Valorant

Riot Postpones VCT 2022 EMEA Stage 1 Challengers Matches Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict

The VCT EMEA Week 3 games have been postponed.
The VCT EMEA Week 3 games have been postponed. / Image courtesy of Riot Games

With the current events unfolding with Russia and Ukraine, the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2022 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Stage 1 Challengers matches for Week 3 have been postponed, Riot Games announced Thursday.

The announcement was made via the official VCT EMEA Twitter account, adding that an update on the new schedule of games will provided as soon possible.

Riot Postpones VCT 2022 EMEA Stage 1 Challengers Matches Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict

"Our community’s welfare is integral to us and," the Riot Games statement said, "at this time, our No. 1 priority is to support the players, casters, staff and fans affected by the escalating crisis in Ukraine."

Of the 12 teams competing in the event, six teams — Fnatic, FunPlus Phoenix, Gambit Esports, Guild Esports, LDN UTD and Natus Vincere — have players from Russia, Ukraine, Poland and/or Belarus, not to mention to the talent and staff that are directly or indirectly impacted by the ongoing geopolitical situation as well.

Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow, a Ukrainian player for FPX, took to Twitter to speak on the current situation.

"Today most of Ukrainians including me woke up because of explosions and I do not want anyone to experience this ever," ANGE1 said. "But im extremely proud of our army, our goverment and our people. We managed to stay calm and fight back. Have no idea how it will end but we should stay united."

Acend's Vladyslav "Kiles" Shvets, a Ukrainian player who lives in Spain, tweeted (according to an English translation), "Riot has decided to postpone this week's games due to the situation, it is appreciated because many players are affected in one way or another. Every hour that passes everything gets worse, how crazy..."

Natus Vincere also released an announcement on the ongoing crisis, which has since seen other esports orgs follow suit and change their branding to blue and yellow in support on social media.

"Russia attacked Ukraine," NAVI's statement reads. "And now there are hostilities that take human lives and destroy actual destinies on the territory of our country. It is impossible that during this was we pretend that everything is okay. It is not. We are devastated. Our main goal right now is to try to stay calm and take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and those who need help. We are all together in this. And together we'll get through this."