UPDATE: This story was updated on 17 January to reflect that the Brazilian team would still play remotely.
The Mobile Legends M2 World Championship will proceed as scheduled, after Singapore’s health ministry announced in its daily updates that three participants from Brazil tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.
The participants, who were not identified, had been tested at the end of their 14-day Stay Home Notice (SHN), organiser and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang publisher Moonton said in a statement released on Friday (15 January).
The three individuals (ages 21 to 24) had each taken a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test with a negative result prior to departing for Singapore, Moonton said.
However, with the positive test, close contacts of the participants "have been identified and are currently serving their quarantine in a dedicated facility". Singapore’s health ministry had included the participants as part of its daily case updates on Wednesday and Thursday.
Brazilian team DreamMax were one of the international direct invites to the M2 World Championship, having been drawn in a group with M1 runners-up RRQ Hoshi and Singaporean squad EVOS SG in Group D.
“As part of the protocols for foreign athletes and crew taking part in this event, all overseas-based participants were required to be tested before they depart their country. They were placed on a 14-day SHN period upon arrival and underwent a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test towards the end of the SHN.”
Participants who receive a negative test result after their SHN are allowed to participate in the event, Moonton said.
Moonton also said that M2 would proceed as scheduled on Monday (18 January) at Shangri La Hotel.
“Since some players from Brazil have tested positive, the remaining players from Brazil have been quarantined. They will be playing remotely while on quarantine and there is no change to the tournament schedule,” Moonton said in a further statement on Sunday (17 January).
Indonesia team Alter Ego had earlier replaced one of their squad members after a positive COVID-19 test, although the detection took place before the team travelled to Singapore for M2.
"Public health and safety remain our top priority. This case was detected through the screening protocols and stringent measures that were put in place to safeguard the health of our local community as well as the event participants," Moonton said.
M2 is scheduled to run from 18 to 24 January, with 12 teams competing for a prize pool of US$300,000. It is the first major esports event of the year to be held offline in Southeast Asia, though teams will be playing behind closed doors.