19th of February is an expiration date of a Schengen visa for three our players: Alex Ich, Darien and Diamond, therefore they cannot participate at LCS EU Spring Week 6 that happens in Cologne from 20th to 21st of February.
According to the LCS rules, teams aren't allowed to miss their games, therefore in order to participate in the two upcoming games we are forced to use three substitute players. At the moment we haven't decided whom are we going to recruit, but we will announce their names as soon as we make our choice. We would like to ask our fans and viewers to be respectful to our hurdle and to support us in the given circumstance. Alex Ich, Darien and Diamond will resume their participation in the league at LCS EU Spring Week 7.
Clarification regarding our problem
We are the only professional League of Legends team, whose entire roster not only has to spend a lot of time travelling back and forth on a weekly basis, but also to deal with visa related questions. We were aware of this date approaching beforehand, but were not able to receive new visas. In order to receive them one requires five business days, whereas over the past month and a half we had two business days per week at most, since games this split are played on Thursdays and Fridays, and we are departing to Cologne from Russia on Wednesdays. Last year we were able to receive visas freely, since games were played over the weekend. We started acquiring visas already in November prior to IEM Cologne. Edward and Genja got visas for a year, whereas Alex Ich, Diamond and Darien for three months. The duration of visas depends on the employees of an embassy, whose decision we cannot influence.
After our trip to China to Tencent Gaming Carnival, our players didn't have enough space in their passports required to get new Schengen visas according to the legislation. We applied for new foreign passports immediately, but this process lasts for one-two months, therefore we managed to get them only during the split.