Both Chiefs and Order have found themselves unable to attend the upcoming NA Valorant Last Chance Qualifier and will miss their chance at Champions.
With less than two weeks to go until the North American Last Chance Qualifier for Champions, OCE teams Chiefs and Order have announced that they will be unable to attend the event. This has caused a massive shift for the tournament, leaving OCE with no representation at the event.
Why couldn't OCE teams attend?
"Both the Chiefs and ORDER's respective teams have spent months competing in various qualifiers to earn their spot in the VCT 2021: North America last chance qualifier," the teams said in a joint press release. "We were looking forward to being able to prove ourselves at the event; which would have been our first opportunity to face international teams and showcase what our region is capable of. Across both traditional sports and esports, the OCE region always punches above our weight and consistently delivers on the international stage. this event was a key opportunity that was fundamental to the ecosystem as a whole. Not only was it the first valorant LAN event for the players, but also a huge opportunity under the spotlight for potential scouting, and invaluable international stage experience. unfortunately, this experience is always few and far between for our region."
For Riot's part, they responded saying that the format for the event - a single-elimination tournament up until Quarterfinals - will have to shift as a result of this development.
"Ahead of the NA/OCE Last Chance Qualifier, we have been working to secure travel to and from LA fro ORDER and Chiefs Esports Club, the two qualifying teams from the Valorant Oceania Tour," Riot said, elaborating that it was a combination of travel restrictions and documentation issues. "We share your disappointment in this outcome and will work towards bringing this exciting region back for future events. We are grateful to each team for exhausting all available options in an attempt to attend. Both organizations will be compensated for this unfortunate outcome, and to recognize both teams' strong season."
Oceanic Valorant players stiffed on another opportunity
OCE players have yet to make a splash on the international stage, as they have not had a chance to perform on LAN. Unfortunately, due to ongoing travel restrictions put in place due to the delta variant of COVID-19, it's yet another consequence that esports has felt.
"From a commercial and media perspective as well, this event would have strengthened the local scene through core partnerships developed and led to significant positive impact for both organizations as they continue to lead the development of esports locally," the teams continued in their press release. "Unfortunately, neither team will be able to attend the event due to last-minute travel complications. both organizations worked persistently to secure travel for their teams, and are disheartened to learn the news at this late stage. While this is a very disappointing outcome, to a preventable scenario, we look forward to the open dialogue we now have with Riot to improve the opportunities for the OCE region and create a structured ecosystem with relevant global pathways."
Riot stated that changes to the format will be forthcoming in the next few days. It could serve as a chance to revise the format for the event, which has proven to be wildly unpopular with the player base. With two less teams, it seems likely that the event will proceed as a double-elimination event.