Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács is set to stand in for Dignitas AWPer Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli for the start of the Flashpoint League, according to a tweet from the team’s official Twitter account.
According to the tweet, GuardiaN will fill in for hallzerk as a stopgap measure. Flashpoint’s official tournament starts on March 13, just three days before the start of ESL Pro League’s Season 11.
Director of Fan Engagement at Dignitas Heather “sapphiRe” Garozzo told WIN.gg that the visa issues were “nothing exciting,” and hallzerk would travel to Los Angeles for the tournament when it was finished. It’s unclear exactly how long hallzerk will be held up, but Garazzo narrowed down the timeframe.
“[A] few weeks,” said Garazzo.
Guardian took to Twitter to express his appreciation for the opportunity. While GuardiaN participated in the open Minor qualifiers with IQFighters, Flashpoint will be GuardiaN’s first time on an official tournament server since December 21 at EPICENTER 2019.
Dignitas is hoping that GuardiaN’s form has improved since his last months with Natus Vincere. GuardiaN never posted a rating higher than a .90 between September of 2019 and his release from Natus Vincere.
Visa issues becoming an increasing problem in esports
For a world currently contending with a spreading virus, it seems odd to focus on a player’s visa issues. In Counter-Strike, however, it is a problem that is affecting more and more players each month. Finn “karrigan” Andersen famously had to leave in the middle of the CS Summit 5 grand finals in order to return and secure a visa for mous’ next tournament.
SKADE was unable to compete in the Flashpoint Global LAN finals due to an overzealous embassy worker according to the team, meaning that the growing organization missed out on a chance to compete for the League’s lucrative top prize.
In another game, Team Liquid League of Legends player Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen missed several weeks of this year’s LCS Spring Split due to similar issues. It’s only a matter of time where what could have been a tournament champion will be denied a trophy, and it’s beginning to happen more and more often.