ESL made players lie to the Japanese authorities?

According to a video by theScore esports on their Youtube channel, ESL told multiple Rainbow six players, coaches, and shoutcasters to lie about their visas at the Japanese border. It all allegedly happened prior to the Rainbow Six Pro League finals that took place between November 9th-10th in Tokoname, Japan.

Rainbow Six Pro League is exclusively run by ESL. However, ESL is divided into country-specific branches, and the one responsible for R6 Pro League is ESL Poland.

photo via: Ubisoft

The problem apparently started when ESL informed the organizations that they would “take care of” the visas for the players and coaches, but for some reason, responsibility was transferred to the teams. 
The teams, however, didn’t have enough time to apply for the visas themselves. This resulted in Inoão “Kamikaze” Gomes and Julio “Julio” Giacomelli from Ninjas in Pyjamas and Ronaldo “ion” Osawa from FaZe Clan failing to acquire the visas to enter Japan.

Multiple teams’ General Managers allegedly e-mailed ESL about what to do when they got to the Japanese border. The response from ESL was to lie to Japanese border officials about them playing at the event. ESL instructed them to tell the authorities that they were there to spectate, as they didn’t have the proper visas that allow them to earn money in Japan.

E-mails , texts and Discord messages

Next, theScore esports provided possible evidence against ESL. They displayed screenshots of multiple e-mails that clearly show ESL telling teams and shoutcasters to break the law.
To protect their sources, the e-mail details are not shown in the video.

One e-mail that was allegedly sent to a GM of a team states:

Don’t mention participating in the event (it’s ok to say you are going there to watch it).”

Another e-mail sent to the shoutcasters says:


Please remember our business meetings / travel purpose at the airport. As an example you can say: “I am coming to Japan for business meetings and to watch esports tournament.”

We do not use words “work”, “job” etc.”

The video also shows Discord and text messages where players allegedly discuss how they had to lie at the border about the purpose of their stay. 

photo via:

ESL’s response

Still, most of the players made it to the tournament, and Na’Vi took the title. It is unclear if all of the players managed to get the visas in time or whether anyone actually lied at the border.

TheScore Esports asked ESL for a statement, and the response was:

The players’ visa incident was very unfortunate for all parties and we are currently what exactly went wrong in the first place. We are also improving the process already, making sure this will not happen again. we deeply apologize for the inconvenience players have experienced. After facing issues with visas due to miscommunication, we worked closely with all parties to investigate various opportunities to still fly-in players in time. Applying for tourist visas was indeed one of these options.We supported NiP and FaZe Clan significantly to gain last-minute visas due to miscommunication, we were able to secure visas for almost every player participating and even adapted our ruleset for additional stand-ins.

ESL’s response indicates that they didn’t have enough time to provide the players and staff with proper visas. They even told them to use tourist visas, which is illegal.

If these claims turn out to be true, this could be one of the biggest scandals in esports history. ESL is one of the biggest esports companies, and it is unbelievable how unprofessional they allegedly are.

You can watch the full video from theScore esports here.

Do you think the claims are true?

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