Bren Esports, the No. 1 seed from the Southeast Asia (SEA) region representing the Philippines, will not be competing in VCT Stage 3: Masters Berlin due to visa issues, Riot Games announced Friday.
According to Valorant Esports Head of Competitive Operations Alex Francois, Bren Esports will be awarded 175 VCT points and the associated prize for qualifying for the tournament, while Masters Berlin will proceed with the remaining eligible 15 teams in a modified format.
Bren Esports' visa issues were reportedly caused by tightening international travel restrictions due to changing COVID-19 developments.
"Over the past month our global mobility teams in North America, Europe, and Asia explored multiple avenues to find a solution," Francois said, "including engaging with relevant governmental agencies in the Philippines and Germany. But at this time, having passed the final deadline that would allow Bren Esports to travel and attend the event, we are going to proceed with a 15 team tournament."
The unfortunate news comes a week away from the start of Masters Berlin, where 16 of the world's best Valorant teams that qualified for the event, via Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs in their respective regions, were set to compete on LAN.
Outside of a 1-2 Upper Bracket Final series loss, Bren Esports swept their group stage 3-0, CERBERUS Esports 2-0, Team Big BAAM 2-0, Alter Ego 2-0 and Paper Rex 3-0 en route to securing their spot as SEA's No 1 seed for #Brenlin.
As for Masters Berlin's Group D, Sentinels, G2 Esports and F4Q will pivot from a double-elimination format to a double round robin schedule, with the end result remaining that the top two teams advance on to the event's Elimination Stage.