Natus Vincere pull out of ONE Esports Singapore Major due to COVID-19 concerns and travel issues

An additional player tested positive for COVID-19 and other problems impacted a potential stand-in.

dota 2 navi zayac
Image via Natus Vincere

Just a few hours after beastcoast announced that its Dota 2 roster won’t be traveling to the ONE Esports Singapore Major, Natus Vincere has also withdrawn from the event. 

The team cited ongoing issues with COVID-19 affecting its roster as the main reason, but there were also several other factors that forced the CIS’ No. 2 seed to opt out. 

Na’Vi previously confirmed that both Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko and team captain Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko tested positive for COVID-19 and said the team would be using stand-ins for the Major as a result. Originally, former Virtus Pro and Evil Geniuses player Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and the roster’s coach, Andrey “Mag” Chipenko, would have filled those spots. But that’s no longer possible. 

In its newest blog post, Na’Vi revealed that Mag also tested positive for COVID after the initial announcement and he was in contact with the rest of the roster during their boot camp. Several of those players recorded high fevers over the last few days.

As a result, Na’Vi reached out to the tournament organizers, who confirmed that the team would need to self-quarantine if they did travel, which would keep them from competing in the Major. The organization also worried that quarantining in a foreign country might prevent some of the players from making it back in time to compete in the next season of the Dota Pro Circuit. 

Na’Vi did have preliminary conversations with one of its former players, Nikola “LeBronDota” Popović, about replacing Mag at the event since he hasn’t competed in the upper division yet and would be eligible to play with the team. But his flight was canceled for technical reasons, and with limited time remaining along with other complications, the organization decided to simply withdraw entirely. 

The team will now focus on getting healthy to compete in the next season of the DPC’s CIS regional league.

And if the situation didn’t seem complicated enough, RAMZES has been confirmed to already be on his way to Singapore to compete and doesn’t have a team to play with anymore. This essentially means one of the best players in the world is set to attend the Major as a free agent for any team that needs a last-minute stand-in. 

Now with two teams completely removed from the initial roster, Valve, ONE Esports, and PGL will likely need to make some changes to how the event will be run at the last second. 

The ONE Esports Singapore Major will begin on March 27.