In an announcement made via Weibo by BOMI Esports Culture Media Co. Ltd., a Chinese tournament was advertised to take place March 3-8 with ~$300,000 on the line and 12 of the best teams in the world fighting for a share of it, in a LAN setup in Haikou, China.
Hainan Master Invitational (Spring) was announced to have nine directly invited teams and three more decided via regional qualifiers held in CIS, Europe and China. The initial announcement from Tuesday, January 14, included a list of nine teams that were believed to have received and accepted the organizers’ invitation.
However, after the news broke outside China as well, Team Secret’s manager stated on Twitter that nobody from the Hainan Master Invitational contacted his team and he announced that Team Secret will not attend the tournament.
Later in the day, VPEsports managed to contact PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming, Virtus.pro, Evil Geniuses and Team Secret as well, and all communicated to us that what was presented is “fake news.” “We have no information about this tournament,” told to us PSG.LGD.
“No one contacted us, let alone confirmed our attendance,” declared John Yao, Team Secret CEO to us. Xu “JaL“ Xiaoyun, Vici Gaming Manager, Dmitrii Shishkov, Virtus.pro Dota 2 team manager and Wilson “Fronz” Teng, Evil Geniuses manager followed suit, also stating that there was no communication between them and the tournament organizer.
In the meantime, the list of teams presented in the original Hainan Master Invitational announcement was taken down. The page does states, however, that the organizer “intends” to invite the following teams: PSG.LGD, VG, Team Secret, EG, Fnatic, VP.
By announcing that they “intend” to invite the teams mentioned, the organizer is avoiding any liability for what they initial posted, more than that, taking down the long presentation of the nine teams can also save them from possible legal actions from any of the teams who might have wanted to sue them for using their image to promote the event and attract sponsors.
Despite the whole confusion created by the official announcement, the regional qualifiers for this tournament are set to begin today in the European region. UCC studio, who are running the regional qualifiers, declared for cybersport.ru that the list of participating teams here is “reliable.” Vikin.gg, Chicken Fighters, Godsent, OG Seed, Infinity, Team Moriarty, plus two more yet to be confirmed squads, will start their matches today, in a double elimination bracket. The regional qualifiers will be covered by UCC in both Russian and English languages on Twitch.tv.
Interestingly enough, the dates announced for the LAN portion of Hainan Master Invitational (Spring) perfectly overlap with the third Minor of the 2019 – 2020 Dota Pro Circuit.