StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 had some unintended consequences for its victor, Team Aster.
According to a statement posted on Weibo by Guo Zhili, team manager of Aster sister squad Team Sirius, Aster’s star carry Song “Sccc” Chun and substitute coach Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng are potentially facing multiple weeks in isolation. The team remains in Kyiv, Ukraine following its win at the event due to the cancellation of the ESL One LA Major, but the return flights for some members of the team carry certain obligations after landing in China.
“Due to the drastic reduction of routes during the extraordinary period and the outbreak of many countries in Europe, we chose to have [Lin “Xxs” Jing, Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao, Pan “Fade” Yi, and Kee Chyuan “ChYuan” Ng]…fly back to Shanghai via Finland,” Zhili said. “[Sccc, LaNm, and I] will fly back to Shanghai transfering via Frankfurt, Germany.”
China has been aggressive in its efforts to contain the coronavirus. Part of that has been mandatory isolation for people returning from certain countries that are suffering from an outbreak of the disease. Germany is among those countries, while Finland is not.
Because of this, Sccc, LaNm, and Zhili might be required to undergo 14 days of mandatory isolation either at home or in a designated facility. The three do not necessarily have the coronavirus, as this is merely a precautionary measure. Zhili also expressed hope that they may not be forced to undergo the isolation period, as they merely had a layover in Germany
Sccc, LaNm, and Zhili might have a few lonely weeks ahead, but that’s a relatively small issue in comparison to the coronavirus’ effects on the Dota 2 scene. The spread of the disease has forced mass shutdowns of public gatherings, including many sporting events.
This has had a serious impact on all of esports, but Dota 2’s pro scene is in a particularly bad position because of this. The International 2020 will likely be home to over 60% of all prize pool payouts in Dota 2 in 2020, and much of the pro scene is structured around the event. That makes the cancellation of the ESL One LA Major a calamitous problem for the pro scene as it removes one of the few opportunities teams have to qualify for the event.
Worse yet, it’s unlikely that the ESL One LA Major is going to be alone in being canceled. Despite the precarious position Dota 2 is currently in, Valve has been completely silent on the coronavirus or the state of The International 2020.