Multiple Dota 2 Players Stuck in Romania due to Covid-19 Restrictions

Posted on October 22, 2021

Valve’s Dota 2 tournament, The International 10, has made news again as multiple Filipino players cannot fly home. Stuck in Romania, Filipino players cannot travel due to Covid restrictions.

Dota 2 Players Stuck In Romania

Right before the end of the TI10, on October 17th, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), a group organized by the Philippines’ government to handle responses to infectious diseases, released an updated list of travel restrictions for the country.

dota-2-ti10-travel-issues
Image Credits | Valve

The updated list named Romania as the only red-listed country. If a country is red-listed, that means intense travel restrictions are enforced on people coming from said country. Unfortunately, this did not bode well for Filipino players.

The result of these new restrictions is affecting some of the best Dota 2 players and multiple staff from getting back home. The following are those affected:

  • Evil Geniuses: Abed Yusop
  • Fnatic: Djardel “DJ” Mampusti and Marc “Raven” Polo Luis Fausto
  • T1: Carlo “Kuku” Palad and Karl “Karl” Baldovino

Suppose these players and staff members wish to go home, they will have to travel to a different country (not red-listed), quarantine for 14 days, and provide the necessary proof requested by the IATF and the Filipino government.

Unfortunately for Valve, this is not the first time something like this has happened this season. WePlay Holding had to organize private flights to and from Ukraine in May and June to ensure Chinese teams could avoid travel issues and compete.

Fnatic’s team director, Eric “ReiNNNN” Khor, and several others have reached out asking to help resolve their travel issues. Unfortunately, there has been no update shared by the director or any of the players.

What Should Tournament Organizers Learn From This?

Valve’s TI10 esports tournament has had its shares of problems; this was just the icing on the cake. So what could they do to learn from this? TI10 was initially postponed and moved because of the pandemic last year.

While Covid cases have gone down significantly, Valve and the other organizers should have had a backup plan in place. Instead, Romania’s cases were rising before the tournament started, and Valve had to make last-minute changes. Valve could have skipped the LAN event and host the TI10 as an online tournament from the very beginning. Other esports tournaments have done the same and were still successful.

When it comes to the travel restrictions, Valve should partner with the host country and countries that players are traveling from. This would ensure that all players and staff can get home safely without any hiccups. Valve should also be doing what it can to support the players. Instead, they have left them out to dry and figure out their way home on their own.

Valve and the other tournament organizers could have prevented many of the problems surrounding TI10 from the very beginning. Whether or not Valve will be hosting another TI, things are still uncertain, but let’s hope they learn from their shortcoming for the sake of future tournaments.

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