League of Legends Pros Test Positive for COVID-19
Ahead of the upcoming League of Legends pro season in North America, members of two teams have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
League of Legends Pros
While the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed to the American populace, the United States continues to suffer immensely from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with over 22 million cases and nearly 380,000 deaths recorded so far by the CDC. Out of all the states, California is being hit especially hard by the virus, with more than 30,000 new cases and hundreds of deaths per day. With the North American League of Legends scene located in Los Angeles, it was only a matter of time before that was affected too.
According to a report from Inven Global, multiple members of Counter Logic Gaming’s League of Legends roster have tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement to the Korean-American esports news outlet, CLG GM Daniel “Tafokints” Lee confirmed the report, stating that the team — which competes in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) — practiced at its office rather than at home due to its facilities, being face-to-face, and offering lower ping. Players and staff were frequently tested and the office has been shut down until further notice.
The appropriate quarantine
“We put everyone in quarantine that may have been exposed, and from there everyone started practicing at home,” said Tafokints. “There’s not anyone that’s unable to play [due to] direct illnesses… Everyone is playing and scrimming.”
As per a report from independent journalist Travis Gafford, Dignitas has also had several members test positive for COVID-19. The organization has not yet confirmed the status of its players and staff. Gafford also stated that fellow LCS team Immortals plans for its players to compete from individual apartments “for the foreseeable future.”
Besides positive COVID-19 tests, CLG faces another problem stemming from the virus, albeit with visas. Top laner Finn “Finn” Wiestål and jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen from Sweden and Denmark respectively are still waiting for their visa approval. In the meantime, CLG will be signing Colin “Solo” Earnest from free agency and promoting Raymond “Griffin” Griffin from its academy team as Finn and Broxah’s temporary replacements.
Throughout 2020, the global League of Legends pro scene adapted well to the COVID-19 pandemic, with all leagues moving play to online. The 2020 season culminated in the World Championship held in Shanghai, China, with most games held behind closed doors. A live audience was present for the final, where Korea’s DAMWON Gaming triumphed over China’s Suning. It will be interesting to see how 2021 will go for the North American scene following this development, with the season beginning on Friday, January 15 through the LCS Lock In tournament.