Fnatic quarantines LEC players, staff after Hylissang, coach Tolki contract COVID-19

Hylissang said he played through the weekend while sick with the virus.

Photo via Riot Games

Fnatic has quarantined its League of Legends team and some staff after both support Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov and assistant coach Gary “Tolki” Mialaret tested positive for COVID-19 last week, the player and coach confirmed to Dot Esports.

“It’s unfortunate I got infected and couldn’t show up for the games that might have mattered,” Hylissang told Dot Esports, confirming his contraction of the virus. “Happy that we went 2-0 [the] previous week even though I was feeling bad. Hope I get better for the playoffs.”

Tolki confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 9, and said that he began quarantining once he became symptomatic. The coach has been working from home for about 10 days, he said.

Fnatic announced the precautions it’s taking today after two unnamed members in its Berlin facility contracted the coronavirus. Fnatic said that following the news, it quarantined anyone who was exposed to both of them and that it worked with Riot Games throughout the weekend to compete in the final week of the 2021 LEC Spring Split, which took place from March 12 to 14.  

“On receiving the result, our first priority was to set up our team safely, and in a way which ensured we could complete our fixtures,” Fnatic said in a statement on Twitter. “Now the weekend has completed, and we can look forward to a playoff place, we’re able to update the fans with the facts. We are aiming to return to our Berlin facility as soon as we can. We’re confident that all our members will soon be fully recovered and ready for an amazing playoffs run.”

Since the coronavirus epidemic broke out in March 2020, the LEC has been entirely online. Broadcast talent has appeared in Riot’s Berlin studio since last summer—only remaining home when members of the LEC staff have contracted COVID-19—but that same studio has remained empty on stage. Most teams have diligently enacted protocols to avoid COVID-19 contraction, either competing from their gaming houses or safely traveling to practice facilities away from their players’ homes. 

The 2020 World Championship, which Fnatic participated in, took place in a bubble environment in China in October 2020. Riot has looked for opportunities to bring offline events to life while maintaining safe practices. The LEC plans to have teams compete from the Berlin studio for the 2021 Spring Split playoffs. The LCS announced today that the finals for its Mid-Season Showdown will take place in the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

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