OG’s Russian members have been unable to obtain visas to travel to Arlington. Ceb will stand-in for the missing OG captain.

OG will once again play a DPC Major without their team captain as Mikhail “Misha” Agatov, and team coach Evgenii “Chuvash” Makarov, have been denied visas to enter the US. The news that Misha and Chu would be absent from the PGL Arlington Major 2022 broke on OG’s social media on Friday (July 29th) afternoon.

Chu and Misha are both Russian nationals. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russian and Ukrainian nationals have struggled to obtain US visas. Or, in some cases, even travel outside of the country. It was confirmed on July 28th, that fellow Russian Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko would miss the Major as well, due to visa issues. At the time of writing, none of the three EEU teams, Outsiders, Natus Vincere, or Team Spirit, had reported on their status at the Major.

Alongside the announcement of Misha’s absence came the news that Sébastien “Ceb” Debs would once again break retirement. Ceb played with OG in their successful ESL One Stockholm 2022 campaign that saw OG triumph. At that Major, Ceb was also replacing Misha, who has been plagued by visa issues for much of 2022. The team captain was also absent from GAMERS GALAXY: Invitational Series Dubai 2022, where he was replaced by Chuvash.

Arlington’s visa woes

Visa and other travel issues have plagued the Arlington Major. Up to a point where its competitive integrity is starting to become questionable. As of now, 14 main roster players, including the entirety of Team Xtreme, will be absent from the Major. TSM, a team that didn’t qualify for the Major, but have already booked their ticket to The International 2022, will have four players at the Major. They’ll be standing in for two seperate teams.

While fans will be excited to see the return of Ceb to replace Misha, and former OG teammate Anathan “ana” Pham, these un-retirements are tarnished by the fact that the Arlington Major will be extremely depleted. At Stockholm, 19 players who qualified were absent. If one more team struggles to get it’s roster to the event, we may match or surpass that figure. In an event that will likely decide which eight remaining teams will get directly invited to TI11, it’s worrying that so many will be absent, or missing their starters. 

Moreover, the elation over the return of a Dota 2 Major to the US will now be tainted by the fact it may have been a very bad decision to host a Major there in the first place. Players from entire regions, including China, SEA, and EEU, are struggling to obtain visas for the US. It may be a long time before we see another Major cross the Atlantic. 

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Michael Hassall -

Michael Hassall

| Twitter: @hoffasaurusx

Michael is a UK-based content creator who caught the esports bug in 2010, but took eight years to figure out he should write about it. Throwing away a promising career in marketing and PR, he now specialises in MOBAs, covering League of Legends, Dota 2, and esports in general since 2019. When not glued to tournaments taking place on the other side of the globe, he spends time nurturing an unhealthy addiction to MMOs and gacha games.