Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comment from an EA spokesperson and to reflect that Genburten didn’t play.
Despite the Apex Legends Global Series holding its first in-person LAN event in three years on Friday, the ALGS Split 2 playoffs has faced a litany of issues before even starting. From EA originally not paying for teams to travel to Sweden, to the quality of the competition PCs being subpar, players have now learned anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will not be able to participate in the event at all.
This isn’t a new rule; the ALGS had already announced its procedures for COVID testing at the tournament. However, they’re significantly stricter than what exists in VALORANT, for example. While VALORANT events held during the pandemic, including last year’s Champions, allowed players who tested positive to play from isolation, the ALGS has stated that any players that contract the virus in Sweden will not be able to compete.
So far, two players who were set to compete in the playoffs have tested positive for COVID-19: Reignite JP’s Noyan “Genburten” Ozkose and Cloud9’s Zach “zach” Mazer. While Genburten has since tested negative and started playing scrims again, he and zach will both be unable to compete in the tournament due to their positive status and the fact that the tournament is not providing any isolated options for players who have contracted COVID.
“Just found out I’m in the thick of it and I feel a lot better than I did last night. Hot showers and s*** just trying to reset my body so I could play finals day,” zach tweeted Thursday. “But I just found out even if I test negative and am following the rules I still cannot play. Very strange very sad.”
Just found out I’m in the thick of it and I feel a lot better than I did last night. Hot showers and shit just trying to reset my body so I could play finals day… But I just found out even if I test negative and am following the rules I still cannot play. Very strange very sad
— C9 Zach (@zachmazer) April 28, 2022
According to zach, all the players participating in the LAN were informed of the COVID-19 rules before the event, and many players were unhappy with them, in addition to the other issues.
“Everything was communicated before the LAN,” zach said via Direct Message. “We have been complaining for a while, regarding the PCs, COVID policies, remote accommodations and how they were originally not gonna pay for teams traveling here. Meanwhile, every other esport is seeing all of those things.”
Despite his frustrations, though, zach emphasized that he thinks the ALGS community shouldn’t arbitrarily play the blame game.
“I think it’s important to find a way not to blame Apex Legends, or Respawn, or PGL,” he said. “But go out of our way as a community to find out who was in charge of all the many things teams were unhappy with at this LAN and find positive solutions for the future.”
Upcomer has reached out to Genburten and ALGS Commissioner John Nelson for comment. An EA spokesperson replied with the following:
“The health and safety of all onsite players and staff are our top priority as we continue to navigate the current COVID-19 situation. Daily COVID-19 testing of all attendees on site is mandatory with a negative PCR result required for entering the venue. If a competitor tests positive for COVID-19, they will not be allowed to compete or attend the remainder of the event. In order to uphold competitive integrity and fair play of LAN competition, remote gameplay is not feasible. We have communicated these policies to participating teams well in advance and allowed them to register an additional substitute player to their rosters as a precaution should a positive COVID-19 PCR test impact one of their competitors.”