In what has become an almost daily trend, yet another top Dota 2 team has withdrawn from a major event.
I-League officials announced today that Russian team Virtus Pro had chosen not to attend the league’s upcoming live final.
The reason? An unnamed player for Virtus Pro has been stricken with a debilitating illness. Given the short window of time in which Virtus Pro would be made to look for a replacement player and secure a visa for him, the team has chosen to forgo attending entirely.
The recent rash of withdrawals from events by Dota 2 teams has hit the I-League especially hard. Cloud9 and Hell Raisers both withdrew from the event previously, with I-League officials initially suspending Cloud9 for the following season before choosing to rescind the suspension almost immediately.
With Virtus Pro now pulling out of the competition, the tournament which was originally to feaure three Western teams will not have only one. That team, Swedish side Lajons, didn’t even qualify, but rather were given a spot following Hell Raisers backing out.
With Chinese squad Hyper Glory Team replacing Virtus Pro, the only other team besides Lajons who will be traveling from outside China will be Korea’s MVP Phoenix, who failed to in their previous attempt at international competition in the DreamLeague final. The team failed to move on from the group stage there, and may face similar struggles in China when they meet Invictus Gaming in the opening round.
Lajons will face an equally stiff challenge in their international debut, as they are set to meet LGD Gaming when the tournament gets underway.
Virtus Pro’s exit before the competition begins is an odd coincidence. The team just recently listed I-League an organization it would consider no longer dealing with if past prize winnings remained unpaid—though most of those allegations have since apparently been clarified or resolved.
Image via Virtus Pro