Fans of Apex Legends will be watching the pros put on a show, as the Apex Legends Global Series has been on for the past few days. One of the teams on the bracket is Pioneers, the stand-out European team from last Summer's tournament. Unfortunately, this one isn't going too well for them due to a number of reasons, primarily the absence of their Ukrainian teammate, Maksym ‘Max-Strafe’ Stadniuk. Unfortunately, Stadniuk is unable to leave the country due to the Russian invasion.
Prompted by his absence, some fans brought a Ukrainian flag into the arena to show their support for Max-Strafe and the Ukrainian people in general. However, it seems that the flag was allegedly confiscated by security. It was announced before the matches that banners with political messages or country flags will not be allowed inside the arena. Our very own Ben Sledge can confirm this, as he was at the Copper Box Arena for our ALGS coverage.
Max-Strafe even caught wind of this show of support and was very appreciative of it. "I have to say Big Thanks to @Suthy98 and Marky, for a chance to express support towards the Ukrainians and the terrible situation in which we find ourselves (WAR)," he Tweeted. "Unfortunately @PlayApex Didn't allow them to. Forbidden to be part of the audience with the 🇺🇦 flag and posters."
Ben also caught up with Max-Strafe's Pioneers teammate, Casper ‘Gnaske’ Præstensgaard, and asked him about the incident. “I heard about that. I honestly think that's very, very pathetic from EA," said Gnaske, clearly not mincing words. "Russia has just banned Apex because of LGBTQ representation within the characters in Apex. I know that removing the Ukrainian flag from the audience doesn't support Russia, but it sure feels like that. It's really, really, really pathetic. When I read it, I got pretty upset about it.”
Of course, it goes without saying that the removal of the Ukrainian flag from the arena was in no way a sign of support for Russia by EA. To the organiser's credit, the announcement regarding political messages and national flags was made at the start of day two.
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