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Virtus.pro players Alan “Rask” Ali and Andrey “Andreezy” Baviyan have both tested positive for COVID-19. Both they and the rest of the Virtus.pro squad will no longer travel to Paris to compete in the Six Invitational because of the COVID-19 test results, Ubisoft and Virtus.pro have announced.

“Before the tournament the team was isolated during bootcamp and test results from May 4 were negative,” Virtus.pro said in a statement. “But as soon as the players went home to prepare for departure we ran another round of tests that came back positive.”

Ubisoft says the Russian squad will receive 1% of the overall prize pool, corresponding to a 19 or 20 place finish in the tournament.

“In order to maintain the competitive integrity of the competition, the number of teams qualifying from each group will be adjusted,” Ubisoft said in a statement. “So as to avoid forcing teams to play matches with no impact on their progression to the playoffs and to maintain the closest possible ratio of teams qualifying from each group.”

Virtus.pro is the second team who is unable to make the trip to the Six Invitational because of the COVID-19. Travel rules related to the pandemic have also prevented Wildcard Gaming from making the trip to Paris from Australia.

Six Invitational Starts on May 11

20 teams were originally slated to compete in the Six Invitational, but now there are only 18. Ubisoft is adjusting the group stage in order to accommodate the remaining squads, with 8 teams in one group and 10 in the other.

“[I] still firmly believe that SI should not be happening,” Said Rainbow Six player and coach Lauren Goddess Williams. “There’s still a global pandemic going on, why is there a need to force this? Yeah watching international games again will be nice, but their health is 10 times more important.”

The Rainbow Six Pro League has been ongoing despite the pandemic. Nine teams have relocated to Las Vegas to compete in a bubble for the three-stage season. Some of those teams, alongside squads from elsewhere in the world, are also making the trip to Paris. The Six Invitational takes place from May 11 to 23. It’ll be streamed live on Twitch. Find the full schedule, participating teams, and format on Ubisoft’s official site.


Aron Garst looks at esports from a different point of view by tackling the ways games are molded and broken by players around the world. He covers Call of Duty, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros, and everything else for Upcomer. You can read his previous work at WIRED, Rolling Stone, ESPN and elsewhere. Rise up red sea.


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