Riot Games Suspends VCT NA LCQ Matches Due to Safety Protocols
The Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) North America (NA) Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) has been suspended after conflicting COVID-19 test results appearing for those participating in the event. Riot Games has been working with the Los Angeles (LA) Country’s health guidelines for in-person events and multiple players were found to be COVID positive, forcing the publisher to cancel matches. Affected players have received conflicting test results which added even more confusion to the mix and Riot Games is currently assessing how to host the event in a safe environment while also adhering to all government protocols.
Riot Games’ statement on the VCT NA LCQ matches being suspended
Riot Games’ head of esports for North America and Oceania Chris Greeley revealed in an official statement that the health and safety of those involved in the Last Chance Qualifier is the greatest priority for the publisher. All players and staff participating in the event have been tested for COVID-19 as per Riot Games’ safety protocols as well as the LA County health guidelines for in-person events. Riot is currently assessing how to proceed with the LCQ.
FaZe Clan player Andrej "babybay" Francisty stated that he is fully vaccinated and tested negative for multiple days in a row. He then tested positive recently which prevented him from playing on stage and right after the positive report, he tested negative again. He is now forced to quarantine which can put FaZe Clan at a disadvantage.
This is the second major hindrance for the NA LCQ. The event was previously criticized for using virtual servers despite it being a LAN event. It has led to a poor player experience and pro players have complained about lag at the event.
The objective of using virtual servers was for teams to continue to compete and not bring in a sub or be forced to forfeit. Oceanic teams were also forced to forfeit from the event as Riot Games was unable to help coordinate travel for the two participating teams at the NA LCQ. It has been an unfortunate series of events for Riot Games and it is yet to be seen how the publisher addresses the issues plaguing the NA LCQ.