Apex Legends Pro Max-Strafe’s Career Cut Short Due To Russian Invasion

Max-Strafe was unable to attend eSports tournaments because of the travel restrictions imposed by the Ukrainian Government.

Story Highlights

  • Ukrainian Apex Legends pro Max-Strafe has stepped down from the Pioneers’ main roster.
  • His decision came after he was unable to get permission to travel abroad.
  • He has been replaced by inZAINE.
  • Despite being replaced in the main roster, he is still part of the team as a substitute.
  • Max-Strafe blamed this on Russia because the travel restrictions imposed in Ukraine are a direct consequence of the Russian invasion of the country.

Pioneers, an Apex Legends eSports team, has replaced a Ukrainian team member from their team roster. Maksym Stadniuk, known in the community as Max-Strafe, was replaced due to travel restrictions caused by the Russian invasion of his country. The team inducted a player named inZAINE in his place.

According to Max-Strafe, he was unable to obtain permission to leave the country because of restrictions on travel abroad. Consequently, he won’t able to join ALGS Split 2 playoffs. He tried to look for other options but to no avail. In the end, after exhausting all possible means, he decided to give up.

In his tweet, he inferred that the reason behind his decision to withdraw is the Russian invasion. This is also not the first time the Max-Strafe had to withdraw from an Apex Legends eSports tournament. A month ago he had to withdraw from ALGS Split 1 playoff in London for the same reason.

Although he did not specify what sorts of travel restrictions barred him from leaving the country. However, based on the information available it probably has to do with the Ukrainian government barring able-bodied adult males from leaving the country as part of partial mobilization to counter the Russians. Despite being replaced in the main roster, Max-Strafe is still part of the Pioneers eSports team as a substitute.

Max-Strafe came into the Apex Legends eSports scene in 2019 when he joined a Ukrainian eSports team Citizens Esports Orange. But he did not come to prominence until 2020 when he won an A-tier tournament and two B-tier tournaments with GnaskeOliDel, a Danish eSports team.

At the end of 2020, Max-Strafe again joined a Ukrainian team Natus Vincere. He stayed with them till Feb 2022 but failed to win any major tournament. His best performance for them was when he earned the 2nd place spot in ALGS Winter Circuit Playoffs, where he bagged a $24k prize money.

Just weeks before the commencement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, he was inducted into GMT Esports. GMT Esports is an Azerbaijan-based eSports team. With them, he won one B-tier tournament and got 4th position in ALGS: 2022 Split 2 Pro League.

Maksym left GMT Esports in September 2022 and joined Pioneers. It was a newly founded team based in the US. He had expected this to be the beginning of the remarkable journey. But his dreams were cut short because of the intensifying Russian invasion. Max-Strafe has a sizable Twitch account with 21.9k followers. He regularly live streams himself playing Apex Legends. He also has a YouTube channel with 1.2k subscribers.

Like other sections of Ukrainian society, the country’s gaming community has suffered as well because of the ongoing Russian invasion. Last year, a Ukranian game dev even lost his life in the frontline city of Bakhmut. Let’s hope that a peaceful solution is found to this senseless war, so the people of Ukraine may again return to living a normal life. 

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Ahmed Mansoor


Your average video games enjoyer with a deep passion for single-player adventures who writes about his favorite hobby.

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