Chinese-based esports organization FunPlus Phoenix has apologized to VALORANT player Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow and his agent, Jérôme Coupez, it was revealed today.
Coupez, the founder of Prodigy Agency to which ANGE1 is represented, said today FPX will continue to pay the player without asking him to play. ANGE1, who lived in Kyiv, was forced to flee the capital city a few days ago following the barrage of attacks by the Russian military in Ukraine.
“The situation has been resolved & FPX will pay the full salary of the player for as long as needed, without asking him to play,” Coupez said on Twitter. “In the end, I’m very emotional but I’m grateful that FPX understood the gravity of the situation, and made the right decision.”
ANGE1 had been unable to play for FPX for the past few weeks due to him having to escape Kyiv, which remains under attack by Russian forces. Despite this, FPX reportedly imposed a potential salary freeze if he could not play for the VALORANT team by March 15.
FPX is set to face off against Team Liquid tomorrow and LDN UTD on March 13 in the VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA Stage One Challengers. FPX can likely bolster their chances at qualifying for playoffs if they manage to defeat both teams since this would push the team to a 4-0 record in Group A.
FPX’s match against Natus Vincere, which has a majority Russian lineup, remains temporarily postponed.
The VCT EMEA playoffs will begin on March 22 and conclude on March 27.
Correction March 11 6:27am CT: This article previously stated that ANGE1 fled the capital city of Kyiv when Russia invaded Ukraine. But ANGE1, in fact, remained in Kyiv for several weeks and fled just a few days ago. We regret the error.