The coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) is continuing to ravage China, forcing Chinese companies to shut down operations. It has affected the esports scene as well, forcing multiple tournaments to cancel their events and shut down.
However, the ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Major - Chinese Qualifiers is currently taking place in the region. 3 Chinese teams will qualify for this tournament, while one will qualify for the Starladder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor S3.
Unfortunately, there are still major challenges to overcome, such as problems with VISAs.
Earlier this week, Mars Media, the tournament organiser of the first major of this season - MDL: Chengdu Major 2019 posted an article on their Weibo stating that it is increasingly likely that ESL One: Los Angeles 2020 Major might indeed be the first Major in history to not have a Chinese team competing in it.
(Edited for Grammar and Clarity)
“No matter which Chinese team finally wins, in order to go to the United States to participate in the LAN tournament in Los Angeles, they will face massive issues to obtain Entry-VISAs. The Los Angeles Major may become the first Major in Dota 2 history without a Chinese team.”
Former Evil Geniuses Manager, Charlie Yang (who now works at Loaded.GG, which manages Streamers Ninja, Shroud, etc) also stated that not many Chinese teams will be able to compete in ESL One: Los Angeles 2020.
“If they qualify, they will have to go to Thailand or something to incubate there for a while and hope that they can get in after the incubation period. If you are a new player and you don’t already have a US VISA, you are not getting one.”
He stated that this ruled out all of the teams except for maybe “IG, LGD Gaming or RNG”.
He also stated that the rest of the spots in the Major, will be filled up with teams competing in the Minor.
Considering the fact that both Invictus Gaming and RNG have secured spots at ESL One: Los Angeles 2020 Major, Chinese teams do stand a fighting chance of making it. But it all depends on how the Coronavirus situation develops over the next couple of weeks.
Currently, the US Government has banned the entry of Chinese residents for the foreseeable future.