The ALGS Championship is hampered by COVID-19 and visa problems.
Day one of the Apex Legends Global Series Championship has already been completed. No one should be surprised that nobody will want to miss the greatest LAN in the game’s brief history given that 40 teams from across the world will be vying for the two million USD prize pool. Unfortunately, such is the unpleasant situation for the ALGS Championship, as 30 players are unable to compete because to COVID-19 or visa problems.
The first LAN with a live audience has been canceled due to 30 players and one coach not being able to make it, forcing numerous teams to make impromptu adjustments. Due to visa complications, 15 players were unable to attend, while the remaining 15 players and one coach all tested positive for COVID-19. Even though having a stand-in could occasionally be advantageous (Reignite won the Split 2 Playoffs with a stand-in), the replacement(s) would typically not have trained with the primary team. This will result in miscommunication and the need to quickly adapt to various playstyles.
In a tweet by Apex Legends Esports:
Apex Legends Esports
*Tweeted via photo*
“The health and safety of all onsite ALGS Championship competitors, staff, and fans are our top priority as we continue to navigate the current COVID-19 situation
Our policy is and has been, that if an ALGS competitor tests positive for COVID at the event, they are ineligible to compete. We recognize the dedication and passion of our competitors around the world in preparation for the ALGS Championship, and we have immense empathy for competitors who test positive for COVID-19 resulting in their ineligibility and inability to field a full team during the competition.
Remote gameplay is not feasible to uphold the fair play of LAN competition. We have communicated these policies to participating teams in advance, as well as allowed all to register an additional substitute player to their rosters as a precaution should a positive COVID-19 test impact eligibility.
Any competitor that tests positive for COVID-19 and is temporarily unable to travel will receive a full EA lodging and travel support until they’re able to return home.
These procedures were put in place for the health and safety of all attendees. We will continue to analyze ways we can navigate COVID-19 for future competitions in partnership with our teams and competitors.”
There have also been multiple instances of the substitutes testing positive for COVID while the competition is still going on. Other professionals who are competing in the world tournament have advertised themselves on Twitter as a last-minute sub if a team runs out of players. Additionally, this has forced some teams to play in pairs, which will make it even harder for them to advance in the competition.
As a result, 17 teams have directly suffered, while several have been forced to fight on Day 2 with a duo. And to make matters worse, the fact that spectators are not compelled to wear masks makes it even more difficult for the participating athletes who are at risk of contracting COVID. This is because players who are COVID-positive cannot compete in separate venues.
In a tweet by TSM minustempo:
“Due to more covid scares, @ImperialHal @TSM_Reps and @Verhulst will not be doing any photos or signings until after our last test on Sunday. Please respect our decision and we’ll make it up to everyone on Sunday. Thank you. @TSM”
It is unclear how many more teams and individuals will lose for the ALGS Championship as long as the games are still being played.