Cover Image Courtesy: WESG
WESG 2018 - Global Finals seems to be facing a bit of disappointment lately. The event which is taking place in Chongqing, China at the Chongqing Olympic Sports Center started out with a total of 32 teams taking part in it, but over the course of the last few weeks, five teams have dropped out of the event.
The first team to withdraw from the event was the Argentinian squad, Isurus Gaming, facing some visa issues. Another problem the side faced was the ‘same nationality rule’ set by the organizers, as Isurus have an Uruguayan player in their line-up and do not want to replace him for the event, they instead decided to step down and concentrate on other upcoming events.
MVP PK soon followed, pulling out of the event without giving any specific reason. K23, the Kazakhstan representatives were next, citing some visa issues as the reason behind their withdrawal.
Some of the better-known teams also came ahead to announce their departure from the event. ENCE, the face of Finnish Counter-Strike who shocked the world with their incredible run at the recently concluded IEM Katowice 2019 were facing some scheduling problems and could not start their visa process in time, hence pulling back from the event.
Ninjas in Pyjamas was the last team to pull out from the event due to some unrevealed personal reasons, they were one of the three teams who had been directly invited for the Olympic style event.
With China now recognizing esports as an official profession as of 25th January 2019, obtaining a visa for a Chinese event should not be that difficult, saying that, it might have been the teams that were at fault this time around with their applications and submissions.
Though not much can be said on the following as information is limited from both the teams and the organizers, I hope the event which has now been reduced to 27 teams goes ahead smoothly without further problems.
My take on the whole situation is that, while all the teams that backed out of the event did have a legit reason they all came in a bit too late. At this moment the groups cannot be re-shuffled as the carefully laid out schedule will take a hit, so the organizers just have to go through with the event as it is.
The problem here is that certain groups have now become less competitive than others. With the departure of NiP, Group-A witnesses Revolution and Singularity obtaining a higher chance of making it through to the Playoffs, on the other hand, Group C observes both K23 and Isurus backing off which directly qualifies MIBR and AGO Esports onto the Playoffs.
While this can be blamed on luck, it is quite unfair to the smaller teams. While nothing can be done about this now, I think this is something the event organizers should look into for future events. Maybe set a response deadline or something and keep a backup plan ready in-case the things do not work out as planned.
Quite excited for the event though, no personal favourites but I would be cheering for the weaker team in all the match-ups. Comment below which team will you be cheering for at the WESG 2018 - Global Finals starting on 11th March.