VCS teams have been absent from Worlds for years, but that will all change in 2022.
All Saigon Buffalo and GAM Esports players have officially secured their visas ahead of the 2022 World Championship. The two will be the first Vietnamese teams to compete at Worlds since 2019. With barely a week until the September 29 kickoff date, both VCS teams secured their full first-team rosters for Worlds.
Given that Worlds 2022 will be held all across North America, players were required to gain the appropriate clearance for both the United States and Mexico. Saigon Buffalo in particular faced a rush to secure visas before the play-in stage of the tournament. Trần “BeanJ” Văn Chính, Bùi “Froggy” Văn Minh Hải and Nguyễn “Shogun” Văn Huy all had to wait extended times for their visas. Luckily for them, the applications were finally accepted this week. Head coach Nguyễn “Ren” Văn Trọng was the final member to receive confirmation.
The wait was somewhat less tense for GAM Esports, who only needed US visas. By winning the VCS, GAM does not need to attend the play-in stage held in Mexico. However, GAM’s process was not without a scare. Earlier this month, some of their US visa applications were rejected. Players had to wait 14 days before they could be re-interviewed for another try.
In a turn of good fortune, the visa applications were resolved at the second round of interviews. Jungler Đỗ “Levi” Duy Khánh, formerly of 100 Thieves and JD Gaming, was the last to confirm his visa.
GAM and Saigon Buffalo first VCS teams at Worlds since
Worlds 2022 will mark the first time in three years that VCS teams have been able to appear at the World Championship. Both the 2020 and 2021 iterations went without Vietnamese representation due to the country’s travel restrictions.
It was not until this season’s Mid-Season Invitational that a Vietnamese side once again managed to qualify for an international competition, with VCS’ Spring champions Saigon Buffalo finishing in sixth place after crashing out in the Rumble stage.