Russian Players Likely Unable to Attend VCT Stage 1: Masters Reykjavík, Per Report
Players who reside in Russia that have qualified for Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2022 Stage 1: Masters Reykjavík may be unable to attend the first international event of the year because of Iceland's restrictions on Russian aircraft entering the country, according to a report by Dot Esports.
Fnatic, representing the Europe region, and FunPlus Phoenix One, representing Middle East and Africa (EMEA), both locked-in representatives set to compete in the tournament, have already begun searching for substitutes for their Russian players. The tournament is set to begin April 10.
Following a nearly two-week-long break period during the VCT 2022 EMEA Stage 1: Challengers event amid the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it appears Masters Reykjavík will likely be the latest Riot Valorant event to be affected by the conflict.
As Dot Esports pointed out in its report, Russian players such as FunPlus Phoenix's Dmitry "SUYGETSU" Ilyushin and Andrey "Shao" Kiprsky, as well as Fnatic's Andrew "braveaf" Gorchakov appear unlikely to be able secure travel to and from Iceland at this point — something that has barred VCT teams from Australia and the Philippines from attending Riot events in the past year.
Although COVID-19 has been the sole issue with the past year's international VCT events, this time, numerous European countries have closed their airspace to Russian-owned aircraft amid its invasion of Ukraine.
It also reportedly remains unclear whether or not FPX Ukrainian player Kyrylo "ANGE1" Karasov will be allowed to travel from Ukraine to the event.
According to Dot Esports, Riot is getting set to inform teams whether or not a workaround can be achieved by Monday, March 28.
As reported by Dexerto on Friday, Fnatic are in discussions with Ascend to have their recently-benched IGL, Santeri "BONECOLD" Sassi, fill in as a sub.
VCT Stage 1: Masters Reykjavík runs April 10 through April 30.