A leaked personal conversation from the beginning of the war have led Fnatic to suspend their VALORANT player BraveAF as they conduct an investigation.
FNATIC have decided to suspend Russian VALORANT player Andrey ‘BraveAF’ Gorchakov. The organization made the decision following leaked chat logs where he supposedly showed support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
BraveAF called the Russian invasion "not all-out war"
Aleksei "yXo" Maletskyi, Ukrainian talent, posted a set of screengrabs. They show BraveAF's conversation with Ukrainian friend Nikole «T1gerToes» Lee. In these messages BraveAF replies that "it's not all-out war".
"I really hope it's going to end as soon as possible. And Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus will be united because no one from the West wants it. It's needed. And I hope that yours [Ukrainian people] will understand it as fast as possible. They want to divide us, set us against each other.
People from the West achieved the collapse of the USSR and now they want to collapse the CIS. And Ukraine gives way. Putin is not going to let it happen. Okay, I'm not really competent in this type of thing. I will be honest, I'm judging through my lens. You should give up as fast as possible. [...]
there will be no casualties among civilians. Putin said. It's not about civilians. It's not all-out war."
Nikole Lee confirmed that BraveAF sent those messages on February 24th after the invasion started. Also, she showed the last conversation with the player. There he admitted deleting their chat after the leak.
"Not the best time to delete🙂 I saved screenshots"
"Doesn't matter. I just found out. Ugh", - answered BraveAF.
The community exploded with criticism, FNATIC suspended BraveAF
The leaked conversation started a public backlash against the Russian player. yXo stated that BraveAF "has no right to represent your organization in esport". Kirill "ANGE1" Karasev, IGL for FunPlus Phoenix, commented on Twitter:
"Some Russians think we should give up as fast as possible, right BraveAF? Well this is your and yours government biggest mistake, u don't know shit about Ukrainians"
"You can see professional mentality right away - GIVE UP!"
After a situation surfaced online, Fnatic immediately took action. The organization made the decision to suspend BraveAF but didn't announce anything about his future on the team. Moreover, the organization will launch an investigation.
“We will have further updates on our VALORANT roster in the coming days," stated Fnatic.
BraveAF denied allegations after being suspended
After being suspended, BraveAF posted his version of the situation on Twitter. He claimed he “never wanted it to be understood like that and never meant it like that”. The player asserted that at that moment no one knew what was happening or have the proper knowledge.
"You can clearly see on those pictures that I want this to end asap. And don’t want people to get hurt or killed. And by saying “give up” I meant to put down this conflict so less people get hurt. I am for PEACE".
BraveAF joined Fnatic two months ago and already earned his spot at VCT: Masters - Reykjavík. The Russian player got 2nd place in 1st stage of EMEA Stage 1 Challengers after losing to FunPlus Phoenix.
Even before the leak, his participation in the tournament was in doubt. Due to travel restrictions for Russians BraveAF may not be able to visit Iceland. But now it seems even more unlikely that he will be allowed to play.