Gambit Gaming’s core line-up is going to miss the fifth stage of LCS EU Summer that takes place in London from June 21st to June 22nd. The reason behind it is that four Russian players cannot get a visa to Great Britain.
It takes from three to six weeks for Russian citizens to acquire this visa, and, on top of that, players don’t have a chance to go abroad during this period, since they have to leave their foreign passports in a consulate.
To our surprise, we found out about LCS taking place in London only from an official announcement published at leagueoflegends.com on May 22nd, meaning that the current split had already begun, even though Riot Games’ representatives should have notified us about it beforehand. In theory, we could have applied for an emergency visa that takes up to two weeks to be acquired, but in this case, we would have to miss two stages in Cologne. It is completely senseless to sacrifice two stages to attend one.
Organizing events like LCS London Roadtrip requires no less than a couple of months, therefore it is obvious that we are the innocent victims of organiziners’ careless actions. They failed to investigate how difficult and lengthy it is for Russian citizens to acquire visa to Great Britain. It is worth paying attention to that we could have acquired visa to Great Britain without any obstacles during the off-season (April 18th – May 19th), should we be informed about games taking place in London in due time.
We have approached Riot Games’ representatives with an inquiry to reschedule our games on a basis that we cannot travel to London due to their own lack of foresight, but our inquiry was declined. Should we skip LCS London Roadtrip, our team not only receives two default losses, but is also subject to severe penalties. In light of it, we are forced to resort to using four substitute players. Consequently, organizers’ careless actions have a negative impact not only on us, but, more importantly, on our fans, who paid for tickets and accommodation and changed their plans for this weekend in order to attend this event and support their favourite team.
It’s not the first instance of Riot Games putting us in a disadvantageous situation. We acknowledge that a decision to remake our match against SK and a refusal to reschedule LCS EU Spring Week 6 games can be considered questionable, but a given event is an indisputable failure of Riot Games.
We won’t hide that up until yesterday organizers were trying to remedy this situation and did their best to make it possible for us to travel to England, but, unfortunately, it was too late to find a viable solution. Essentially, acquiring visa is not an issue as long as it is addressed in good time.
As for our fans, who counted on meeting us in London, we can only express our condolences.