Update 11/30/2021: Riot released a statement in response to the news of Nivera's positive result. Their policy states that he will be able to compete via a LAN network built-in quarantine facilities, competing from an isolation room while the opponents compete from separate practice rooms.
Original article: As first reported by VALORANT Zone and Upcomer, Team Liquid member Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in the lead up to Champions, which starts on Thursday. The German player is the newest addition to the team and is the brother of TL star Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom.
The revelation of his test result comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases internationally, as well as new caution surrounding the newly discovered Omicron strain which is a more contagious strain of the virus.
Despite testing positive, according to Upcomer's sources, Nivera will still likely be able to compete in the event. This has not been officially confirmed by Riot Games, however. If this is the case, it is unclear what accommodations could be made at the LAN to ensure the safety of everyone involved while still allowing a COVID-positive player to compete.
Most in-person VCT events went relatively smoothly this year for Riot Games, despite operating in the pandemic. The NA VCT Last Chance Qualifier was the only major exception to this rule, with that event's in-person side being canceled after multiple players tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the event online.
VCT Champions group stage starts this Thursday. The full event will run through December 12th, culminating in the first-ever VCT Championship match to decide the inaugural VCT international champion.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.