Russ­ian esports ath­letes were not paid prize mon­ey for win­ning a Fort­nite tour­na­ment due to their Russ­ian pass­ports. They won 200 thou­sand dol­lars.

Epic Games, the devel­op­ers of Fort­nite, refused to pay 200 thou­sand dol­lars to Russ­ian e‑sportsmen Dani­il Putrick Abdrakhmanov and Egor Swiz­zy Lusiko for win­ning the Fort­nite Cham­pi­on Series Major 3 tour­na­ment. They shared this infor­ma­tion with the Sportskee­da por­tal. More­over, the ath­letes were not only denied pay­ment of funds, but also dis­qual­i­fied because of their Russ­ian pass­ports.

Then one of the play­ers wrote to Epic Games by email in order to achieve at least some jus­tice, but the sup­port ser­vice responds once a day and does not delve into the essence of the issue, as a result of which the same answers are received.

How did the com­pa­ny moti­vate its deci­sion? At first they tried to refer to sanc­tions and prob­lems relat­ed to the trans­fer of funds, but the e‑sportsmen had bank cards from Kaza­khstan, which is not under sanc­tions, so they could receive the mon­ey in full.

The com­pa­ny fur­ther referred to its own rules. Sec­tions 2.6.2 and 2.6.3 of the offi­cial FNCS Major 3 rules state that ath­letes who hail from a “prize restrict­ed region” will be denied mon­ey. But there is a small prob­lem here too. The fact is that the cyber­sports­men par­tic­i­pat­ed in the tour­na­ment while in Belarus. They live there per­ma­nent­ly, so tech­ni­cal­ly this restric­tion is also far-fetched.

One of the ath­letes com­ments on what hap­pened: “I under­stand that we can­not play from a pro­hib­it­ed coun­try, but we played from a coun­try that is allowed to play and receive prizes in tour­na­ments

There­fore, the most plau­si­ble rea­son for the refusal to pay prize mon­ey is that the ath­letes are cit­i­zens of the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, and Epic Games impos­es restric­tions not only on cer­tain coun­tries, but also on cit­i­zens of these coun­tries. And if this is so, then the com­pa­ny’s pol­i­cy deserves all con­dem­na­tion: refus­ing to pay prize mon­ey to play­ers who hon­est­ly won while in a coun­try in which they can take part in tour­na­ments is a bad step from a moral point of view.