League of Legends World Championships 2022 is right around the corner and the opening stage of the tournament – the Play-In – will kick off on 29th September in Mexico City, Mexico. Teams from around the world have been finalizing their visas to ensure their presence on the international stage of League of Legends Esports. Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, Fnatic is facing issues that could hinder its performance at Worlds.
Late on 23rd September, the European team revealed that its bot lane players tested positive for COVID-19.
Fnatic releases statement
Fnatic released an update to its fans through Twitter, revealing that both Elias “Upset” Lipp and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov had tested positive for COVID-19. The organization added that its journey to Mexico would be delayed as a result.
“We are currently working closely with Riot on the matter and doing absolutely everything within our power to ensure our team arrives safely ahead of their first match on the 29th of September,” it stated in its announcement.
Fnatic maintained that the health and well-being of its players are its first and foremost priority and assured that both Upset and Hyllisang were feeling okay. The organization added that it would provide updates as and when it receives them in the coming days.
The team was just under the lens of the community after Fnatic’s bot-laner talked about the team’s preparation for Worlds 2022. In a conversation with League of Legends personality Nick “LS” De Cesare, Upset stated that Fnatic was leaving for NA on 24th September (Saturday) and was yet to scrim against any team.
The following is the Fnatic roster for Worlds 2022:
Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen – Top
Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz – Jungle
Marek “Humanoid” Brázda – Mid lane
Upset – Attack-damage carry (ADC)
Hyllisang – Support
The team’s substitute player is Louis “BEAN” Schmitz, who is an ADC player. Notably, BEAN filled in Upset’s place last year at Worlds. Hours before Fnatic’s first game at Worlds 2021, it announced that its starting ADC Upset would not be playing for the entire tournament since he had to head home to attend to an “urgent family matter.” The exact reason behind Upset’s departure was not disclosed to the public.
It will be interesting to see whether the players recover and travel to Mexico for the Play-in phase in time. The team’s hopes of going further in Worlds 2022 entirely depend on the outcomes of this opening stage and it will be unfortunate if it has to participate with two substitute players.
Fnatic is scheduled to take on North America’s Evil Geniuses in its first match of the tournament on 29th September, followed by a match against Chief Esports.