Several players at the 2022 World Championship have contracted COVID-19 before the group stage heads into its second stage, and they will play their games in an isolated environment.

Despite Riot Games’ daily testing, the virus seems to rapidly spread at Worlds 2022. However, there will be no forfeited games. Indeed, Riot Games preemptively reacted with a statement on the matter, noting that their COVID policy states the following:

In the event a competitor returns a positive result for COVID-19, but feels well enough to compete and choose to play, the affected player will play the scheduled match on a LAN network built in the isolation facilities.

Riot Games (LoL Esports) on Twitter

EDward Gaming, DWG KIA, and Gen.G affected by COVID at Worlds 2022

A few teams have already felt COVID-19’s effects at Worlds 2022, with several players playing off-stage until they tested negative. Fnatic has especially felt the struggles, as it started the tournament without support Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov after he contracted the virus before the play-ins began. However, the extent is more severe this time.

Indeed, some of the biggest stars will be missing from the stage. After the recent tests, Gen.G has announced that mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon, substitute Ko “YoungJae” Yeong-jae, and head coach Go “Score” Dong-bin have all contracted the coronavirus. 

Meanwhile, DWG KIA and EDward Gaming were also affected after the recent COVID-positive tests. DWG KIA will play without jungler Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu on stage. Likewise, EDG’s mid laner Lee “Scout” Ye-chan will participate from a remote setup. 

Luckily, it seems like everyone is feeling well enough to compete. Indeed, all aforementioned players will play their upcoming games from the isolation facility. However, the effect on their gameplay remains to be seen.

With more players contracting the virus, it could be a matter of time before someone feels too unwell to play. If that happens, Worlds 2022’s results would suffer a competitive and reputational blow. Beyond results differing from what could have been, the absence of a strict bubble may reflect negatively on Riot at Worlds.

Christian Vejvad covers a variety of esports, with his greatest emphasis being on League of Legends and Counter-Strike. He also dabbles in other popular digital topics, including cryptocurrencies. You can follow Christian on LinkedIn or Twitter.