Two days ago, Geek Fam announced that they would have to withdraw from the upcoming ESL One Hamburg 2019 event due to Visa issues and now it has struck again as Invictus Gaming bow out.
It has been a very long time since iG have been seen making an impact on the Dota 2 scene but as the season is about to begin, the Chinese squad have looked fairly promising in pre-tournament qualifiers. Having recently secured a spot at the upcoming DOTA Summit 11 Minor, their first Dota 2 Pro Circuit event since The Changsha Major in 2018, iG also went on to take the China qualifier for ESL One Hamburg 2019 – beating out the likes of Royal Never Give Up, Team Aster and CDEC Gaming and joining the massive range of talented teams at the upcoming tournament. But, unfortunately for the Chinese squad, they have suffered the same fate as the Southeast Asian Geek Fam roster as Visa issues have made them withdraw from the event.
For Geek Fam, their replacement was announced later in the day as Alliance would step in to play at the event. Unfortunately, ESL One confirmed, that obtaining a Visa on such short notice would be impossible for any SEA squad and thus Alliance were the choice. With iG, it seems as though the same logic was used, as it was unlikely that any other CN squad would obtain their Visas in such a small amount of time and so Wind and Rain take their place at the event. While the squad did take part in the EU qualifier and the recent Chengdu Major qualifiers, this will be the first time we will see the new roster really getting a chance to perform against some great opposition at ESL One Hamburg 2019.
The tournament’s group stage is set to kick off next week and ESL One have confirmed that the final team will be announced in little over an hour from writing. For a substantial period, it seemed as though Visa problems had all-but-disappeared for the Dota 2 scene, with nothing too intense affecting teams. However, suddenly now, as the season is about to spring into action, it seems as though it is starting up again and we can only hope that these are two cases which we won’t see again in the DPC or non-DPC events throughout the year.