Israel excluded from Blast Valorant Nations tournament

Team Finest CEO Ruvik Milkis: "We have a huge Valorant community in Israel and we don't have a chance to represent the flag."

A gaming PC keyboard and X Box controller (illustrative). (photo credit: PIXABAY)
A gaming PC keyboard and X Box controller (illustrative).
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Esport teams from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are all gathering together to take part in the Valorant Spike Nations tournament, but Israel seems to be excluded.

Since its debut, Valorant, a first-person-shooter video game developed by Riot Games, has seen success as an esport, and is especially popular in Israel. 

Traditionally, the Jewish state has been considered by Valorant tournaments, including the ones organized by Riot, as part of the European region. But this time, it was excluded, providing seemingly no explanation.

"I really don't understand why and how Israel is not participating in such an event," Ruvik Milkis, the CEO of Israel's first official esports club Team Finest, told The Jerusalem Post, explaining that the decision seems to be motivated by "internal reasons."

THE PLAYERS of Team Finest are taking Israeli esports to the next level. (credit: OR GLICKMAN)THE PLAYERS of Team Finest are taking Israeli esports to the next level. (credit: OR GLICKMAN)

"It's unfair to the Israeli community," Milkis added. "We have a huge Valorant community in Israel and we don't have a chance to represent the flag."

Israel has typically not been able to play against Middle Eastern nations due to bad routing and latency issues.

The tournament is being organized by Blast, a major international esports network with whom Team Finest has worked before.

"In Blast CS:GO [Counter Strike: Global Offensive] tournaments, Israel can participate under the EU region," Milkis said.

The Post reached out to the tournament organizers for comment.

Taking place from October 7-9 and streamed exclusively on Twitch, the Valorant Spike Nations tournament will see 12 teams compete, and will see Riot Games donate €60,000 to charity.