Esports Federations condemn shameful and disrespectful decision to allow Russia back into International Esports Community

30 aug 2023 – Esports federations from multiple countries vehemently condemn the
International Esports Federation’s (IESF) decision, made at its recent Ordinary General Meeting
(OGM), to lift all sanctions and restrictions against the Russian Esports Federation. This
controversial action disregards the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, by the Russian state
and with its Esport Federation, as an active participant.

During the OGM, the Swedish president stated, «The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian state is
happening, in the home of esports players, that has not changed. Instead we recently learned
that the Russian esport federation actively participate in the invasion by opening esports
branches within the occupied areas of Ukraine, forcing the Ukrainian esports federation to
withdraw from their own territory.”

The decision, which passed with 32 votes in favor, 13 against and 25 abstaining, means that
Russian esports athletes can now openly represent their country, proudly display their flag and
even have their national anthem played at the World Championship tournament and other
IESF-sanctioned events. This decision is not only irresponsible but also deeply disrespectful to
Ukraine and to the international community that values justice and ethical conduct.
In this joint press release, we announce our collective intention to explore avenues for
overturning this abhorrent decision. At the very least, we demand that the IESF adhere to the
recommendations, set forth by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.

We collectively strive to foster international esports in alignment with shared values of respect,
fairness and global unity. This decision, which is inconsistent with these core principles, forces
us to reassess our engagement and participation within the IESF. We will not stand idle as a
decision that supports division and disrespect tarnishes the esports community. We will always
vote for peace, not for networking or power purposes.
For our part, we will take serious and deliberate action to rectify this situation and uphold the
values that we cherish. We call upon all member federations and esports enthusiasts to voice
their opposition to this reprehensible decision and to stand in solidarity with Ukraine.


Norges E-sportforbund


Good Game
Follo Sport


Norges E-sportforbund | Kleivbakken 9 | 2626 Lillehammer, Norway