The Oceanic teams who were originally supposed to fly to America to compete in the NA Last Chance Qualifier for a slot in VCT Champions have announced that they will be pulling out of the event due to COVID-19. Order and Chiefs Esports Club, which both hail from Australia, released a joint statement on Monday, explaining why they have to pull out of the event.
"Both the Chiefs and Order's respective teams have spent months competing in various qualifiers to earn their spot in the VCT 2021: North American Last Chance Qualifier," the joint statement reads. "we were looking forward to being able to prove ourselves at the event; which would have been our first opportunity to face international teams. . . the OCE region always punches above our weight and consistently delivers on the international stage. . . Unfortunately, neither team will be able to attend the vent due to last-minute travel complications."
In the conclusion of their statement, the AU teams claimed the issue that forced them to pull out of the tournament was "preventable", implying that Riot was to blame on some level for the outcome. Andrew 'Ducky' Amos claimed specifically that Riot didn't properly book flights or know how to handle the AU border policy.
The NA VCT tour also released a statement regarding the matter.
"Ahead of the NA/OCE Last Chance Qulaifer, we have been working to secure travel to and from Lose Angeles from for Order and Chiefs Esports Club, the two qualifying teams from the VALORANT Oceania Tour," VCT explained. "Due to COVID-19 regulations, travel documentation issues, and additional complex factors, we could not ensure that these teams could travel, compete in the vent, and return home in a reasonable timeframe. As a result, ORDER and Chiefs will not be attending LCQ"
According to VCT, The format for the event will be adjusted to accommodate 8 teams instead of the original 10. This might see the removal of the single-elimination format that caused a stir among many VALORANT pros set to compete in the event, who believe LANs should be fully double-elimination due to the effort teams go through to attend such events. The decision to include single-elimination play-in and quarterfinals even drew criticism from the AU teams, who would have been traveling far to attend the event.
As of now, however, we do not know what the new format will look like, so stay tuned.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.