NAVI's IEM NY match against forZe postponed as Perfecto tests positive for coronavirus
The decision was widely criticised by forZe's players, who believe that their opponents had special treatment.
Natus Vincere's IEM New York CIS Group A match against forZe has been postponed due to "a health situation", ESL has announced. The decision came shortly after NAVI player Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
NAVI and forZe were due to play on Sunday their fourth group stage match in the Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament, with both teams sitting level on points after winning two matches and losing one.
ESL has not yet announced the new date for the match. On Twitter, forZe captain Andrey "Jerry" Mekhryakov said that the postponement suggests preferential treatment for NAVI after Virtus.pro were forced to forfeit the first map of their recent series against K23 as the starting time clashed with a match they were playing for another tournament.
"We realised 30 minutes before the match against NAVI that it was going to be rescheduled," Jerry said. "I know about Covid-19 and Perfecto's situation and it's terrible. When it comes to NAVI, rescheduling is fine. Virtus.pro had to forfeit the first map because of a busy schedule. A ten minute delay resulted in a map forfeit. When NAVI have problems, it's okay. Rules should be the same for everyone."
On Twitter, Ulrich Schulze. Managing Director of Pro Gaming, justified the decision to reschedule the match with "the seriousness of the disease plus the fact that there was calendar availability". He added that this is a standard procedure in other sports and that ESL "did not consider it appropriate to force a team to play in this situation."
Virtus.pro sit at the top of Group A with nine points from three matches. The top three teams from both groups will move on to the single-elimination playoffs, which will culminate in a best-of-five grand final on October 25.