Neslyn A. January 22, 2019
Players falling ill in the midst of the Chongqing Major are forcing their teams to play some of the year’s most important games at a disadvantage.
The major tournament’s main event opener was a best-of-three series between Team Liquid and Team Secret. Unfortunately, Team Liquid’s Chu “shadow” Zeyu was already not feeling well.
Before the main event started, Shadow took to Weibo and posted that he’d been vomiting all morning. Shadow’s illness only exacerbated existed struggles for Liquid, as Shadow was standing in for Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi. The ensuing series between Team Liquid and Team Secret was very lopsided. Team Secret won with a clean 2-0 sweep and both games were ended in 30 minutes.
Shadow was immediately taken to the hospital and was diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis. Team Liquid did not offer further comment on the situation as they began to prepare to face TNC Predator in a lower bracket elimination series.
Toby "TobiWan" Dawson then announced on Twitter that Virtus.pro captain Alexei "Solo" Berezin would not play in the team’s upper bracket semifinal match against PSG.LGD. Virtus.pro general manager Roman Dvoryankin confirmed that Solo is sick and that coach Arsenij "ArsZeeqq" Usov will stand in for the team.
ArsZeeqq’s last professional match was in 2017. He has since coached for such teams as Effect and Team Empire.
Despite playing without their captain, Virtus.pro managed to dominate the series against PSG.LGD. Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev stepped up and had a stellar carry performance with his Juggernaut and Phantom Assassin.
When asked if he will continue playing for Virtus.pro during the tournament, ArsZeeqq offered that he thinks Solo will get better and finish out the major with the team.
Virtus.pro is currently in the top spot of the Dota Pro Circuit rankings. With the Kuala Lumpur Major win and at least sixth place secured at the Chongqing Major, the squad already have 7050 points.
There is speculation that a food poisoning incident has affected multiple players including those who’ve had to sit out games, but nothing has yet been confirmed.