COVID-19 infections among its players cause Na`Vi and Beascoast to bow out.
Excitement over the Dota Pro Circuit ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021 has been somewhat dampened. With both Natus`Vincere and Beastcoast announcing they’re exiting the year’s first major, and the first DPC Major in 14 months.
Na`Vi’s squad return positive COVID-19 tests
Two of Na`Vi’s players, Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko and Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko, tested positive for COVID-19. Receiving positive tests before the team had even started practicing for the tournament. As a result, Na`Vi were forced to practice with stand-ins.
Then, just a few days before the team was due to fly to Singapore, tests revealed that Andrey “Mag” Chipenko also had contracted COVID-19. His case was not connected to either ALWAYSWANNAFLY or Iceberg, since the two had not joined the practice sessions.
With some of the other players in the team contracting fevers in the lead-up to the flight, it put the whole team in danger of being quarantined in Singapore; without being allowed to compete in the major. The uncertainty of the length of the quarantine period could also pose problems for the team. If it was too long, it might risk Na`Vi being unable to return in time for the start of the second DPC season.
The team also considered tapping a stand-in to take Mag’s position for the tournament. But Nikola “LeBronDota” Popović’s flight had to return to Belgrade due to technical difficulties. He thus lost the chance of taking the connecting flight to Singapore.
Beastcoast decide travel is too risky
Beastcoast earned themselves a seat in the upper bracket after finishing first in the South American Region. But, after Steven “StingeR” Vargas was diagnosed with COVID-19, they decided against taking the risk of traveling to the Major. Despite their other four players returning negative tests, Beastcoast still decided against going, to ensure there’s no risk of them spreading the virus to anybody else.
After Na`Vi announced their withdrawal from the tournament, PGL announced three teams would now be advancing from the Wild Card stage.
We certainly hope none of the remaining teams will have to bow out due to COVID-19.
The Singapore Major kicks off March 27.
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