The number one seeded team in the Philippines, Bren Esports, will not attend the VALORANT Championship Tour Masters event in Berlin later this month, Riot Games revealed today.
The team, aided by organizers Riot Games, did not secure the necessary visa requirements to enter Germany due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Alex Francois, the head of competitive operations for VALORANT esports at Riot Games, said in a statement.
“But at this time, having passed the final deadline that would allow Bren Esports to travel and attend the event, we are going to proceed with a 15 team tournament,” Francois said.
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) September 3, 2021
As a result, Group D, where Bren Esports were placed, will pivot to a double round robin format with the top two teams advancing to the Elimination stage.
Bren Esports was also awarded 175 VCT points for qualifying for the event, despite failing to attend.
While Group D will be affected, the other groups will remain the same. The new format means G2 Esports, Sentinels and F4Q will have to play each other twice. The team that performs the worst will not secure qualification for the Elimination Rounds.
COVID-19 restrictions still in effect
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced countries to take extra precautionary measures when allowing player and staff entry to events. Germany, for example, requires full vaccination or a negative test result for most travelers. Attendees must also complete a digital entry registration form.
The Philippines, however, has been listed as a high risk area since Aug. 8, according to the Robert Koch Institut. This means travel to and from each country remains difficult, since the virus has affected a large amount of the population or it is spreading at a rapid pace.
The rest of the event will likely continue as planned, depending on further complications regarding travel, which are currently unlikely. VCT Masters in Berlin is set to begin on Sept. 10 and will conclude on Sept. 20.