Southeast Asian champions Bren Esports are sadly unable to attend Masters Berlin due to visa issues. Group D will switch to a 3-team round-robin.

With details almost fully set for Masters Berlin, last-minute changes are increasingly difficult to do. However, COVID-19 has yet again reared its' ugly head. Bren Esports, Southeast Asia's #1 seed, will be unable to attend the event.

Riot's official statement on Bren Esports and the consequences. Image credit: <a href="">Riot Games.</a>
Riot's official statement on Bren Esports and the consequences. Image credit: Riot Games.

Philipphine and Southeast Asian esports have always had it tough when it comes to visas. Repeatedly, we've seen tournaments in other games cancelled there, or the attendance of an SEA team at a tournament be confirmed last-minute. It seems this time, however, COVID has finally pushed things over the edge.

The impact of Bren Esports' absence on the Berlin format

In response, Riot will be implementing a similar solution to what they did at MSI earlier this year for League of Legends. At MSI, the Vietnamese representatives GAM Esports were unable to attend. That event was set to have four groups of four teams - GAM's group was lowered to 3 teams, without another team being invited. It was this group where Oceanic team Pentanet.GG would make their big upset run to reach the second round.

For Masters Berlin, Bren Esports were set to play in Group D, alongside Sentinels, G2 Esports, and F4Q. Instead of the GSL style they're running with all other groups, Group D will be switched to a round-robin among those three teams. The top two will advance, and the rest of the tournament will be unaffected.

In the end, it's supremely disappointing to miss out on having one of the teams attend. Bren Esports certainly would have provided some great moments, like all teams will. Plenty in the SEA and Philippine community were excited for how they could show off the region's skill as well. Bren Esports will still get the minimum 175 VCT points and prize money. They may automatically qualify for Champions still - that depends on how Paper Rex, the other SEA representative, perform - and certainly will participate in the Last Chance Qualifier at least.

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