ESL, the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023 organizer, reveals a possible solution to the problem of a Polish entry ban for Russians.
"As of now, there is no local law indicating that any given team or player cannot enter the premises of Poland and, therefore, not participate in the upcoming tournament in Katowice. EFG [ESL FACEIT Group] remains compliant with all international laws and sanctions, and we will continue to monitor and reshape our global and local business strategies to reflect that," says ESL commentary to Hltv.org.
Earlier in September, Poland and the Baltic states imposed entry restrictions on Russians due to the war in Ukraine. However, Poland is a member of the Schengen Agreement and does not carry out border control at the borders with other Schengen countries, such as Germany, which continues to issue visas for Russians and let them in if they have Schengen visas from other countries.
So the Russians from Outsiders, who won had the slot by winning the Rio Major 2022 and others with Russian players in their rosters, will be able to come to the tournament with a little detour.
IEM Katowice 2023 will run from January 31 to February 12. 24 teams will compete for a million dollars and a slot at IEM Cologne 2023. At the moment, only four participants in the competition are known - FaZe Clan, Team Vitality, Outsiders and Fnatic. In these four teams, only the Outsiders have Russian players on their roster. Besides this, the participation of other teams with the Russians is expected - which are Natus Vincere, Cloud9, Team Spirit and G2 Esports.