Chinese Teams May Have Difficulties in Travelling to the WePlay AniMajor
Chinese Dota 2 caster, Chen “Jophy” Ya, has alleged that WePlay Esports did not book the return tickets for the Chinese teams that would be participating at the WePlay AniMajor. Because of this, she is unclear on whether Chinese teams could make it to Kyiv, Ukraine, for the WePlay AniMajor. This doubt has likely arisen because the Ukrainian guidelines for foreign travelers mandate the possession of a return ticket when entering Ukraine. If the four Chinese teams that will compete at the WePlay AniMajor do not have return tickets, then they may face difficulties in making it to the event. Team Aster, PSG.LGD, Invictus Gaming, and Vici Gaming may have to book return tickets on their own to avoid this hassle.
Update: WePlay Esports has released a statement clarifying that Chinese teams had return tickets attached to their visa applications in the first place. These tickets are, however, invalid due to recent changes in the (European) airspace. WePlay is looking for new flight paths to provide teams with return tickets to fix the issue.
Update 2: WePlay Esports has arranged a private flight for Chinese teams to get to the WePlay AniMajor
Chinese caster Jophy alleged that WePlay Esports only booked one-way tickets for Chinese teams for AniMajor
Jophy also feels that it would be a waste of time for Chinese teams to fly back to their country after the Major. Instead, she opined that it would be better to fly to Sweden after the conclusion of the Major and rent a team house there to prepare for TI10.
Mark Averbukh, EPIC Esports Events’ Producer-Director, responded to Jophy’s claim that Chinese teams were not provided with a return ticket. He points out that the situation is not dire because the return tickets can still be bought for the Chinese teams so that they can land in Ukraine.
Currently, several of the WePlay AniMajor participants from other regions have either boarded their flights for Ukraine or have already arrived. These participants have received a warm welcome from WePlay as they land in Kyiv as witnessed on the organization’s Twitter handle. However, there has been no information nor any video on the arrival of the four Chinese teams.
Unconfirmed screenshots of Xiao8 confirming Jophy’s suspicions
Screenshots of PSG.LGD coach Zhang “xiao8” Ning stating that Chinese teams might not be able to make it to the WePlay AniMajor have also emerged. The screenshot alleges that WePlay did not book return tickets for Chinese teams and that there are no Kyiv-China return tickets available at the moment which increases the likelihood of Chinese teams missing out on the WePlay AniMajor.
Now what happens to the Chinese Teams attempting to qualify for TI10?
Team Aster is scheduled to begin the AniMajor in the playoffs, PSG.LGD in the group stage, and Vici Gaming and Invictus Gaming in the wild card. Due to their qualification for TI10, Invictus Gaming won’t be bothered by not going to Kyiv.
On the other hand, Team Aster and PSG.LGD are on the cusp of qualification with 800 points each. Mathematically, they just need one more point to guarantee themselves a TI10 slot which means that they have also booked their berths at TI10, in all likelihood. So, even if they fail to travel, it is inconsequential for them.
So that leaves us with Vici Gaming as the Chinese team who will be most affected if their travel plans to Kyiv for the AniMajor are not sorted out. They are currently positioned at the 13th spot in the 2021 DPC rankings, one rank away from entering the top 12. So, a good performance in this Major is absolutely necessary for their hopes of securing a direct invite to TI10. If they do not travel, they will have to battle through the dreaded Chinese regional qualifiers to make it to the International 10.