Visa issues loom over reigning TI champs ahead of Bali Dota 2 Major

Like clockwork.

Visa issues have plagued professional Dota 2 throughout the bulk of 2023 and there appears to be no end in sight on that front with further complications looming ahead of the Bali Major this week. This time, it’s affecting the reigning TI champions.

Tundra Esports’ 33 revealed the issue in a post-match interview on May 23 following the team’s victory over D1 Hustlers. When Admir “lizZard” Salkanović asked about the squad’s plans for preparation ahead of the Indonesian tournament, 33 responded: “Even if we qualify to the Major I probably will not be able to go.”

The team, which sits atop the DPC WEU Division One ladder, will still push forward with bootcamp plans, the off-laner added, but Tundra will most likely do so with a substitute.

Video by Shemska Dota

The top four squads from the Western European division will qualify for the Bali Major, the first large-scale Dota 2 tournament in the country’s history. It is set to begin on June 28. Tundra’s strong start at Division One Tour Three means the team is highly likely to earn a coveted spot at the third Major of the year.

Tundra will be looking to rebound from their top-six finish at ESL One Berlin following losses to 9Pandas and Team Liquid.

With news the squad may not be complete should they even confirm their participation in Bali though, they’ll be doing it the tough way if they require a stand-in for 33.

Related: One region completely bombed out of Dota 2s Berlin Major

Indonesia has a track record when it comes to restricting entry to Israeli nationals. The country lost the right to host the FIFA Under-20 Football World Cup after Bali governor Wayan Koster refused to host the Israel football squad. FIFA ultimately moved the tournamentwhich had been delayed for two yearsto Argentina.

It’s the latest in a spate of visa problems affecting pro Dota 2. The Berlin Major in April was hit heaviest, with four teams needing to make emergency substitutions ahead of the glamorous Dota Pro Circuit tournament.

Such issues have arisen more commonly following the COVID pandemic with DreamLeague Season 19 in April 2023 and the Arlington and Stockholm Majors in 2022 also affected by player and team withdrawals.

The IO Esports Bali Major is still on track to begin on June 28. Dot Esports has reached out to Tundra Esports but at the time of publishing has not received a reply.

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