This story is still developing…
ONE Esports and Dota Pro Circuit have announced the ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021 Dota 2 tournament, which is quite a big deal as it is one of the first-ever Dota 2 major tournaments of the year following the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember, that still-lingering plague that has cancelled a number of offline esports events?
Anyway, the first-ever Dota 2 major of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit season means all the best teams will be competing in Singapore at the Fairmont Singapore, with the Singapore Tourism Board also organizing the tournament alongside ONE Esports and PGL. And to play it safe, the event will not have a live audience but instead be a livestream for all to see in the comforts of every Dota 2 fan’s home for obvious safety reasons.
The event will be happening on 27th March, which is this Saturday, and will last until 4th April. And the teams involved have already pledged their commitment and support to make this a good major tournament.
- Team Secret
- Invictus Gaming (China)
- Fnatic (Southeast Asia)
- Evil Geniuses
- Team Aster
- Neon Esports (Southeast Asia)
- Natus Vincere
- Quincy Crew
- Thunder Predator
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
As it turns out, anything. This is in spite of the many, many precautions taken.
Ahead of the Singapore Majors, Virtus Pro, Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko may need a stand-in as he said on 18th March that he was feeling sick. This was despite the fact that he tested negative for the virus. The stand-in in question? It’s Igor “iLTW” Filatov.
Virtus Pro has stated their support for the upcoming major via an official Twitter post.
— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) March 18, 2021
On 20th March, Natus Vincere’s player Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko and team captain Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko have been tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team’s departure to Singapore. The stand-ins include former Virtus Pro and EG player Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and coach Andrey “Mag” Chipenko.
Revealing the details about our forced roster changes for #SingaporeMajor 2021.
— NAVI (@natusvincere) March 20, 2021
On 21st March, Neon Esports’ John Anthony “Natsumi” Vargas will not be participating due to being “unfit to travel” to Singapore. His stand-in will be Rafael “Rapy” Sicat”, which means Rolen “skem” Ong will be moving from position four to carry (via Dotesports).
— Neon Esports 🇵🇭 (@NeonEsportsDota) March 21, 2021
Quincy Crew manager Jack “KBBQ” Chen confirmed on 22nd March that Arif “MSS” Anwar has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to travel to the event. The team has secured his substitute: Milan “MiLAN” Kozomara, formerly of the team mudgolems.
— Jack Chen (@KBBQDotA) March 23, 2021
On 24th March, Team Nigma announced that Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov will not compete as he is tested positive for COVID-19. His stand-in will be Team Nigma’s coach Roman “rmN-” Paley.
— Team Nigma (@TeamNigma) March 24, 2021
In any case, the respective teams have their stand-ins all confirmed and accounted for. It should be smooth sailing for them, right?
Abuzz On Twitter
Things don’t seem so hot on Twitter. At about 7 hours ago, Moonduck TV managing director Andrew Campbell made a critique about the DPC League 2021 statement on 12th March on its participating team’s full support for the event, in order to quell rumours about players hoping the event is cancelled:
Is it coming into focus yet, how insanely irresponsible this press statement was?
5 players and 1 caster have tested positive for COVID already.
Why are we still pretending that a 48 hour arrival quarantine is enough to keep everyone safe? https://t.co/U7vM2J1Tms
— Andrew Campbell (@ZyoriTV) March 24, 2021
Team Secret, Evil Geniuses, Alliance, and others declare full support for upcoming Singapore Dota Majorhttps://t.co/lDbJLs1wN9
— DPC League 2021 (@DPCLeague) March 12, 2021
Singapore esports StarCraft 2 player Kelly “Milkies” Ong responded like any person who has a huge stake in a major Singapore-based event like this would:
I AM SO TIRED OF THIS FINGER FUCKING POINTING. THIS IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY.
WE ARE ORGS WHO HAVE TO RISK CALCULATE AND OUR PLAYERS HAVE TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS AND RISKS TO ATTEND THIS EVENT.
PGL AND VALVE ARE IN CHARGE OF ORGANIZING THIS TOURNAMENT. NOT THE ORGS.
— Kelly Ong 🧼🤲 (@kellymilkies) March 24, 2021
Maybe we shouldn't have killed ourselves trying to bring a major to fans. At the end of the day it seems like all of this was for nothing if you guys think so badly of the orgs.
Just really sad to see.
— Kelly Ong 🧼🤲 (@kellymilkies) March 24, 2021
As for ONE Esports’ Twitter feed? Well, the accounted retweeted professional Dota 2 caster Jorien “Sheever ” van der Heijden’s teaser picture. Basically, the event is still a-go despite the supposed drama surrounding the event.
— Sheever (@SheeverGaming) March 24, 2021
These kinds of events, even without a live audience, will always have a calculated amount of risks that organizers have contingencies for, especially in a COVID-19 era. You can plan as much as you like, but as anyone who has worked in events management can tell you, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Tournament organizers for bigwig events like these will always plan ahead and prepare for the worst.
What I’m getting at is that so far, Singapore’s biggest Dota 2 tournament is looking alright so far and will be going ahead this weekend. However, there is a chance that players will need to go through a 2-week isolation period, which means they need to have their accommodations sorted during that period. We’re not sure if a company like ONE Esports has enough of a budget to accommodate all of its participants in the Fairmont for more than two weeks.
Still, we’ll be sure to keep this story updated if there are any new developments, positive or otherwise. In the meantime, catch the streams here: