Apparently not all esports visa issues are due to lack of foresight or poor planning, like the ones that recently kept Gambit Gaming out of the League Championship Series weekend at Wembley Arena, and Chinese Dota 2 team CIS out of The International 4.
Sometimes, the embassy just plain screws up.
Natus Vincere will be without Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev during this weekend’s Esports Entertainment Association (ESEA) Season 16 Playoffs, because the US Embassy lost the Ukrainian national’s passport. The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament in Dallas features $47,500 in prize money, but now Na’Vi will be hard pressed to earn a sizable chunk of it.
Na’Vi will instead rely on Arseny “ceh9” Trynozhenko, who retired from the starting lineup at the end of last year after three years with the team. While Trynozhenko certainly has talent and experience, his last competitive appearance came at Dreamhack Winter 2013, and it may be hard to shake off the rust.
There was some hope Sukhariev would be able to make at least the later rounds of the event, but it turns out he won’t be getting his passport back for at least another week, leaving him watching the event from his home country.
Na’Vi will open the tournament against OpenEqualFree Saturday morning at 11:30am ET. The third seed from Europe, they were a contender to win the whole tournament, but that may be a pipe dream with Sukhariev out of the lineup.