on the list and Mihail “Dosia” Stolyarov’s team Forward is second. The rest of the list is unclear because all teams earned a top-16 placing.
ESL told Dust2.dk that it is aware of the visa issues the teams are facing, but did not provide further comment.