Alliance could be without their key man in Los Angeles.

Star Alliance controller fragger Miron "Effect" Novikov is in danger of missing the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs. Writing on telegram, the 18 year-old revealed that he had been denied a US visa. This would be the second LAN event that Effect has had to miss, and will be a huge blow to the EMEA side ahead of the event in Los Angeles.

Alliance have not yet named a potential replacement. Battlefy shows that former Alliance player Yuki is still the rosters official substitute. However, Alliance may be able to draft a different player onto the roster ahead of the event starting in two weeks.

Alliance Effect denied US visa

Alliance Effect posted on telegram that he had been denied a US visa. There had not been any indication that there was an issue, with the team practicing and performing well in the Oversight Pro Series warm up event.

Translation: "Was denied a visa"
Translation: "Was denied a visa"

Sadly, visa issues are common with esports events held in the United States. The last ALGS event held in the United States in 2022 was plagued by several visa issues.

EA have taken steps to improve that this time around. Other Russian players like Hardecki, Ojrein and 9impulse of Aurora have all been granted visas ahead of the tournament. Although the action taken by EA clearly has not been enough to help secure Effects entry into the country as of yet.

Photo: EA/Joe Brady
Photo: EA/Joe Brady

Moist Esports have also been locked in a high profile visa struggle. The organisation was forced to drop their roster in order to enable them to be able to play at the event after also being denied visas. This is a different situation to the one Alliance Effect is facing.

There are other high profile players who are reportedly also having visa issues. Team Legend's EZFlash has been a notable absence from pre-event scrims, with XSET's Koyful filling in. Team o7's Naghz and Amphyy have also both expressed concerns about getting a visa. Naghz was unable to compete at the 2022 ALGS Championship in Raleigh due to visa issues.

"Hope is the last thing that will leave us"

In a statement to esports.gg, Alliance remained hopeful that Effect could still get permission to travel for the event. He famously arrived mid-event at the 2023 ALGS Championship in Birmingham, reportedly to spontaneous applause in the player hotel.

According to Alliance, they have a second appointment to try and secure Effect a visa before the event.

An Alliance spokesperson said: "It's true that Effect got his visa denied today. The process is still ongoing and we already have a new time scheduled already. Hope is the last thing that will leave us."

Who could step in for Alliance?

Yuki is the obvious stand in for Alliance at such short notice. He already has chemistry and understanding with Hakis, the teams in game leader. However, after retiring from competition, it is not clear if he would be interested in competing or available for the event.

An additional complication is that Unlucky was a direct replacement for Yuki on the roster. Both players fill the same 'anchor' role and one of them would have to adjust their playstyle and role on the team at very short notice.

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

That could mean Alliance look elsewhere for a replacement for Effect. Any player who failed to qualify for the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs is available as a substitute. That leaves some high profile players free to step in. Players in North America seem the most likely option, given the short notice and potential visa issue.

Two leading candidates that fill the gap left by Alliance Effect are Knoqd and RamBeau. Both players have significant LAN experience and neither will be competing at the event. Other options include Pandxrz and Orioles.

With such a short turnaround to find a replacement for Alliance Effect should they need one, whoever Alliance tap up for the spot should be clear pretty soon.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for full coverage of the ALGS and all things Apex Legends.

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