James Banks: "It is extremely disappointing from Ukraine federation side that they would not allow our players to finish the tournament"

Олексій Харченко

eSports presenter and interviewer James Banks exclusively for Players commented on the UESF’s decision to withdraw Ukraine’s CS:GO team from the IESF World Championship 2023.

It is extremely disappointing from Ukraine federation side that they would not allow our players to finish the tournament that has no Russian players in attendance. They had a great chance to win and show the strength of Ukranian players on the world stage. Boycotting now gives less visibility to Ukraine than letting them compete and boycotting after. This decision makes no sense.

I live in Ukraine, I have family in Ukraine and this war that was started by Russia is an act of terrorism. We all know this. Any chance we have to show the positives of Ukraine and our people is so important and these players have been stripped of that. If it was the players who said they didn’t want to compete then fine but the federation choosing this is the reason why these federations should not exist.

Let them play and fight for Ukraine and then after boycott and work with other likeminded people to get a decision similar to the Olympics.

Ukraine Esports Federation…hear my words: Showing the dedication, skill and commitment of Ukranian people during the war is inspiring and motivating for the people of Ukraine. Don’t take that away, don’t kill hope, don’t kill success, show the world in the best way possible what Ukraine can do on the world stage. Then after, in the best way for Ukraine with the help of nations that support Ukraine, boycott and fight back.

The decisions that IESF made via their vote with IESF partner countries and voting system during the tournament is terrible in my opinion. This should have been done after.

During the event that I'm working currently the countries voted and the decision was passed to allow Russia back in along with their flags and anthem…which is excluded in other sports such as the Olympics and should stay that way in esports. I don't agree with this decision, it sickens me and the countries who voted should be ashamed of themselves. Personally, I think all politics are lies and corrupt to some degree, I have no proof of it but you can't rule it out here either. This is my personal opinion.

I'm not the representative of Ukrainian federation and I'm not the player but as I said before I would let the players play, compete and win with a big smile on their face and then after deal with this disgusting decision. Maybe coming together with other European federations would make sense.

Now personally I like the idea of giving less well represented countries a chance to shine and compete in this way, we see new players and up and coming talent or surprise talent we never saw before but if it's going to be handled like this, then they will never be taken seriously…this exact fiasco is the reason no one is taking these federations seriously and why there is so much pushback against them, if you remember the IESF photos from a few years ago. There are a few countries where I know the people behind it, good people from esports that I can trust, there are sadly some that I question their reasons for being here, what they have done in esports and why they want to be involved…other than money or some form of political power…LOL

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