Team Liquid to replace FunPlus Phoenix at VCT Masters Reykjavík due to travel restrictions
It has been announced that Team Liquid would fly to Reykjavík, Iceland for VCT Masters in April in the place of FunPlus Phoenix. It was announced that FunPlus Phoenix was disqualified due to travel restrictions in Ukraine and Russia as well as Iceland’s COVID-19 regulations.
“Travel restrictions in Ukraine and Russia, as well as existing COVID-19 regulations, continue to create numerous challenges for international travel,” Riot announced on social media. “Over the past few weeks, our events, competitive operations, and mobility teams worked to find solutions to ensure the FunPlus Phoenix roster could attend Masters Reykjavík.
“Unfortunately, and through no fault of their own, FunPlus Phoenix will not be able to field a complete roster in Reykjavík. ”
Riot then added that “Team Liquid will be invited to participate at Masters Reykjavik as representatives of the EMEA region. This will ensure that all three EMEA slots are occupied by teams from the region”.
FunPlus Phoenix’s roster included two Russian players, Dmitry “SUYGETSU” Ilyushin and Andrey “Shao” Kiprsky as well as one Ukrainian player, Kyryll “ANGE1” Karasyov, with whom the team won the EMEA Stage One Challengers due to the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, countries are currently placing sanctions on Russian airlines, including Iceland. Meanwhile, Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks has also been prevented from participating in the competition by his COVID-19 positive test result.
“We have been actively communicating with Riot to explore possible solutions to keep our spot in the Master tournament,” FunPlus Phoenix said on Twitter. “Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to find a solution.”
It was then decided that Team Liquid would join EMEA representatives G2 Esports and Fnatic on April 10. Tea, Liquid placed fourth in the playoffs at the EMEA Stage One Challengers. Reacting to the announcement, FunPlus Phoenix’s Pontus “Zyppan” Eek wrote in a Twitter reply, “Not fair :(“.
VCT 2022 participants
Reykjavík is expected to welcome twelve of Valorants best teams to compete in the first international LAN competition this year. Below is, then, a list of every team that has qualified so far.
The EMEA contingent comprises Team Liquid, G2 Esports, and Fnatic. As discussed above, Team Liquid is replacing newly crowned Challengers 1 champions FunPlus Phoenix due to travel restrictions caused by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.
For G2 Esports, Reykjavík will be their econd Valorant international event. They were previously defeated by FunPlus Phoenix in the grand finals of the challengers’ one playoffs.
Similarly, Fnatic will be flying to Reykjavík for the second time. In the first VCT LAN, the team reached the grand finals but then lost to Sentinels from North America.
2. North America
The North American representatives are The Guard and OpTic Gaming. The Guard qualified to Reykjavík after taking down North America’s best team Cloud9, then OpTic Gaming in the grand finals.
3. South Korea
DRX is expected to represent South Korea in Reykjavík. After a rather disappointing performance at Champs, DRX managed to dominate the Challengers tournament and climb back to the international stage.
Returning to the international stage to represent the APAC region is Paper Rex, who defeated XERXIA 3-2 in the grand finals. Meanwhile, Reykjavík will be XERXIA’s Thanachart “Surf” Rungapajaratkul’s first time on the international stage.