(Banner image: Ubisoft/Kirill B.)
Initially, the APAC Closed Qualifiers were meant to be held in Thailand, in a LAN environment, according to an announcement from Ubisoft. Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions, the matches will have to be held online.
Additionally, Knights have forfeited their spot in the competition due to Canada's travel restrictions for a potential Six Invitational, and a yet-to-be-named Knights player retiring from competitive play. Harper Hayward was most recently not seen with the team, with team coach Jed "pikniq" Dixon having played in his stead in the Oceanic Nationals Finals.
Invictus Gaming International will take their place in the Closed Qualifier instead.
The event details are still being finalized, but the current plan is to have the competition on the same dates as before: Jan 8-9.
CYCLOPS athlete gaming, Talon Esports, APR, and Invictus will thus be the four participants. Invictus are the next team up in terms of SI Points, and therefore take the last spot in the tournament now that Knights have forfeited their spot.
APAC has been surging as a region during 2021. High placings at Majors and emerging teams like DWG KIA and CAG have made the region one to genuinely fear during international events. Recent investments into national leagues like the Japan League have shown Ubisoft's intention to keep growing the game in this burgeoning region.