Filipino Dota 2 may have issues with traveling to the ONE Esports Singapore Major because of a recent COVID-19 notice issued by the Department of Health, Philippines. Released on March 16, 2021, the notice has suspended the entry of foreigners into the Philippines and more importantly, the entry of returning non-OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) Filipinos starting March 20 until April 19, 2021. Though Filipino Dota 2 players participating in the Singapore Major can travel to the tournament, they are going to have issues with returning to the country as the event is scheduled from March 27 - April 4, 2021. Also, as per the Major’s traveling rules, teams need to leave Singapore as soon as they get eliminated, the chances of which look bleak after the Department of Health’s notice.
Filipino players competing in the Singapore Major hurdled by travel restrictions
The Philippines issued this notice to curb the spread of the virus after the country registered a total of 5404 new COVID-19 positive cases on March 15, 2021, which is the highest count in the last six months.
Teams competing in the Singapore Major are reportedly going to arrive a couple of days before they kick off their journey in the Major and then have to leave as soon as they get eliminated. The departure of the teams involving players that reside in the Philippines is expected to create problems after this notice as they will have to figure out a way to adjust their travel arrangements.
The all-Filipino squad of Neon Esports has already hinted at the issues being posed by this new announcement. They also mentioned that they were working with T1, Fnatic and Evil Geniuses to sort out this problem.
T1’s offlaner, Carlo "Kuku" Palad, expressed his concerns with the new travel restriction through a Facebook post.
10 Filipino players that are expected to participate in the Major are:
- Johan "Natsumi" Vargas
- Erin "Yopaj" Ferrer
- Prieme "PlayHard" Banquil
- Rolen "skem" Gabriel Ong
- Jaunel "Jaunuel" Arcilla
- Carlo "Kuku" Palad
- Karl “Karl” Jayme
- Djardel Jicko B. "DJ" Mampusti
- Marc Polo Luis "Raven" Fausto
- Abed “Abed” Azel L. Yusop
Considering the Major is being held in SEA, there is a possibility of these players/teams competing online as ping would not be an issue. However, the tournament operators would only think about this in case the Government of the Philippines denies permission to these players to return to the country after the conclusion of the Major.
It will be interesting to see how the situation develops over the course of the next few days. Stay tuned to AFK Gaming for further updates on this matter.