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Dota 2

Na’Vi Withdraw from Singapore Major Following Positive Tests

Patrick Bonifacio

Ukrainian Dota 2 team Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) have officially withdrawn from the Singapore Major. This announcement follows their statement from last Sunday, wherein they declared that Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko and Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko would not participate due to COVID-19.

Na'Vi Mag at StarLadder

Having come into contact with the rest of the team, Mag's positive result means that Na'Vi will be unable to go to Singapore. (Photo courtesy StarLadder)

Both Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and Andrey “Mag” Chipenko were slated to be their replacements. Unfortunately, Mag also tested positive for COVID-19 a few days before the event was set to start. Moreover, Na’Vi stated in the announcement that Mag was present at the team’s most recent boot camp. This means that the other members of the roster came into contact with him, and may also be positive for the virus. Furthermore, unspecified members of the team exhibited symptoms a few days before their scheduled flight to Singapore. These members were also in contact with Mag, which further complicated the situation when it came to traveling to Singapore.

According to Na’Vi, they were told by organizers that teams must self-quarantine if at least one player tests positive upon arrival. Given that Mag has COVID-19 as of the time of writing, this would render the entirety of Na’Vi unable to participate—even if all of them are present. They also considered the risk of having some of the players be unable to return for the start of the next Dota Pro Circuit season.

Technical Difficulties

Even with Mag’s positive result, however, Na’Vi endeavored to find a replacement for him in time. They considered former Na’Vi player Nikola “LeBron” Popović for this purpose, but his flight to Singapore was canceled due to technical issues. His flight apparently turned back to Belgrade halfway, forcing him to wait in the airport for a new ticket.

Unfortunately, this did not pan out, making it impossible for him to get to Singapore. A connecting flight was initially available as an alternative, but this would have caused LeBron’s PCR test results to expire before arriving in Singapore. Therefore, Na’Vi made the decision to just pull the entire team out. This makes them the second team to withdraw from the event itself, following South American squad beastcoast Friday afternoon.

Milan “MiLAN” Kozomara, who was set to stand in for Arif “MSS” Anwar in Quincy Crew, was also on this flight—according to Quincy Crew manager Jack “KBBQ” Chen. Seeing how he also will not be able to attend the event, Quincy Crew will have to scramble for a replacement. At the rate teams are withdrawing, though, the tournament itself may already be in danger of not pushing through.