The International 2021 is just one week away, but the event is already shaping up to be highly controversial and potentially disastrous.
Invictus Gaming has announced on Weibo that Thiay “JT-” Jun Wen has been affected by a potentially dangerous health condition and has exposed a member of the team’s staff as well. The team did not explicitly state what the plan was for JT- moving forward and whether he will remotely participate in the group stage, will be held out in two weeks, or whether he will be pulled from TI10 entirely.
According to Invictus Gaming, JT- is currently in isolation but began feeling feverish on September 29 after receiving a negative result a day prior. He has since shaken the fever but is still being isolated for safety. The iG staffer is also in isolation, but has suffered no symptoms as of yet. It is unknown whether this may impact other members of Invictus Gaming.
The announcement from Invictus Gaming comes after a similar problem for Team Aster at TI10, with three players and one coach likely to be forced out of the event.
Aster coach Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng posted a lengthy rant blasting the safety protocols at the event on social media that has since been deleted. LaNm noted that players were provided equipment and space for boot camps to prepare for TI10, but had to source their own food while living in a hotel with no real health precautions, leaving teams at risk of suffering health ailments.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of a tournament host asking players to take care of their own health issues. We aren’t familiar with the area, but they couldn’t even provide us with drinking water? How many people do you need to deliver water? Shouldn’t there be more rigorous regulations for a tournament with a $40 million prize pool?” LaNm said.
LaNm specifically took umbrage with PGL, the tournament organizer running The International 2021 as well as the upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Stockholm Major. PGL also ran the ONE Esports Singapore Major, another Dota 2 event that was racked by health-related withdrawals, travel issues, and people being flagged as ineligible after arriving at the event to the compete.
With TI10 just a week away, there’s no telling how much messier things might get. There’s a real possibility that the health issues being suffered by players could force some sort of change in plans from Valve.