In times like these, esports competitions should be the last thing on people's minds, which is why Riot has decided to suspend the Valorant Champions Tour EMEA Stage 1 Challengers Week 3 matches.
The circuit, which started on 11th February, looks to determine the three EMEA squads that will compete at the upcoming Masters event, which is set to be held in Reykjavík Iceland once more.
The announcement to suspend the qualifiers came after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine escalated on 24th February, with a full-on military attack ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Valorant Champions Tour suspended amid international crisis
Via social media, the Valorant Esports account dedicated to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, confirmed the postponement of matches scheduled to be played as part of week 3 starting on 25th February.
"After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone VCT EMEA Week 3 games. Our community’s welfare is integral to us and at this time, our number one priority is to support the players, casters, staff and fans affected by the escalating crisis in Ukraine," Riot tweeted out.
The matches scheduled for week 3 include participation from teams that are composed of Russian and Ukrainian players such as Natus Vincere, FunPlus Phoenix, and Gambit Esports.
In total, there are 13 Russian and two Ukrainian players registered and competing at VCT EMEA Stage 1 Challengers, making up for 25% of the total amount of players looking for a spot in the first VCT Masters.
Riot will reveal at a later date when will the qualifiers restart again. "We will provide an update on the new schedule as soon as we can. In the meantime, please keep an eye on our social channels for further updates."
Masters 1 is scheduled to begin on 10th April with the EMEA Stage 1 Challengers event aiming to end a couple of weeks beforehand, on 27th March.
Rescheduling could potentially be solved by adding matches on days where the calendar was free moving forward, however, it remains to be seen how the conflict between Russia and Ukraine develops, as it could potentially escalate even further in the coming days and weeks.
Regardless, as Riot mentioned, the wellbeing of players and staff currently affected by the unfolding international crisis should take priority, even if big esports events end up rescheduled or completely scrapped.
Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.