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The Season 3 playoffs for WePlay Academy League will be played online instead of from the WePlay Esports Arena in Kyiv, Ukraine, WePlay Holding announced. The tournament organizers cited the COVID-19 restrictions and the “geopolitical issue on the Ukrainian borders” as the main reasons for the change — the “geopolitical issue” being the Ukraine-Russia crisis. Fears are still mounting over an invasion of Ukraine as Russian soldiers continue to mass on the country’s borders.
“The safety of tournament participants, our employees and all stakeholders was, is and will be our priority,” WePlay said in their statement.
The WePlay Academy League Season 3 began in January with the preliminary stage. The playoffs will be held from Feb. 11-13. While the playoffs were meant to be held at the WePlay Esports Arena, as in previous seasons, this change will see the four playoffs teams battling it out online, much like they did through the group and play-in stages of the competition.
The first half of the WePlay Academy League event whittled down the competition to four teams: MOUZ NXT, BIG Academy, Astralis Talent and Team Spirit Academy. The teams will play a double-elimination bracket to decide the winner of $45,000 and the title of Best Academy Team in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
MOUZ NXT won both Season 1 and Season 2 of the WePlay Academy League. They are now fielding a new roster with Ádám “torzsi” Torzsás promoted to the main MOUZ team and replaced by Miłosz “mhL” Knasiak. The MOUZ NXT coach Dennis “sycrone” Nielsen was also promoted to MOUZ.
The top performers in the first stage of the competition were Team Spirit Academy’s Aleksandr “KaiR0N-” Anashkin, mhL and Natus Vincere Junior’s Danyyl “headtr1ck” Valitov.
WePlay Academy League Season 3 playoffs begin with BIG Esports vs. Team Spirit at 9 a.m. ET on Feb. 11.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.