After flying home to China from Kyiv, Ukraine, Team Aster's Dota2 team has reportedly been in contact with one of the flight passengers, who was later confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, ushering the quarantine of four of their members.
Although the Chinese Dota2 team have yet to confirm nor deny whether any of their players have been infected by the deadly virus, Team Aster unveiled they are taking the necessary preventive steps and putting four of their players in a designated quarantine facility.
"There's a confirmed COVID-19 case on our players' return flight to Shanghai 4 players (except Sccc) and team manager are currently at the designated quarantine facility," read Team Aster's announcement on their Twitter page.
The members of the team, who have been quarantined are Kee "ChYuan" Chyuan Ng, Lin "Xxs" Jing, Ye "BoBoKa" Zhibiao and team's captain Pan "Fade" Yi.
Due to the quarantine of four members, Aster have also announced they will not be able to participate in any online tournaments before the end of the month when more details about the condition of their players should become available.
The supposed infection happened on the flight from Ukraine, where Team Aster spent most of the month, since they won StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3. While in Ukraine, Aster were trying to get travel visas for their players in a bid to attend ESL One Los Angeles Major, which ended up postponed to a later date, amid the VOCID-19 concerns, which made it difficult for several teams to get travel visas for their players.
After the Major was announced to be postponed, ChYuan, Xxs, BoBoKa and Fade decided to travel back home to China together, taking a connecting flight from Finland, where they came in contact with a passenger, who was later diagnosed with the virus. Song "Sccc" Chun, on the other side, decided to take a flight from Germany, which ended up being a smart decision, as he was not exposed to the virus.
“GG, guys, we got ganked,” comically said Fade on his Weibo account.
“Someone three rows off our seats on the plane that we took from Finland to China was diagnosed. We were about to be quarantined as close contacts, what a stroke of bad luck for us… Sccc took a flight from Germany and turned out to be fine. Sccc is so damn good.”
ChYuan added further explanation of the team's situation on his Twitter account.
"We were informed by government officials that someone on our flight back from Finland has been tested positive for COVID-19. All 4 of us except SCCC will be under quarantine in a designated centre in isolation," said ChYuan.
"Since we got back from Kyiv, we’ve been under home quarantine, therefore we’re only going to be there until the 29th."
In the follow-up Tweet, Aster's No.2 further ushered everyone to do the same as his team and do their part in preventing the spread of the coronavirus by either self-quarantine or practise self-distancing and other preventive measures.
"We’ve done our part to take necessary safety precaution while travelling. Hopefully there’ll be a silver lining to this unfortunate situation."
The team is currently in quarantine and is expected to remain so until the end of the week, however, Aster members will likely continue to isolate themselves throughout April.
The news of Aster members supposed infection with COVID-19 comes shortly after Team Liquid's Apex Legends player Brenden “Casper” Marino tested positive for coronavirus, as revealed by Casper himself on his Twitter page earlier on Tuesday.
"COVID test came back positive," said Casper.
"The nurses aren’t very concerned for someone my age it’s pretty much just like a cold. Said it should be about 8-12 more days till I should start feeling a lot better. Now to sit in my room for 2 weeks straight."
Casper was recently competing at Call of Duty: Warzone Twitch Rivals qualifiers, mentioning he is not feeling well and that he was experiencing symptoms related to the virus for several days.
In his earlier Tweet, Casper claimed he woke up on March 21 with a sore throat, headache, chest pain and was spitting up blood. His symptoms were supposedly getting worse as the days went on until he decided to get tested. On a more positive note, Casper stated that nurses at the hospital where he took the test said he they're not concerned about his condition due to his young age and that he should be fine in about a week or two.
Those two, are however not isolated incidents in the esports world, which has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak both in the cancellation of esports events and quarantine of individual esports athletes. It remains to be seen how the spread of COVID-19 will affect the esports industry in the long run, however, given that most of the events can transfer to an online format, we can rest assured esports won’t come to a standstill anytime soon.