Hard Legion duo barred from participating in WESG qualifiers
Hard Legion have found themselves unable to participate in the WESG regional qualifiers due to a ruling from the organisers.
In a recent TwitLonger post, Hard Legion revealed that the team is forbidden from participating in WESG qualifiers due to two members of the squad being Crimean nationals, whose involvement in the tournament "may well be refused without explanation", according to the post.
In March 2014, the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol were annexed by Russia, a development unrecognised by a list of countries. As a result, economic sanctions were imposed on Russia, including ones specifically targeting Crimea.
Contacted by HLTV.org, UCC, the organizer of both the CIS and Russian regional qualifiers, mentioned only that WESG will not be held this year in Crimea and provided a link to a list of general rules for WESG 2020. However, the document in question has no rulings on country-specific restrictions.
The news comes as a heavy blow for Hard Legion, who are just outside the top 30 in the rankings. The Russian team rose to prominence in the summer after reaching the New Legends Stage of the StarLadder Major following victories over NRG, Vitality and forZe in the New Challengers Stage.
Last month, the players parted ways with DreamEaters, citing a range of issues, including unpaid tournament winnings and negative interactions with the management, later signing with Hard Legion, an organisation founded by popular Russian YouTube and Twitch.tv personality Aleksei "HARDPLAY" Baranov.