Singapore Major: T1's Kuku out with 'health problem'

T1 captain Carlo
T1 captain Carlo "Kuku" Palad. (Photo: Carlo "Kuku" Palad Facebook)

South Korea-based organisation T1 announced on Thursday (25 March) that the captain and offlaner of their Dota 2 team, Carlo "Kuku" Palad, will not be able to play in the upcoming ONE Esports Singapore Major due to a "recent health problem".

Lee "Forev" Sang-don will be standing-in for Kuku in the Major. Forev was notably the founding member of T1's Dota 2 division, being the team's captain and offlaner before he parted ways with the organisation last July.

T1 did not elaborate whether it was a positive coronavirus test or not that caused Kuku to miss out on the Singapore Major.

Kuku is now the sixth player to miss out on the Singapore Major due to health-related issues. Four of those players, namely Natus Vincere's Bogdan "Iceberg" Vasilenko and Andrii "ALWAYSWANNAFLY" Bondarenko, Quincy Crew's Arif "MSS" Anwar, and Team Nigma's Ivan "MinD_ControL" Ivanov, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Neon Esports' John Anthony "Natsumi" Vargas will also be missing out on the Major as his team declared him unfit to travel. However, they have not confirmed whether the reason behind his absence is a positive coronavirus test or not.

Meanwhile,'s Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko also fell ill but did not produce a positive test. His team has called up a substitute as a precaution but still intends to participate in the Major with him in the lineup.

The Singapore Major's rules state that players who have tested positive for the coronavirus prior to the event, even if they were able to recover shortly before the team's departure to Singapore, will be unable to play in order to minimise risk of exposure for other players.

Teams participating in the Major have already begun to arrive in Singapore. Foreign teams coming to the republic will not need to quarantine for 14 days, instead being required to take a COVID-19 test and undergo a 48-hour isolation period upon their arrival to the country, and follow a strictly-controlled itinerary during their stay.

In addition, teams that have been eliminated from the Singapore Major are required to leave immediately in order to minimise the risk of further exposure to them and the remaining teams in the tournament.

As a result of Kuku's absence, T1 will now be attending the Singapore Major with two different players compared to the roster that it qualified to the tournament with. The organisation signed Thai prodigy Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon in early March to replace Souliya "JaCkky" Khoomphetsavong, who was their carry player for the first season of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) and helped them qualify for the Major.

The Singapore Major is scheduled to start on 27 March and will run until 4 April. The event will feature 18 teams from the DPC's six regional leagues competing for the lion's share of a US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool.

For everything you need to know about the ONE Esports Singapore Major, check here.

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