Benched Heroes miss out on RMR
Illuminar will compete at the Major qualifier as the mix-team failed to acquire visas.
The week-long saga about Benched Heroes' attendance of the Europe RMR has come to a conclusion as Owen "smooya" Butterfield and co. have confirmed that they will not be able to attend the tournament in Malta.
With two players not able to acquire visas in time, Buğra "Calyx" Arkın and Eugene "Aunkere" Karyat, the team is forced to forfeit their slot to Illuminar, the seventh-placed team from the final open qualifier.
Benched Heroes players have publicly commented on their struggles to get visas over the past week, with Aunkere's attendance under question after visa processes for Russians traveling to the European Union have been tightened.
Missing just one player would not stop them from attending, as the team could use substitute Thomas "Thomas" Utting instead, but with Turkish player Calyx also not getting his visa, the team was down to just four players. Calyx commented on Twitter on September 27 that it is the "first time my visa is getting denied, so I’m in shock."
As last-minute attempts of the 24-year-old to acquire a visa have not been successful and the rules do not allow them to use an additional substitute or start matches 4v5, Benched Heroes were forced to withdraw from the event, with their slot going to Illuminar.
"History likes to repeat itself," Michał "MICHU" Müller wrote on Twitter, refering to his time in Envy in 2020. "Two years ago, together with Calyx, we advanced to the LAN event in Rio de Janeiro for the final stage of Major quals, but the tournament was canceled due to the pandemic. Today - we are not going to the same tournament."
smooya stated that he was "crushed" after "missing out due to something sadly easily preventable," and used the opportunity to praise former NAVI Junior player Rodion "fear" Smyk, who was calling the shots for the mix. "All I ask is that a team actually gives fear a chance out of all this. He is a legit professional and deserves this the least, hoping for good things for you brother."
Due to the team replacement happening within a week from the tournament start, no reseeding will be done for the teams and Illuminar will slot directly into Benched Heroes' spot in Europe RMR B. However, this might not be the end replacements, as three teams with Russian players ― Aurora, K23, and 1WIN ― were reportedly in danger of missing out due to visa issues.
The next replacement team in line is Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov's Forward, with BLUEJAYS, Anonymo, and Finest next in line as substitutes if needed. ESL has organized a replacement play-in event, which will conclude on Thursday, to seed the mentioned teams in order for replacements if they end up being needed.