Ukrainian Sports Ministry names multiple CS:GO players who broke wartime travel policy

Seven Ukrainians failed to return home.

Photo by Michal Konkol via BLAST

Seven competitors at the recent Counter-Strike BLAST Paris Major were named on May 26 in the Ukrainian Sports Ministry’s list of 236 athletes who broke the country’s travel laws by failing to return to Ukraine after the competition.

Following the onset of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, the country’s declaration of martial law banned all male Ukrainian nationals between 18 and 60 years old from leaving the country. One of the few exceptions to this was for sporting events, with the country’s sports ministry approving select foreign travel as long as the athlete returns to Ukraine after the competition has ended.

As initially reported by escorenews, the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports released a list of 236 athletes on May 26 who had failed to return at the date expected of them, which included seven CS:GO players.

These were Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev, Volodymyr “Woro2k” Veletnjuk, and Serghij “DemQQ” Demchenko from Monte and Arsenyj “cptkurtka023” Derevynskyj, Denys “amster” Ljashenko, Aleksei “alex666” Yarmoshchuk, and Mykhajlo “OWNER” Lymar from B8. Monte’s CEO, Dmytro Vovk, was also included on the list.

Monte was one of the big surprises of the BLAST Paris Major, notably beating their fellow countrymen, Natus Vincere, to eventually finish in the top eight. B8 meanwhile competed in the European RMR A qualifier just before the main tournament, where they were eliminated by Cloud9.

Related: Woro2k proves s1mple wrong, fuels Monte to Paris CS:GO Major playoffs with win over NAVI

Following the release of the list, Monte apologised to the ministry and explained the situation in a post on Telegram. The statement said that they had been cleared by the sports ministry to compete abroad in the European RMR B qualifier up until April 16 but opted to break the restriction and stay until the end of the Major itself on May 21 when DemQQ and Woro2k returned.

Sdy, meanwhile, travelled to Poland, where he played the online ESL Challenger League games against Team Spirit Academy and Sprout and plans to return “in a few days.” 

Monte ended their statement by saying “We glorified Ukraine and made it to the quarter-final of the biggest tournament. They shouted ‘Glory to Ukraine’ at an audience of millions. They mentioned the war in their interviews. They held meetings to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And we continue to do everything to adequately represent our country. We apologise to the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine for not returning home on time to make all of the above possible.”

The statement doesn’t mention the whereabouts of Monte’s CEO, and B8 has yet to release a statement about the players included on the list.

What the punishment will be for breaking the travel rules is currently unclear but it is likely to make travel abroad for the athletes listed significantly harder in the future. Monte’s next international LAN event is scheduled to be the ESL Pro League Season 18 in Malta, which begins on August 30.

About the author
Haydar Gohar

Freelancer for Dot. Previously covered Rainbow Six for SiegeGG while earning an Econ degree. Am now hooked on Val and OW.