Travel turmoil rocks ESEA final
The ESEA Global Finals have yet to begin and already they’re generating headlines.
Hot on the heels of confirmation that Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev of Natus Vincere would be unable to compete at the event after his passport had been lost, ESEA announced that they would be shifting the schedule of play for their entire event.
Fellow top European side Virtus Pro experienced a personal tragedy within the team when Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski reported a serious accident involving his father. Manager Christian Lenz confirmed the incident, though didn't elaborate on specifics. Lenz said the team planned to allow Pogorzelski to remain home as needed until the situation had become more stable.
When Pogorzelski reached back out to his team and affirmed his ability to attend the event, Lenz was able to make the necessary travel arrangements to bring Pogorzelski in.
Unfortunately Pogorzelski would no longer be able to arrive in time with the rest of his Virtus Pro teammates. Lenz reached out to ESEA to discuss the possibility of altering the tournament schedule to accommodate the change, and ESEA agreed.
Whereas each quarterfinal match was previously scheduled for Friday evening, only two will now be played at that time. Virtus Pro’s quarterfinal match against Netcode Guides will not be played until Saturday evening.
The change does present a serious imbalance in the schedule. Before Virtus Pro and Netcode Guides even play their first match of the tournament, one upper bracket finalist will have already been determined and one team will have been eliminated from the tournament entirely. But ESEA officials decided that these inconsistencies were a fair price to pay in exchange for allowing Virtus Pro to compete as an intact team.
ESEA has not commented on whether similar plans were in place or even discussed to accommodate the potential late arrival of Natus Vincere’s Sukhariev had he been able to attend the tournament. But it would seem unlikely given that Natus Vincere had already officially announced the participation of replacement player Arseny “Ceh9” Trynozhenko earlier in the week.