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Dota 2

Beastcoast Withdraw from Singapore Major After Positive Test

Patrick Bonifacio

Peruvian-American Dota 2 team beastcoast have announced their withdrawal from the Singapore Major. The South American organization released a statement on Friday, March 25th, revealing that team captain Steven “Stinger” Vargas had tested positive for COVID-19.

beastcoast.Stinger at StarLadder

Unfortunately, the hard work of Stinger and the rest of beastcoast has been undone by COVID-19. (Photo courtesy StarLadder)

“Unfortunately, Stinger was exposed to COVID-19 this past week,” said beastcoast in their press release. They went on to state that the other four players in the roster may have been exposed as a result. Though all players tested negative, beastcoast are erring on the side of caution. The virus is known for having a long incubation period. Safety being of utmost importance, beastcoast have therefore decided to not participate in the Singapore Major. They will be placing their players in quarantine going forward.

beastcoast Singapore Major withdrawal statement

In the interest of player health and safety, DPC South America champions beastcoast will not participate in the Singapore Major.

Co-organizers PGL and ONE Esports have not yet released their own statements regarding this announcement. Whether or not runners-up Thunder Predator will be seeded into the Major playoffs as a result is not yet clear.

Ominous Occurrences

Formed towards the end of 2019, this current lineup qualified for the Major after winning the South American DPC division. Beastcoast achieved this by going 6-1 in the round-robin tournament, edging out Thunder Predator in the process. Though they have earned 500 Pro Circuit points as a result of their top placement, missing out on the Major will definitely hurt their progress.

This makes at least one player from each region apart from China unable to participate in the Singapore Major. Natus Vincere’s Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko and Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko both tested positive on Saturday. The fan-favorite squad opted to replace both with Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and Andrey “Mag” Chipenko. Neon Esports’ John Anthony “Natsumi-” Vargas likewise tested positive on Sunday, and will be replaced by Rafael “Rapy” Palo.

Quarantine Woes

Given the steadily increasing number of confirmed cases, community figures such as Andrew “Zyori” Campbell spoke out on Twitter about the dangers of holding the event. He referred to the joint statement signed by 10 of the 18 invited teams as “insanely irresponsible”, especially as it was effectively a written promise to participate despite the circumstances. His opinion was mostly fueled by the 48-hour arrival quarantine period presumably prescribed by PGL and ONE Esports. Alliance manager Kelly “kellymilkies” Ong fired back at Zyori, saying that it was PGL and Valve that should be held responsible for the seeming lack of caution.

This period is much shorter than the typical 14 days prescribed by medical experts and governments. Such a short quarantine could end up putting other players and personalities in harm’s way. Despite this, it would seem that the event is still set to continue. But while it would be devastating to the Dota competitive scene if the tournament were to be canceled, thankfully some teams are prepared to put the health and safety of their players above all else.