The Valorant Champions Tour North American Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) has been postponed until further notice and will be transitioning to an online event, Riot Games announced Thursday.
As posted in a statement on Twitter, the move was made "out of an abundance of caution and with the health and safety of all involved," as well as technical issues that compromised the competitive integrity of the tournament within its opening round of matches.
The NA LCQ was intended to be an invite-only 10-team LAN tournament in Los Angeles where the winner would walk away with a ticket to join Sentinels and Team Envy at Valorant Champions 2021 — the scene's largest and annual culminating event.
However, it was soon announced nearly a week in advance that the two teams who reached the Grand Final of the Valorant Oceania Tour 2021: Championship, ORDER and Chiefs Esports Club, would be unable to attend the event due to "COVID-19 regulations, travel documentation issues and additional complex factors."
With a revised 8-team format, the event kicked off on Oct. 12, where it became immediately apparent that the coveted LAN experience was indeed not happening, as demonstrated by plenty of connection errors spurring technical timeouts.
Although the first half of the Upper Bracket quarterfinals and semifinals ended up being played out, Riot soon explained on Twitter why the in-person event wasn't being played on LAN despite all the players being there in person.
On Day 2 of the event, as players from Rise, FaZe Clan, XSET, and perhaps other teams, continued to receive positive COVID-19 tests (false positive or not), the event's format instructed that quarantining players would play off-stage, with PCs that seemingly greatly outperformed those provided by Riot.
According to Version1 director of esports strategy Jake Trobaugh, the NA VCT LCQ will not return for a minimum of 12 days removed from Oct. 14. Details on matters such as whether or not the results from day one of the event will be kept have yet to be announced at the time of writing.