ESL One Stockholm 2022, the first Dota 2 Major of the 2021/2022 Dota Pro Circuit season is underway, with teams fighting for the prestigious title, as well as $500,000 in prize money. However, Mind Games was disqualified from the competition without playing a single game.
The Russian team qualified for the Major by claiming third place at the recent DPC regional playoff tournament for Eastern Europe. However, the squad wasn’t able to attend the event because multiple Mind Games players couldn’t fly to Sweden due to the absence of visas and even international passports of some players.
At first, the team failed to fly to Sweden on time, resulting in a technical loss to Thunder Awaken. Later, ESL announced that Mind Games are officially disqualified from ESL One in Stockholm due to travel issues.
Due to continuing VISA issues, we have made the difficult decision to disqualify Mind Games from the #ESLOne Stockholm Dota Major.
As a result all Group B teams will receive automatic byes, and Mind Games will be the team eliminated from Group B. pic.twitter.com/aKVa6aRVAT
— ESL Dota2 @ the Stockholm Major! 🐣 (@ESLDota2) May 13, 2022
Despite the team’s disqualification, ESL didn’t call for a substitute team. However, based on the words of Marie Gunina, HellRaisers Sports Director, there was an opportunity to send one more Russian team to the Major — CIS Rejects, who placed 4th during the DPC EEU Tour 2 playoffs.
Nevertheless, the decision to invite another team was postponed, resulting in the Major having only two CIS representatives instead of three. Later, Gunina added that such actions tarnish the whole region, as there are always issues with teams’ readiness before major events.
While the team’s management didn’t publish an official statement at the time of writing this piece, Mind Games offlaner Vladislav “Petushara” Kozlovsky spoke on the matter ironically on a Telegram channel:
“Of course, we are skipping the Group Stage. We are in Playoffs’ Upper Bracket.”
As for the consequences for other attending teams, all ‘future rivals’ of Mind Games at the Major received technical wins. The ESL One Stockholm Dota Major 2022 runs until May 22, with the remaining teams from the CIS region being Team Spirit and BetBoom Team.