LCS teams impacted by COVID and visa issues ahead of 2021 season

The 2021 League of Legends LCS logo

With the North American League of Legends Championship Series Lock In tournament kicking off on Friday, Western LoL esports fans can finally tune in to see their favourite players and some new faces take to the Rift. However, the road to the LCS has been fraught with obstacles owing to the ongoing pandemic.

It has now been reported that two LCS teams – Counter Logic Gaming and Dignitas – have had players test positive for COVID-19. First reported by Inven Global, CLG initially quarantined the team following its first positive test, though more players ended up contracting the virus. Fortunately however, the afflicted players are still able to play, and continue to scrim ahead of Friday. Meanwhile, as per Travis Gafford, Dignitas has also had multiple squad members test positive for COVID. The status of those affected is currently unknown.

The ongoing pandemic has also created issues for some teams hoping to acquire visas for new or even returning players who do not have NA residency. Alongside its COVID diagnoses, CLG also faces starting the Lock In tournament without Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen – who faced similar issues with Team Liquid last year – and Finn ‘Finn’ Wiestål, both of whom have been affected by delays in the process due to the virus. As such, Colin ‘Solo’ Earnest temporarily returns to the starting lineup alongside academy jungler Ryan ‘Keel’ Keel.

Team Liquid has also faced delays while renewing Lucas ‘Santorin’ Larsen’s visa. As a result of this, academy jungler Jonathan ‘Armao’ Armao has been drafted in for now.

At the very least, teams can take solace in knowing that this concoction of issues will not affect their league standings going into the 2021 LCS Spring Split, following the introduction of the new format which has the Lock In tournament exist as a separate entity.