After being forced to leave behind two players who were unable to secure U.S. visas, LGD.Forever Young will attend The Boston Major 2016 with two substitutes from Vici Gaming, according to a report from JoinDOTA's Lawrence "Malystryx" Phillips.
The report, which is based on a translation of a Weibo post LGD Gaming made Wednesday morning, says that VG's Position 1 carry Yang "END" Pu will stand in for LGD.FY's Du "Monet" Peng and VG's Position 5 support Leong "DDC" Fatmeng will stand in for LGD.FY's Luo "lpc" Puchao. The full roster for the event will be:
- Yang "END" Pu, 1
- Xie "Super!" Junhao, 2
- Yao "Yao" Zhengzheng, 3
- Zhang "xiao8" Ning, 4
- Leong "DDC" Fatmeng, 5
Though Valve's ruleset for the Boston Major only allows each team to field one emergency sub, LGD's Weibo claims that Valve granted their appeal to field two so that they can still play at the event. The report did not give a reason why LGD.FY will not field registered sub Lu "Maybe" Yao, who attended TI6 and may still have a valid U.S. visa.
DDC is no stranger to LGD, having teamed with xiao8 and Yao on LGD's primary roster on-and-off over the past three years. END hasn't played for LGD before, but he's been a teammate of DDC for the better part of a year, playing with him on LV Gaming, EHOME and Vici Gaming Reborn. Both players attended TI6 with valid U.S. visas in August as part of VG.Reborn, and were later promoted to VG's primary roster. VG fell short of qualifying for Boston, meaning that its players are eligible to play for another team that does attend the event.
LGD.FY, formed by LGD after TI6 and helmed by Chinese veteran Zhang "xiao8" Ning, qualified for Boston by defeating EHOME.Keen and iG.Vitality at the Chinese main qualifier in October. However, according to a Weibo post LGD made Nov. 17, Monet and lpc were rejected for U.S. visas after their first round of interviews, along with Xiao "Jixing" Zihao, who plays for LGD's primary roster. According to Wednesday's followup post, Jixing was approved after a second round of interviews, but Monet and lpc were once again rejected.
LGD.FY were not the only Chinese team who were rejected for U.S. visas ahead of Boston. Invictus Gaming also posted a Weibo Nov. 17 claiming the entire roster of iG.Vitality, who took China's second qualified spot at the event, were turned down for visas after their first round of interviews. The incident prompted a lengthy statement from the org on Nov. 20, which railed against the fickle U.S. visa application process.
In its statement, the org said that iG.V's players had a second round of interviews slated for Nov. 22, but the results haven't yet been announced. Though Valve has now shown willingness to allow exceptions to its one-sub rule in visa-related situations, it's unlikely iG.V will be able to field subs for its entire roster. If they are rejected again, then they will likely have to be replaced in Boston by LGD Gaming, who placed third in the Chinese qualifier.
This is also not the first time LGD have been held back by visa issues at Valve-sponsored U.S. events. This summer, former LGD player Xue "September" Zhichuan’s visa application for TI6 was denied, and LGD were forced to use Wang "Banana" Jiao as a sub. They went on to place in the Bottom 8 in Seattle, a disappointing finish after placing in the Top 4 at The Manila Major and earning a direct invite to TI.
The Boston Major 2016 group stage kicks off on Dec. 3-4, with the main event set to take place on Dec. 7-10 at the Wang Theater.