Their debut has been postponed and Liquid has been forced to call last-minute stand-ins.
Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin and Igor “Redgar” Vlasov, two Russian VALORANT stars Team Liquid signed for 2023 after restructuring the roster in November, won’t debut at Red Bull Home Ground three as the organization had planned because of visa issues.
The $100,000 VALORANT tournament in Europe also features Vitality, Fokus, 100 Thieves, KRÜ Esports, Cloud9, Team Heretics, and FUT Esports and was supposed to be Liquid’s first tournament with its fresh lineup. With nAts and Redgar having to sit out from the action, the organization will field the former Fnatic player Enzo Mestari and former G2 player Johan “Meddo” Lundborg as stand-ins for the Russian duo.
“The requested visas for our players nAts and Redgar werent ready in time,” Liquid said in a statement. “We are truly disappointed we won’t be there as the team you expected, but nevertheless we will participate in the tourney. Meddo and Enzo will be joining as stand-ins. We look forward to play some insane games with them!”
Instead of playing the tourney, nAts will run Liquid’s watch party to interact with the team’s fans during Red Bull Home Ground three, Liquid said.
These are disappointing news for the Liquid camp, who were hoping to test the former Gambit and M3C stars nAts and Redgar in official matches before 2023. Liquid’s roster for the tournament feature Enzo, Meddo, soulcas, Jamppi, Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel, and Dmitriy “dimasick” Matvienko as the sixth-player.
Although this is not the best situation for Liquid, they still get to test Sayf, who was signed alongside nAts and Redgar. This will be a good opportunity for Meddo and Enzo to show their worth as they haven’t been picked up by a franchised team yet.
Red Bull Home Ground three will run in Manchester, England from Dec. 9 to 11. The $100,000 tournament will use patch 5.10.