Virtus.pro (VP) has announced that Igor “iLTW” Filatov will stand-in for Zaur “Cooman” Shakhmurzaev at the LA Major, after Cooman was unable to secure a visa for the tournament.
VP said that they applied for Cooman’s visa multiple times and activated all their resources towards that effort and remarked that “the embassy stuck to its position on denying the visa.”
“Considering the time until the Major left we are forced to make a temporary roster change. The team has been quite successful in working on in-game connections recently, and we were sure the whole roster will compete in LA. Key player swap in such tight timings will most certainly impact our game,” said VP general manager Sergey Glamazda in a statement.
VP remains confident despite the abrupt roster change for the Major, saying that they “evaluate our chances to perform well at the tournament as high” even with iLTW filling in for Cooman.
“[iLTW] has proven himself as one of the best carry players in our region. We are grateful to him and Team Spirit for responding to our request. The team will do their best and not let the fans down. Your support in these couple of weeks is very important for us,” added Glamazda.
VP is not the only team attending the Los Angeles Major whose roster has been disrupted by visa issues, as Team Adroit will also be playing with a stand-in after their captain, Marvin “Boomy” Rushton, was unable to secure a visa.
Chinese teams Royal Never Give Up and Team Aster reportedly have also encountered visa issues with a number of their players and as such will be attending the Major with stand-ins.
The Los Angeles Major is set to run from March 15-22.