Russians in the final competition in Katowice. They were booed

Russians in the final competition in Katowice.  They were booed

Intel Extreme Masters 2024 in Katowice – one of the most exciting events in the world of esports, once again visited Spodek and the International Congress Center. The teams competing for the prestigious title also included the Russian Counter-Strike 2 Team Spirit, which has raised many controversies and questions.

Team Spirit, known in the world of esports for its achievements and a team that constantly shows an advantage over its rivals, at the same time sparks discussions in light of the current political situation. Despite growing tensions between Russia and Poland, and global sanctions imposed on Russia due to its actions towards Ukraine, the Russian team Team Spirit was allowed to participate in the IEM Katowice tournament.

The Russian team reached the final of IEM Katowice 2024

The organizers’ decision caused stormy reactions among esports fans. On the one hand, supporters of maintaining neutrality in sport argued that athletes should not bear the consequences of their country’s actions. On the other hand, skeptics raised the issue of moral responsibility and solidarity with the victims of the conflict.

During the presentation of the final teams on Sunday, February 11, 2024, Team Spirit players were booed and booed.

Despite these controversies, attention should also be paid to the outstanding achievements of Team Spirit itself. This team has been dominating the international Counter-Strike 2 scene for years, winning numerous titles and recognition. Their participation in the Intel Extreme Masters 2024 finals in Katowice is proof of their unwavering determination and skills.

It is also worth emphasizing that esports is a unique field that connects people from different nationalities and cultures. In this context, the participation of Russian players in the tournament can be treated as a step towards maintaining openness and tolerance in the esports community – without creating divisions based on the origin of the players.

However, the main controversy regarding the Russian esports organization relates to the issue of financing its activities. In 2022, the organization moved from the Russian capital to Belgrade, Serbia. All because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The managing director of ESL Gaming Polska, Aleksander Szlachetko, commented on the matter. – We made the decision, like many other entities, that at the beginning of the war, we withdrew from the Russian market and since then we have not allowed Russian teams that play under the Russian flag or organizations that are supported by specific people – says Szlachetko to Straight .pl.

Is a Russian oligarch behind the financing of Team Spirit?

In 2021, the portal asked the then CEO of the team, Nikita Chukalin, about the method of financing the organization, but he refused to answer. The portal found the band’s connection through an internet domain – it belonged to Other websites owned by IT Onmoon include: – a database of information about the game, linked to one of the largest markets for selling game add-ons in the world:

The owner of the domain who may have been responsible for maintaining the organization was the Russian multimillionaire Anton Cherepennikov. He was a key person in Vladimir Putin’s system of repression, he helped the Russian satrap control the Internet and tap phones.

Currently, the source of financing for the esports organization remains hidden.

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