Fnatic's Southeast Asian Dota 2 team announced on Tuesday (26 July) that they will be attending the upcoming PGL Arlington Major with three stand-ins after the team encountered visa issues.
It's very unfortunate news for fans of Fnatic and of Southeast Asia Dota in general, as the Arlington Major is the last chance for Dota 2 teams to rack up the all-important Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points to secure their spot at The International 11 (TI11) in Singapore.
Only the top 12 teams at the end of the DPC season receive a direct invite to TI11, and Fnatic are currently ranked 10th with 1,020 DPC points. The team will need to finish in the Top 8 to earn enough DPC points to guarantee themselves a direct invite.
Jabz and DJ only two Fnatic members to go to Arlington
The two members of Fnatic that managed to secure their visas are offlaner Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong and position 4 support Djardel "DJ" Mampusti.
The rest of the team, which includes Filipino players Marc "Raven" Fausto, Armel "Armel" Tabios, and Jaunuel "Jaunuel" Arcilla, will not be able to make it to the tournament.
So far, Fnatic haven't announced who will be playing for the team at the Major, or even if Jabz and DJ will play their respective roles or switch them around.
It's a huge adjustment for Fnatic to find three players who can join the team on such short notice and in the most important Major of the year.
Fnatic's Dota 2 team director, Paolo "KTM" Bago, said in a post on his Facebook page that the team is still "grateful that we can compete in some capacity" despite the situation.
"It has been quite an ordeal but we are extremely grateful that we have been granted the ability to compete at the last major of the season," said KTM.
"Fnatic will be at the Arlington Major, but in a different form."
While Fnatic were unable to secure enough visas for the Arlington Major, Southeast Asia's two other representatives in the tournament, BOOM Esports and Talon Esports, will be able to compete with their full lineups.
Visa issues continue to plague esports scene
Unfortunately for Dota 2 teams, this isn't the first Major in which teams struggled to get visas to travel to international tournaments.
The ESL One Stockholm Major back in May didn't include any teams from China due to travel restrictions. Chinese teams played a Regional Finals instead to make up for the DPC points they missed out on.
Even teams that did manage to qualify were later removed from the tournament. Mind Games secured their spot through the Eastern Europe Qualifier but were later disqualified due to visa issues for the team.
The captain of OG, Mikhail "Misha" Agatov, was also unable to attend and had to be replaced by Sébastien "Ceb" Debs for the event. With that said, OG still went on to win the Stockholm Major championship.
Only Fnatic have reported problems in securing visas for the Arlington Major so far.
The Arlington Major will be hosted in the Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas, the United States from 4 to 14 August.
The tournament will feature 18 of the best teams from all across the DPC competing for their cut of a US$500,000 prize pool and, most importantly, the 4,570 DPC point pool to go towards securing an all-important direct invite to TI11.
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.