Last Chance Qualifier turned into a 'LANdemic' for North America -
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Due to a rise in conflicting COVID-19 test results on the second day of the first VALORANT LAN in North America, the Last Chance Qualifier was postponed and dubbed the LANdemic by pros.

The first day of the Last Chance Qualifier continued as scheduled despite issues with the server connections and production problems. As the first VALORANT LAN held in NA, there were bound to be hiccups. However, the real problem arose on the second day of the tournaments when players from Rise and FaZe Clan began testing positive for COVID-19.

FaZe Clan and Rise test positive

Before the event, teams and players were tested multiple times to ensure that they were in compliance with the LA County COVID-19 guidelines. According to FaZe Clan member Andrej “babybay” Francisty, he was tested multiple times but had one false-positive test that ultimately forced him to quarantine.

“I’m fully vaccinated,” stated babybay on Twitter. “I tested negative multiple days in a row. I tested positive and then negative 10 minutes after. Can’t play on stage and have to quarantine? LA covid rules are different bro sheeeeeesh.”

Rise’s Ryan “Shanks” Ngo responded to babybay’s Tweet after the match between FaZe Clan and Rise was postponed, saying “welcome to the club” to explain that he too had gotten a false-positive test. The influx of positive COVID-19 tests on the second day of the Last Chance Qualifier forced Riot to push the remaining games to the next day. Shortly after VCT announced that the games would be paused, Riot Games made the additional announcement that Thursday’s matches would also be canceled.

VALORANT pros respond to the backlash

Sentinel’s Michael “dapr” Gulino spoke about the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Last Chance Qualifier event as the matches were postponed. Due to the recent success of Sentinels at Masters 2, they did not have to attend the Last Chance Qualifier to make it to Champions at the end of the year.

“How the f*** all these people at lcq testing positive,” questioned dapr on Twitter. “What you guys doing at the hotel.”

The comment was met with joking replies from those from teams that were at the event, but the sentiment stands. VALORANT has hosted two international LAN events in Europe earlier this year that has gone off without any known COVID-19 issues. Additionally, there have been other regions, like South Korea, that have held multiple LAN tournaments without issues either.

Brendan “BcJ” Jensen from XSET, one of the four teams that got to compete on the first day of the tournament, spoke out about how the event would have continued without issue if the false-positive tests had not been in play.

“Twitter is making LCQ sound like the worst event ever when in reality it would’ve ran perfectly if nobody had gotten false positive on their rapid tests,” said BcJ on Twitter. “They are doing their best to manage it but there is a point where they hear our message and are doing their best to fix it.”

With the Last Chance Qualifier officially moving online and the teams forced to go home, many were disappointed by how the LANdemic turned out. The phrase was first coined by 100 Thieves’ Nick “nitr0” Cannella, who had helped his team make it to the upper bracket final of the event before it was shut down. The Last Chance Qualifier will return before Champions and is rumored to take place again in roughly 12 days.

Danny Appleford is an esports journalist for Upcomer that started writing for Daily Esports in 2020. He now specializes in articles surrounding League of Legends, Call of Duty, VALORANT and Halo.