South American Dota 2 team Beastcoast announced on Saturday (22 October) that several members of their team have tested positive for COVID-19, which will force them to play their next match at The International 11 (TI11) without a coach.
In a statement posted on their official Twitter account, Beastcoast said that one of their players "had a sore throat" after their last match against North America's Evil Geniuses, which was played in front of a live audience at Singapore's Suntec City Convention Centre.
Upon testing with COVID rapid tests, the team found that several members of the team have caught the virus.
Beastcoast did not reveal which members of the team tested positive for COVID-19.
The team added that they immediately reported to Dota 2 developer Valve Software the positive cases on their team.
However, they were informed that they will be forced to play their next match against Chinese team PSG.LGD without their coach, Thomas Jaulis "Valqui" Romero.
Beastcoast said that "due to Valve's limitations" Valqui could not be provided an isolated room with a PC.
"This is extremely disappointing, but we will strive to do our best on the world stage," Beastcoast said of the situation.
Beastcoast will not be the first team to play at TI11 while dealing with COVID-19. Chinese team Royal Never Give Up (RNG) were plagued by the virus during the tournament's Group Stage and Main Event.
During the Chinese team's only appearance at the Main Event, only Yap "xNova" Jian Wei was able to play on the stage as the rest of his team were still in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. The RNG players who could not play were notably represented on the stage by teddy bears wearing the team's jersey.
If Beastcoast's players were among those that tested positive for the virus, we may see the same setup happen for their match against PSG.LGD.
RNG notably had a strong start in the Group Stage and were leading Group A with a 9-1 record after Day 2. However, their performance plummeted after multiple members of the team tested positive for COVID-19.
The team was forced to forfeit the second game of their best-of-two match against fellow Chinese team PSG.LGD as a result due to "a medical issue".
RNG later posted an update on their Weibo page, stating that midlaner Lu "Somnus" Yao has contracted COVID-19 and was being treated in a hospital.
While Somnus returned to play the team's remaining games on Day 3, it was later revealed that all members of the team except for xNova were infected.
RNG lost all of their remaining games in the Group Stage and went from looking like a lock for the upper bracket in the Main Event to having to start in the lower bracket. They were then forced to an early exit from the tournament by Western Europe's Entity after an epic 107-minute knockout game.
TI11 will be hosted in Singapore from 15 to 30 October and features a revamped format and a longer schedule.
TI11's Main Event will be a double-elimination bracket and is split into two phases, the first being held from 20 to 23 October while the second will take place from 29 to 30 October.
For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.
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