Covid-19 cases have affected a third of the teams scheduled to play in Dota 2's first LAN this year, raising questions about who will be able to participate in the tournament starting on Saturday, March 27, 2021. This is because six of the 18 teams that will play at The Singapore Major, at the first DOTA Pro Circuit (DPC) event this season, have reported cases of Covid-19 in their teams. So, they were faced with a choice of having to fly to Singapore with a substitution or skipping the event altogether.
NAVI and Beastcoast Withdraw from The Singapore Major
Nothing yet here, it is reported that two teams have already confirmed their withdrawal from the tournament, thereby reducing the line-up from a total of 18 teams to 16 teams.
Natus Vincere aka NAVI reported on March 20 that player mid laner Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko and captain Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bodarenko tested positive for Covid-19 and must stay at home, “even if they manage to recover”.
Bogdan "Iceberg" Vasilenko
To replace them, NAVI then called up CIS veteran Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev to replace ALWAYSWANNAFLY Iceberg and coach Andrey “Mag” Chipenko, but as further developments in the end NAVI also chose not to attend at all. On March 25, NAVI confirmed that Mag had tested positive for Covid-19 and several other players were also feeling a bit feverish.
Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and Andrey “Mag” Chipenko
"The tournament operator assured us that the policy in Singapore regarding Covid-19 is as follows," wrote NAVI. “If at least one player has Covid-19 upon arrival, everyone must self-quarantine. In this case, NAVI will not be able to participate in the Major, even if the full roster is in Singapore. At the same time, it's unclear how long the quarantine will likely last. It is possible that players will not return in time for the start of the DPC season."
“All the players have tested negative and we are monitoring them closely. However, due to the Covid-19 incubation period, we cannot confirm whether our player is positive or not before flying to Singapore. […] In accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), we will be implementing a quarantine for all players as a precaution. Instead, we made the difficult decision to withdraw from the Singapore Major and prepare for the next DPC season.”
— beastcoast (@beastcoast) March 25, 2021
Nigma, T1, Quincy Crew, and Neon Esports Will Come with Stand-ins
Four more teams from The Singapore Major's line-up had to make changes to their line-ups and play on a stand-in due to Covid-19.
T1 will play without their captain Carlos “Kuku” Palad and Lee “Forev” Sangdon will replace him at offlane. T1's first game is tomorrow in the Wild Card stage of the tournament, as they play Gambit, Vici Gaming, and Team Liquid back-to-back.
Carlos “Kuku” Palad and Lee “Forev” Sangdon
The North American # 1 seed, Quincy Crew, is in a bind as they are unable to find a replacement for their 4th in favor of Arif “MSS” Anwar. Team manager Jack “KBBQ” Chen confirmed on March 21 that the player had tested positive for Covid-19, and despite his mild symptoms, he was unable to make it to Singapore. The team originally announced Milan “MiLAN” Kozomara as a stand-in but last night, KBBQ announced that he won't be able to attend either.
Our standing @milandota2 was on the same flight as @LeBronDoTa and encountered the same issue. He traveled for hours across national borders to even make this Belgrade flight, for which we will always be appreciative and grateful. We are still awaiting authorization on stands https://t.co/u0Z8HqyYhM
— Jack Chen (@KBBQDotA) March 25, 2021
“[MiLAN] was on the same flight as [LeBron NAVI] and had the same problem. He traveled hours and hours across national borders to even make this Belgrade flight, for which we will always appreciate and thank you,” KBBQ wrote.
The Neon Esports SEA team also had to play as a stand-in because carry John Anthony “Natsumi” Vargas was unable to attend. Neon Esports will replace 4 players and captain Rolen “Skem” Ong to replace Natsumi, while Rafael “Rappy” Sicat Palo will fill 4th position.
The Singapore Major kicks off Saturday, 27 March, with a Wild Card match. But with more and more cases of Covid-19 being reported, fans have every right to be concerned about the health risks, especially with the very minimal 48-hour quarantine period mandated by the organisers.
Now,, with full consideration it turns out that everything that has even been planned in the future will have a bad effect if there is an increase in epidemic infections. Yes, let's pray together, hopefully the pandemic will pass soon.
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