Reportedly, all of the Russian players who qualified to attend the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor in Kyiv were denied entry into the country at the Ukraine border.
Earlier today, caster Vitalii Nikolaevich "v1lat" Volochai tweeted that the Old but Gold team were being deported to Minsk, Russia and would attempt to enter Ukraine again tomorrow, on March 6, the esports news portal Hotspawn said.
He added, "SL staff is working hard with Ukrainian officials to solve the issue." If the team is permitted entry on their second attempt, they will have fewer than twenty-four hours to prepare for their first series of the tournament.
Regarding Gambit Esports' three competing Russian players, v1lat tweeted that they too were denied entry after spending time at the airport. They will also reportedly re-attempt entry tomorrow. Gambit already intends to play with a Ukrainian stand-in, Rostislav "fn" Lozovoi, for one of their Russian players as Andrey "Afoninje" Afonin is participating in the WESG 2018 playoffs in China at the same time as StarLadder.
Shortly after the reports surfaced regarding the denied entry of Gambit players, the organization released an official statement on social media.
"Five Gambit Dota 2 members (Daxak, Afterlife, Immersion, team's coach and manager) were denied entry to Ukraine upon their arrival in Kyiv in order to participate at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor," Gambit Esports, a professional esports organization, said in a statement on March 5. "The team is flying back to Minsk and will fly to Kyiv from there again tomorrow. StarLadder representatives reassured us that they will do their best to resolve this situation."
Minutes after v1lat's initial tweet, Sébastien "7ckngMad" Debs from OG responded to say that Igor "ILTW" Filatov, his team's Russian carry, had also been denied entry to the country.
StarLadder is scheduled to take place in Kyiv, Ukraine, from March 7-10.