The VCT EMEA stage 1 Champions FPX - FunPlus Phoenix will not be attending the VCT Masters in Reykjavik. FPX dominated entire VCT EMEA Challengers and were picked as they favourites to win the Stage 1 Masters as well. VCT Masters 1 will begin from April 10th and with Team Liquid as the replacement for FPX.
FPX are not able to complete their roster for the event due to travel restrictions for players because of the ongoing issue in between Russia and Ukraine. Therefore the organizers will not permit the FPX to participate in masters, but as the number 1 seed from EMEA they will receive suitable amount of VCT leader board points (at least 150) and a portion of prize pool for VCT Masters. Team Liquid as the 4th seed from EMEA will be replacing the FPX team and G2 Esports will become first seed from EMEA and Fnatic will be second seed.
FPX disclosed that ANGE1, Shao and Suygetsu are not able to leave their countries for Iceland and hence cannot attend the event. Also Ardiis is recently tested positive for Covid and is also not allowed to participate. After considering all the possibilities including three substitutes and playing remotely they will not be attending VCT Stage 1 Masters in Iceland. This new was heart breaking for FPX fans as this would have been their first international event and team also looked this good for the first first time since Masters 1 in 2021.
Official statement about FPX and VCT Masters-
After the grand finals of VCT EMEA Stage 1 Challengers, the organisers posted an official statement on VCT EMEA twitter account to inform the fans briefly. Here is the official statement-
Travel restrictions in Ukraine and Russia, as well as existing COVID-19 regulations, continue to create numerous challenges for international travel. Over the past few weeks, our events, competitive operations, and mobility teams worked to find solutions to ensure the FunPlus Phoenix roster could attend Masters Reykjavik.
These options included extending the roster lock window, relaxing emergency substitute rules, and liaising with the relevant government officials to secure visas and travel permissions. Unfortunately, and through no fault of their own, FunPlus Phoenix will not be able to field a complete roster in Reykjavik. While we want to be as accommodating as possible, there is a need to ensure a minimum level of roster continuity out of fairness to all participants in the competition. We want to congratulate the team on a strong performance and will be evaluating how to recognize their achievement with VCT points and a portion of the prize pool.
In light of this development, Team Liquid will be invited to participate at Masters Reykjavik as representatives of the EMEA region. This will ensure that all three EMEA slots are occupied by teams from the region.