VALORANT Champions was in danger of becoming another LANdemic after a supposed rise in positive COVID-19 tests at the event put the players on edge. Sentinel’s Jared “zombs” Gitlin shared the experience of the players from an inside view during a post-match press conference.
“The COVID scare has defiantly impacted us, we couldn’t practice at all the entire day today before our match because of it,” zombs said. “It is definitely really annoying and people are scared to do anything, people want to go home. On every team someone wants to go home, literally.”
On the morning of the fourth day at Champions, players began to tweet cryptic messages about the COVID-19 situation.
“Let’s just say some of the tweets aren’t related to [Vivo Keyd]. A new situation has arisen that I cannot legally disclose at this time,” Envy’s Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker said.
let's just say some of the tweets aren't related to vivo. a new situation has arised that I cannot legally disclose as this time 👻
— yay (@yayFPS) December 4, 2021
Previously, two players tested positive for COVID-19 including Team Liquid’s Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom and Envy’s Victor “Victor” Wong. As a precaution, the infected players had to isolate in a separate area to play their matches while their teammates played from another room at the hotel.
COVID-19 becomes a real threat at Champions
Following the cryptic tweets from players, Riot Games issued an update regarding the COVID-19 situation. They explained that as a precaution, all players were required to take daily rapid antigen tests and twice-weekly Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, tests. These rapid-fire tests left several players with positive tests results, which brought on the initial COVID scare.
VALORANT Champions Update: pic.twitter.com/I5IbeWKkAV
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) December 4, 2021
“During today’s daily antigen tests, several new players produced positive results,” said the VALORANT Champions Tour Twitter. “Upon further, more reliable, laboratory confirmed PCR tests, all of those players returned negative results and have been clear for competition.”
Other professional players have expressed their frustrations with the tournament and the virus scare. Envy’s player Pujan “FNS” Mehta said he has been “miserable’ at Champions. In a tweet that has since been deleted in response to FNS, in-game leader for Sentinels, Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan, expressed his desire to go home as well.