After more positive COVID tests on the second day of the Apex Legends Global Series Championship resulted in more players being ruled out of the competition, the ALGS released an official statement on its COVID policy via the Apex Legends Esports Twitter account. In the statement, the tournament organizers doubled down on the event’s COVID policy.
Some pro players, including players currently competing in the event, are still displeased with the policy and the statement.
“Our policy is and has been, that if an ALGS competitor tests positive for COVID at the event, they are ineligible to compete,” the statement reads. The ALGS and EA further reiterated that these policies were known by all teams and that the policy is why all teams were allowed to register emergency substitutes in case of a positive test. Furthermore, the tournament completely rules out the possibility of some players playing remotely for the sake of competitive integrity.
Several pros have called this policy into question, considering LAN events in other esports such as VALORANT have created isolated playing areas for players and teams with positive COVID tests to play from on the same LAN network as teams competing on the main stage. Even after the clarification from the ALGS and EA, ALGS competitors and other content creators haven’t minced words in their response.
The lack of an isolated playing space as a contingency plan seems especially suspect considering the presence of fans in the arena where players are playing. A negative COVID test or proof of vaccination is required to attend the ALGS Championship, but many fans pictured on the main broadcast are not wearing masks. In addition to the necessary exposure teams must face to travel to the LAN event, they’re possibly being exposed to COVID just by playing in the event itself.
While there doesn’t seem to be any changes in store for the COVID policy for the remainder of the Championship, the statement did say that EA will provide accommodations for lodging and travel in the event that players with COVID are forced to stay in North Carolina longer, and that the tournament “will continue to analyze ways we can navigate COVID-19 for future competitions.”