WePlay AniMajor: False positive COVID-19 test grounds IG's Oli in Malaysia

(Photo: Invictus Gaming)
(Photo: Invictus Gaming)

Chinese powerhouse Invictus Gaming (IG) announced on Saturday (29 May) that they will be competing in the upcoming WePlay AniMajor without Malaysian support player Chan "Oli~" Chon Kien after a false positive COVID-19 test forced him to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine period and miss the tournament.

IG revealed in a post on their official Twitter account that Oli was required to take two COVID-19 tests before he could fly from Malaysia to Kyiv, Ukraine, where the WePlay AniMajor will be held. Oli's first test result came out as negative but his second yielded a positive case, prompting him to take a third test to confirm whether or not he contracted the coronavirus.

While Oli's third test result came out as negative and confirmed the result of his second test to be a false positive, health and safety policies in Malaysia required him to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine period before he could leave the country.

With the WePlay AniMajor taking place from 2 to 13 June, Oli will be unable to join IG in time for the tournament. The team's coach, Su "super" Peng, will be filling in for Oli in the tournament.

WePlay Esports assured in a separate statement that Oli has not been in contact with his teammates, who arrived in Ukraine from China, or any other players participating in the WePlay AniMajor.

The organiser added that health and safety protocols continue to be in place for the Major. While it will be a live, in-person event, the WePlay AniMajor will not be hosting a live audience due to "the epidemiological situation" in Kyiv.

"We are continuing to test all teams, talents and WePlay Staff as well as wearing appropriate equipment to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone at the AniMajor. [Oli] we hope you are ok, we look forward to seeing you at our next event," said WePlay Esports.

IG will surely be missing having their complete roster as they look to extend their reign as Major champions. The Chinese squad pulled off a reverse sweep over North American powerhouse Evil Geniuses in the grand finals of the ONE Esports Singapore Major in April to become the first Major champions of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).

The road to a second-straight Major championship is looking to be very difficult for IG. On top of not having Oli, they will also have to start the WePlay AniMajor from the wildcard stage after a less-than-stellar performance in Season 2 of the DPC's Chinese regional league.

Only two teams can advance from the Major's wildcard stage to the group stage. To do so, IG will have to prevail over a very stacked field that includes the likes of European squads Team Secret and Team Nigma as well as fellow Chinese team Vici Gaming.

The WePlay AniMajor is the second and final Major event of the 2021 DPC. The tournament will feature 18 teams from the circuit's six regional leagues competing for their share of the US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool.

Those all-important DPC points will go towards securing a direct invite to The International 10 (TI10), which will be held from 5 to 15 August in Stockholm, Sweden.

The latest iteration of Dota 2's annual marquee tournament will feature the 18 best teams from the DPC battling to claim the lion's share of a massive US$40 million prize pool as well as the Aegis of Champions and the title of best Dota 2 team in the world.

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