Team Liquid, the reigning LCS champions and 2019 MSI finalists are reportedly experiencing delays with acquiring visas for their junglers Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen and Shern "Shernfire" Cherng Ta as well as their head coach Jang "Cain" Nu-ri, which could see all three miss on the start of 2020 LCS season.
Next season of LCS is rapidly approaching, with less than three weeks separating us from the opening fixture of 2020 LCS Spring. All 10 teams are practising day in and day out, as they make final adjustments to their strategies which they hope will bring them the split title.
But as always the pre-season preparations are not all smooth sailing for some teams, who are battling their own issues, which are making their pre-season slightly more chaotic as they would have liked. While some are still working on finding the needed synergy between the newly acquired players, Team Liquid have a much bigger problem on their hands, as they are unable to bring Broxah, Shernfire and Cain to the United States due to delayed process of their visa approval.
This, while not being the sole visa incident in the history of LCS is a massive concern for the reigning LCS champions, who might not be able to kick off their 2020 season the way they had hoped.
Last year, we already saw OpTic organization with the same issues, when their Academy team coach Kublai "Kubz" Barlas was unable to acquire visa on time and got stuck in Canada for months, while TSM Academy team support Erik "Treatz" Wessén had to play in the Academy Finals from outside the country.
Those, however, are only a few players who experienced issues with acquiring visa to play in the LCS, as there are quite a few more examples with players, coaches and other members of the team having difficulties when trying to get approved to play in the North American League of Legends league.
While some or most such incidents go relatively unnoticed, the current struggles of Team Liquid have taken the LoL community by storm as it raises serious concerns about the team's future, at least in the opening stages of 2020 LCS Spring Split. Voicing the issue was Team Liquid co-owner Steve "LiQuiD112" Arhancet, who took on Twitter to mention Team Liquid have trouble practising without either of their junglers and their coach.
"So this sucks, there are delays processing visas for Cain, Broxah and Shernfire," said Steve Arhancet.
"We hope they all may be able to compete at the start of season, but that may not happen. This has also affected our Jan team practice. We are evaluating backup options should they be required."
Practising without a coach and a single player in one of the most important roles understandably is a serious problem, especially considering LCS has seen the arrival of many very talented players throughout the off-season, making 2020 season arguably one of the most stacked seasons in LCS to date.
Responding to Steve Arhancet's Tweet were many concerned fans as well as some big League of Legends personalities, who offered a helping hand.
One of the first to respond was Ovilee May, an LCS broadcast host, who urged Steve Arhancet to get her to Washington D.C. in order to "sort things out".
Joining the conversation were also a well-known LoL personality and streamer Julian "Tarzaned" Farokhian, who offered to join the team as a new support, as well as Team Liquid's streamer and a former professional player and coach for the team, Christian "IWDominate" Rivera who made it clear he is ready to step in and once more put on Team Liquid’s jersey if needed by stating "Alright boys, it's time to dust off the ol' mouse n keyboard".
Whether Team Liquid will decide to bring in either of the two is at this point anyone's guess, however, one thing is for sure, they will need to find a proper solution to their problems until the visa issues are taken care of.
In order to avoid such incidents, where a team is left without crucial members of the roster, Germany already made a huge step forward last month, when they announced the first-ever esports dedicated visa, which allows for esports players, coaches and other individuals involved in esports to acquire visas to play in the European esports scene significantly quicker and with much less hassle.
That being said, the USA have not yet implemented any esports visa as such as of yet nor were there any news regarding any movements in that direction. However considering the NA scene is suffering from visa issues year after year, we can expect the North American esports scene to start moving in the same direction as Germany and make the needed changes in order to help the esports scene grow even further.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.