Valve has released player stickers for the upcoming PGL Antwerp CS: GO Major now, and soon controversy arose.
A part of CS: GO convinced the community that Cloud9’s sh1ro and interz stickers included the Z symbol, which is closely associated with supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Both C9 players are from Russia and have unique scribble on their player stickers that, according to some, looks similar to the Z first seen on Russian tanks and military trucks on the Ukrainian border in February. . 19, 2022.
French CS: GO journalist neL, former Ukrainian coach Johnta, and Polish CS: GO Izak said the sh1ro and interz player stickers could be interpreted as a sign of support for the country’s war in Eastern Europe.
The French journalist said sh1ro’s autograph design was “very clumsy.” This comment raised criticism, including among the players The Twistzz of FaZe saying that he reads too much here. “It’s pretty affordable. Obviously a normal scribble that players add for detail, “Twistzz said on social media. But neL reminded the player that sh1ro has a completely different sticker autograph to the last major, held in Stockholm in November 2021.
Skowyrski, a famous CS: GO caster from Poland, added to the conversation that there is no room for mistakes of this kind and players should do their best to remain neutral.
“Everyone now knows what‘ Z ’means. Also Cloud9 players. These are not the times when you don’t realize mistakes, ”he said. “It is said that esports is more than wars and divisions, and the players themselves should rejoice that they are allowed to compete in tournaments, because of the situation in sports.”
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“They should try their best to be as neutral as possible. And this, intentionally or not, for me is an obvious bait from their side, supporting the war,” Skowyrski added.
Johnta, who previously taught at HellRaisers, said the situation is also strange. “The decision to highlight the Z or take a similar element to a sticker seems, to put it mildly, very strange,” he said according to a machine translation.
However, players participating in qualifying events for the Major were asked by Valve to submit their autographs in early February — before the war began in February. 24, 2022. This was mentioned by the hades of ENCE on Twitter, who said “they asked for signatures at the beginning of February, so there is a good chance that before the war starts.”
Many fans added that the Z present on players ’autographs could easily be seen as a normal scribble, along with other pro players, including Imperial Esports’ fnx, underline their nickname in a similar way.
Cloud9 captured the Russian roster of Gambit Esports on April 24. Prior to that, the roster played in several tournaments under the name “Players,” including the Regional Major Rankings of Europe, the qualifying event for PGL Antwerp CS: GO Major.