Visa issues rears its ugly head for the first time in a big tournament this season as it forces two teams to miss their star mid laners for ESL Hamburg 2018.
Evil Geniuses were the first to break the unfortunate news. Due to a visa delay, the North American organization would have to play the tournament without Syed Sumail ‘SumaiL’ Hassan. After a few hours, Forward Gaming made a similar announcement. This time concerning SumaiL’s brother and their own mid laner, Yawar ‘YawaR‘ Hassan.
While both players have achieved a permanent residency status in the United States, they still use their Pakistani passports, which may have what caused the delay.
As a result of the delay, Evil Geniuses and Forward Gaming will play ESL Hamburg 2018 with Quinn ‘CCnC‘ Callahan and Steve ‘Xcalibur‘ Ye, respectively, standing in for their mid laners.
What Does This Mean for ESL Hamburg 2018?
One of the heavy favourites to win the tournament, playing without SumaiL means a lot for Evil Geniuses. Although CCnC is a highly skilled player in his own right, SumaiL plays a totally different play style, one that’s predicated on winning the middle lane to force opposing players to make the necessary rotations and make space for the rest of his team to farm.
With CCnC, Tal ‘Fly‘ Aizik will have to change up his draft. However, it is worth noting that he is not new to drafting for a mid laner that’s not a particularly dominant laner. Case in point, he was able to get the most out of Anathan ‘ana‘ Pham during his time as OG’s captain, leading the team to two Major championships with the then-rookie manning the mid lane for them.
The same goes for Forward Gaming, with Xcalibur excelling in totally different heroes.
Given these news, the chances of Virtus.Pro and Team Secret winning ESL Hamburg 2018 just went way up.
How do you think the last-minute roster changes will affect the results of ESL Hamburg 2018? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.