Cloud9 may struggle in Stockholm without Zach, the team's in-game leader.
A second prominent Apex pro has tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling to Stockholm ahead of this weekends $1 million LAN playoffs, which will mark the circuit’s return to in-person competition after more than two years away.
Cloud9s Zach Mazer, the team’s in-game leader, confirmed Wednesday he had tested positive for COVID-19 twice, making him the second pro to contract the virus this week.
Given Mazer’s positive test today, he is unlikely to play in this weekend’s tournament. The event’s strict Covid protocols require everyone attending the tournament to test daily. If the result is positive, competitors are barred from entering the venue.
Mazer announced his teammates on Cloud9 tested negative today. Mazer also volunteered that he has had two vaccination jabs and has been as cautious as possible with his exposure to others. However, even players who prudently limited their exposure to the virus had to travel in an atmosphere that has suddenly become lax in regard to health and safety. Sweden dropped all its pandemic restrictions on April 1 and many airlines no longer require masks. Even vaccinated people can catch the contagious Omicron variant of the virus, and it’s impossible to lower risk to zero.
To make matters worse, some Apex players have been freely socializing without masks in bootcamps and restaurants ahead of the tournament, and many are reportedly unvaccinated.
While getting a negative test result by Friday may be unlikely, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Mazer. Earlier this week, talented Australian controller player for Reignite, Noyan “Genburten” Ozkose, tested positive for the virus. Today, he announced he had tested negative, allowing him to compete if he continues to provide negative test results this week.
Teams are allowed a substitute if anyone on the starting roster cannot play, and Cloud9 seems to have registered their coach, Jamison “PVPX” Moore, as their fourth.
The group stage of the tournament begins this Friday, April 29.