Among the teams that have qualified for next week's Contenders Season One Europe LAN Playoffs are 123, the Cinderella story and unsigned runners-up of Season Zero. Looking ahead to the playoffs, 123 has an opening match against Team Gigantti, a team they lost to in the regular season while playing without their usual line-up. History is now set to repeat itself as main tank Tonic has been denied a visa to enter the United States, meaning 123 will be facing the Finns shorthanded once again.
Finally arrived to Ukraine after 14 hours flight and some other delays. I hope I can get USA Visa for Contenders LAN :) pic.twitter.com/jpYJkrdmfh— Tonic (@Toniclol) October 2, 2017
Visa denied. gg wp was close xD— Tonic (@Toniclol) October 2, 2017
One of the original members of the 123 team that made it to the Grand Final of Season Zero, Tonic is a core member of the team. The team definitely missed flex support bock1 when he was absent for the regular season Gigantti match and is likely to feel the loss of Tonic just as much if not more, considering the stakes. At the time of writing, 123 is yet to find a replacement.
This is far from the first time Russian Overwatch players have struggled to acquire visas for tournaments in the US. FaZe's troubles in getting ShaDowBurn to North America in the pre-Contenders era were a major factor in the team’s inconsistent online performances. Whilst more recently, in the lead up to the Overwatch World Cup Katowice qualifier, Team Russia’s uNFixed and NORGAC were unable to get their own visas. Although, uNFixed said that case was the fault of Blizzard rather than diplomatic issues.
- Simon "snillo" Ekström (DPS)
- Hafþór "Hafficool" Hákonarson (Flex)
- Finnbjörn "Finnsi" Jónasson (Flex)
- Jakob "bock1" Kleveland (Support)
- Dennis "Dennia" Forsblom (Support)