Fnatic have confirmed on their social media platforms that their starting bot lane duo of Elias “Upset” Lipp and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov have tested positive for COVID-19. This means that the bot lane duo will not initially travel with the rest of the team to Mexico City, Mexico for the Play-ins stage on September 29th.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) September 23, 2022
Fnatic added that they are “working closely with Riot on the matter and doing everything within their power to ensure our team arrives safely ahead of their first match on the 29th of September.” They also mention both players are feeling alright.
It is not mentioned, however, when both players were first tested positive and fans will have to wait and see how many of the Play-ins games they will miss. Head coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi has wished them a speedy recovery and said they will “do everything we can to prepare as best as possible no matter what circumstances are given to us.”
Join me in wishing for a speedy recovery for the boys and we will do everything we can to prepare as best as possible no matter what circumstances are given to us https://t.co/05PJlFdIuy
— YamatoCannon (@YamatoMebdi) September 23, 2022
This means that Fnatic could be fielding Louis “BEAN” Schmitz as their starting bot laner as they did last year when Upset had to leave Worlds for a family emergency. If Riot allows Fnatic to use an additional substitute due to the circumstances, they have their academy support from Fnatic TQ Rúben “Rhuckz” Barbosa or Mauno “beansu” Tälli whom they added to the GCD on June 7, 2022.
If there are travel complications, Riot could allow Fnatic to field an emergency substitute like LoL Circuit Oceania team PEACE did last year when they fielded Kiss “Vizicsacsi” Tamás as their replacement top laner.
Please join us in welcoming the replacement Top Laner for our #Worlds2021 campaign:
His addition to the PEACE Worlds Roster has been finalised, and he'll be meeting up with the lads in Iceland! 🔥#DragonsDen pic.twitter.com/TKClyeUKKp
— PEACE 🐉 (@pce_gg) September 22, 2021
Fnatic are the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) third seed after falling to eventual champions Rogue in the LEC 2022 Summer Playoffs semifinals. They have been drawn in Group A for Play-ins with Beyond Gaming, Chiefs Esports Club, DetonatioN FocusMe, Evil Geniuses, and LOUD.