ESL says IEM Katowice will continue as planned

ESL is monitoring the situation in Ukraine.

Screengrab via ESL

ESL, the tournament organizer running IEM Katowice, has confirmed that the CS:GO and StarCraft II playoffs will take place this weekend as originally planned, despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The organizer, however, noted that it is “closely monitoring” the situation in Ukraine. “Our current priority is to support the players, the talent, and the staff who may be affected by it,” ESL said in an official statement. The CS:GO and StarCraft II playoffs will be played in the Spodek Arena, where a huge live audience will follow the action starting on Friday and ending on Sunday.

There are no Ukrainian or Russian StarCraft II players attending IEM Katowice, but there are plenty of CS:GO players and coaches from this nation attending the tournament, including NAVI’s s1mple. The full list is below.

Player or coach nameCountryTeam
Oleksandr “s1mple” KostylievUkraineNAVI
Valerii “b1t” VakhovskyiUkraineNAVI
Andrii “B1ad3” Horodenskyi (coach)UkraineNAVI
Denis “electronic” SharipovRussiaNAVI
Kirill “Boombl4” MikhailovRussiaNAVI
Ilya “Perfecto” ZalutskiyRussiaNAVI
Dzhami “Jame” AliRussiaVP
Evgeniy “FL1T” LebedevRussiaVP
Vladislav “nafany” GorshkovRussiaGambit
Dmitriy “sh1ro” SokolovRussiaGambit
Timofey “interz” YakushinRussiaGambit
Sergey “Ax1Le” RykhtorovRussiaGambit
Konstantin “groove” Pikiner (coach)RussiaGambit
Ilya “m0NESY” OsipovRussiaG2

Players such as s1mple had already shown their concern on social media after Russian planes and missile launchers attacked Ukrainian cities and airports earlier today. The NAVI superstar said his city was shelled and urged for peace.

The IEM Katowice CS:GO playoffs will begin tomorrow, Feb. 25, while the StarCraft II playoffs will begin on Saturday, Feb. 26.


Leonardo Biazzi
Staff writer and CS:GO lead. Leonardo has been passionate about games since he was a kid and graduated in Journalism in 2018. Before Leonardo joined Dot Esports in 2019, he worked for Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. Leonardo also worked for between 2020 and 2021 as a senior writer, until he returned to Dot Esports and became part of the staff team.

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