G2’s CS:GO captain clarifies stance on political conflicts after not taking photo with Ukrainian flag

He hopes this will put an end to all the recent speculation.

Despite all the support they’ve received after winning the $1 million CS:GO tournament IEM Katowice on Sunday, Feb. 12, and becoming the best team in the world, members of G2’s CS:GO team have been facing backlash this week after it came to light that they refused to take a photo next to a Ukrainian flag brought by CS:GO and VALORANT caster Denys “d3str0” Zabarnyi.

Some radical fans were quick to deem G2 as pro-Russia in the context of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, especially because the team took a photo with a fan holding up a Russian flag during their stay in Abu Dhabi for the BLAST Premier World Final in December, which drew criticism from Ukrainian superstar s1mple at the time. To shed light on the situation and to put a stop to the controversy, G2’s in-game leader Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen has spoken about the matter for him and his teammates.

Related: G2s CS:GO star breaks down the teams journey to IEM Katowice championship

“First thing first before even explaining the situation, I want to make clear that none of us supports war or whatever words you might wanna use for what’s going on in the world right now,” HooXi said. “It is horrible and I think every human being with a touch of common sense will have this opinion, so of course the same goes for me and my team.”

HooXi said the photo with the Russian flag was taken without him and the rest of G2 realizing the fan was holding up the Russian flag. They regretted taking that photo in December and decided that moving forward, they would not take photos with flags or “any other kind of symbols that could indicate political opinion.”

When d3str0 approached G2 with the Ukrainian flag, HooXi said he told him that they would take a picture without the flag and put the Ukrainian flag on top of a desk while they took the photo. What the G2 captain didn’t know, however, was that this would be conceived as another pro-Russia act.

“I didn’t think much of it and I still don’t think anyone did anything wrong in the situation,” HooXi said. “Now posting it after in the fashion it was done, trying to put me and my teammates in a bad light once again is a different story.”

This is the second time that someone from the G2 camp has had to speak about this controversy surrounding Russian or Ukrainian flags. The organization’s head of esports Julius Ylänne had already explained in December that the photo with the Russian flag was taken before they realized and said they don’t support “any war.”

On top of clarifying why G2 refused to take a photo next to the Ukrainian flag, HooXi also urged the community to stop criticizing Ukrainian and Russian players for taking photos together. G2’s AWPer m0NESY, who is Russian, took a picture next to Natus Vincere’s b1t, who is Ukrainian, during IEM Katowice and the latter came under fire on social media.

They have nothing to do with whats going on and if anything I think it shows faith in humanity that we can see beyond that as normal human beings and still have a good relationship, HooXi said.

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