The first Dota 2 Major in months is experiencing some heavy turbulence ahead of its start. Several members of the competing teams have already tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to last-minute roster changes or even complete withdrawals from the competition.
Natus Vincere is the latest team to make an impactful move: they have pulled their entire team from the competition, with COVID-19 cases being the main reason. First, Andrii "ALWAYSWANNAFLY" Bondarenko and Bogdan "Iceberg" Vasilenko contracted the virus. While initially the team would play with stand-in Andrey "Mag" Chipenko, he too tested positive for COVID-19.
Na'Vi isn't the only one that has withdrawn from competing at the ONE Esports Major due to safety concerns. beastcoast announced yesterday that it would not participate either, citing concerns for player health after Steven "StingeR" Vargas was exposed to COVID-19. "Our other four players may also have been exposed as a result," the team stated. "All players have tested negative and we ware monitoring them closely. However, because of the incubation period of COVID-19, we cannot be certain if our players are positive or not before flying to Singapore."
The ONE Esports Singapore Major has received a lot of criticism for how it handled setting up its international competition amid a pandemic. Compared to Riot Games' League of Legends World Championship, which reached its completion with zero reported cases last October, the Singapore Major is turning out to be a health disaster.
Smurfs can generally be a nuisance in games, and Dota 2 is tackling it head on
Image courtesy ONE Esports.