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Nightmare on LATAM street: What happened to the LATAM SI Closed Qualifier?

Following a disastrous week in LATAM, South America and Mexico are in a critical situation.

Banner Image: Furious Gaming

If this had taken place 10 years ago, we could be talking of a Gordon Ramsey’s Hotel Hell episode.

This weekend has seen a van full of people in pandemic times, filthy ESL chairs, players locked in hotel rooms, cold food, scheduled flights that would eventually be canceled, PCRs lost on their way to the lab, unpaid flights, and TikTok dances. 

It is incredible how this situation has been addressed from beginning to end.

Note: This includes players and staff experiences. A representative from Ubisoft did not immediately reply when asked for a comment.

LATAM SI Closed Qualifiers canceled due to safety protocol breach

Sanitary procedures were reduced to ashes when the 20 players were driven to their hotels in the same van. Not just that, but two players who were in the vehicle tested positive minutes earlier — and according to different players, everyone knew it. 

That alone is enough reason to put the event on hold, but that was not all Atheris was not allowed to play due to a positive test when the rules sent to the players the day before the matches stated otherwise. Later on, players reported issues with the chairs in the venue. 

That was it. The decision to put the event on hold came when Furious Gaming was 2-1 up against Black Dragons. 

Players were locked in their rooms waiting for a final answer. Argentinian and Mexican players had to self-isolate, which was followed by a tsunami of tweets about the conditions of their food — if professional players complain about SI and Major events' food, imagine what they can say about SI Quals food.

Some complained because the food was cold, others because the breakfast was “a can of coke and snacks.”

Also, both South American and Mexican rosters were not able to scrim.

Meanwhile, MIBR and Black Dragons — who were concerned regarding the situation — were lucky enough to spend the days from their gaming houses, scrimming and preparing for the qualifier to kick off again anytime soon. Obviously, it was not their fault at all. 

However, the story was not over yet. Flights would then be moved to the following day just so players had enough time to be properly tested. Then, the unthinkable happened: Furious Gaming’s tests were lost by the woman who took them due to an accident, according to Furious Gaming's Valentino "JV" Jaime

The players would have to go through another PCR.

Meanwhile, the Mexican players would go to the airport after receiving their tickets. Well, not really. Players only got the reservations done, but the tournament organizers allegedly did not pay for the tickets at all. 

And now, after all of this, some players actually tested positive — this is the case of Tomás “TomHagen” Otañi and Mariano “Yekko” Sánchez. They will have to self-isolate for eleven days in Brazil.

LATAM Rainbow Six Siege scene in shambles

The LATAM SI 2022 Qualifier is in real danger right now. Atheris Esports has already announced its departure from the scene, while its players are already looking for a new team. Malvinas Gaming’s youngest player, Richard “blk” Rodríguez, has already announced a switch to Valorant — with many other players teasing with possible changes too. 

To Atheris Esports’ departure, we have to add 9z Team’s a few weeks ago. Furious Gaming discontent is so big that some people already talk about them leaving the scene. Malvinas Gaming could follow. 

Following this weekend's disaster, it is very difficult to say what will happen next. A completely online event is impossible to happen, as Mexican rosters can't play against SA and BR teams from Mexico. 

Both Furious Gaming and Malvinas Gaming have players who tested positive and are currently self-isolating, which will end in 11 days — Jan 29. The Six Invitational starts on Feb 8. This hasn't allowed the teams to play together, causing the squad to claim that the "competitive integrity" of the event is completely ruined. 

South America and Mexico are in a critical situation.

We got to the point where players reach a Six Invitational qualifier, but don’t want to play it. Or can't play it. This weekend will go down in the books as one of the worst managed event in Siege's history. 

Disclaimer: SiegeGG is owned by Gfinity, a tournament organizer that competes with ESL.