The Ukraine conflict has caused a restructuring of the PUBG Continental Series 6 in Europe. It’s yet another example of politics influencing esports.
In another instance of the war in Ukraine hitting esports, the PUBG Continental Series 6 (PCS6) event has been majorly changed. The eastern Europe open qualifiers have been cancelled, causing major format changes.
Despite Eastern European teams participating in tournaments across the scene, they'll be unable to play in one of the biggest events of the year.
Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro are two exceptions, although the latter team isn't able to represent their organization. It was recently announced they'll be playing under a different banner.
The importance of PCS6
The Continental Series 6 is one of the most important events of the year. To qualify for the year-end Global Championship, teams must accumulate PGC Points.
While several third-party events offer points, the biggest way to get them is through the PUBG-run Continental Series events. PCS6 is the first, while PCS7 will be taking place later this year. Each of the four global regions - Americas, Europe, Asia, and APAC - runs their own event.
For Europe's edition, eight teams are invited while a further eight qualify from three subtournaments - EU West, EU East, and EU MEA. Both Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro were invited, where they'd usually represent EU East. NaVi, despite their primarily Russian roster, will be able to compete as normal.
Virtus.pro's roster will be playing, but they cannot represent their organization. They'll play under the name they used before they were signed, Northern Lights.
To replace the EU East open qualifier spots, EU West and MEA will be getting four spots each. EU East would regularly have gotten three, meaning it's not that big a change. However, there will be two extra teams representing Turkey and Northern Africa in PCS6. Undoubtedly, the skill level of the tournament will be lower without the EU East teams involved.
Opinion: Did PUBG Corp. make the right decision?
There are certainly several things that can be criticized in this whole situation. Banning an entire region from competing, made mostly of orgless teams with no choice in the situation, is very disappointing. It's especially bad when recent third-party tournaments have shown that these teams are still perfectly capable of competing. Professional players took to Twitter to criticize the decision as well.
In addition, having no Russian broadcast hurts the region for not much reward. There must have been a better way than the scorched earth tactic Krafton has used.
Ukraine conflict affects all esports
Despite the cries of those who want 'esports to stay out of politics', sport is inherently political, and esports are no exception.