PGL Arlington Major 2022 is not looking great despite its launch date closing on August 4. It’s a stand-in galore as US visa denies impact seven teams or thirteen players in total. And certainly not the situation any DPC (2021-22) team wants to be in, as the final major before the International 2022 (TI11).
Stand-in galore at Arlington Major 2022
First up, the most impacted team at Arlington Major, Xtreme Gaming, is already out of the competition. This came after several failed attempts to apply for a US visa made the team withdraw entirely.
Xtreme probably evaluated the situation whereby they wouldn’t be in the running for top-twelve in DPC rankings, even if they win big at PGL Major Arlington. Hence, they rather take their chances at TI11 qualifiers when it comes, and they will spend this time practicing rigorously.
While Xtreme has already opted out of the nasty situation, many other teams do not have such luxury. Notably, Fnatic, despite requiring to play with three stand-ins, still wants to attend the Arlington Major. This is because Fnatic has 1020 DPC points or tenth-place in DPC rankings, so their direct invite is at stake. Furthermore, Fnatic obtained permission to participate with three stand-ins without penalty, since the US visa denies are not their fault.
Five teams field substitutes already
RNG is bringing Anathan “ana” Pham out of retirement again by having him stand-in place of Daniel “Ghost” Chan. Ana’s appearance is jolly news, but after his poor showing with Team Liquid at Riyadh Masters 2022, we have our doubts on his performance. Regardless, it is a Chinese powerhouse we are talking about, so team synergy without communication could be their cup of tea.
Additionally, Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko from Entity couldn’t make it, so Jonáš “SabeRLight-” Volek will be subbing in. As the Stockholm Major runner-up, SabeRLight- has been in the spotlight for his consistent farming pattern, albeit TeamSoloMid’s performance has dipped drastically.
It’s also not a great circumstance for Talon Esports either, as they head into their first Major without a player. Worawit “Q” Mekchai will be watching his team play from the comfort of his home. Kenny “Xepher” Deo will be in charge of the semi-support role for Talon Esports.
Finally, South American talents, Herrera “Darkmago” Gonzalo and Thomas Jaulis “Valqui” Romero, will have to skip the Arlington Major too. While Valqui already has a confirmed stand-in, Christian “Accel” Cruz, to coach beastcoast, Thunder Awaken is still scrambling to find the best candidate for their mid-player alternative.
A stepdown for Major-level tournaments
Valve-sponsored majors are arguably second to the International championship in terms of competitiveness. After all, it gathers the best of every region to play under the same roof.
Hence, it’s a shame that an external cause, such as US visas crippled many teams’ likelihood to play at TI11. In fact, looking back at this season’s DPC, it has been rather unappealing. From the cancelled first major to the Chinese teams’ no-shows at Stockholm Major due to Shanghai’s lockdown, and now this, US visas of all things.
Anyways, not to spoil the expectations any further, the Arlington Major still features full-fledged teams, such as Team OG, PSG.LGD, Team Spirit, BOOM Esports, and many others. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope that no more teams get affected.
There is a history of US visa denials for Dota 2 Majors
When was the last time we had a major in the United States? Well, it’s Boston Major 2016, which costed multiple visas denies, so you would think we learnt that by now, haven’t we? – US visas are among the strictest visas to obtain and posed a threat to not just majors but even the Internationals. This is why TI Championships since the year 2018 are relocated to alternatives, for instance, China, Bucharest, and this year, Singapore. After all, the last thing any qualified player wants is a denied opportunity to play for $40M in prize pool.
Let’s hope no further changes and problems arise in the following days.