Fnatic has confirmed that Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev has tested positive for COVID-19, just days before their Valorant team is set to compete at VCT Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik 2022.
The London-based esports organization has added KOI player Joona “H1ber” Parviainen as a stand-in, in the event that Derke is unable to play.
Fnatic add H1ber as a stand-in for Derke at Masters Reykjavik
Derke now faces travel restrictions after testing positive for COVID-19, which means that he may miss the beginning of Masters Reykjavik.
H1ber will travel with Fnatic’s Valorant roster to Iceland to fill in for Derke if necessary. The Fnatic duelist tried to reassure fans on Reddit, writing that “there’s a big chance I’ll go, just relax and believe guys”. If the 19-year-old tests negative for COVID-19 soon, he should be able to join the Fnatic squad in Reykjavik.
“We are hoping for a fast recovery and will be doing everything possible to support Derke in attending [Masters Reykjavik],” the organization said in an official statement on Twitter.
Finnish player H1ber is the main duelist and star carry of KOI, a Spanish esports organization founded by football legend Gerard Pique and League of Legends streamer Ibai Llanos Garatea.
KOI most recently competed in the Valorant Regional League Spain: Rising, part of Riot Games’ efforts to provide a more competitive platform to develop new talent and give them a chance to qualify for the main VCT EMEA event.
He joins Enzo “Fea” Mesrati, in-game leader for Alliance, as Fnatic’s second stand-in player for Masters Reykjavik. Fnatic suspended Russian player Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov on March 31, after leaked private messages appeared to show his support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Fnatic’s Valorant roster for Masters Reykjavik
- Jake “Boaster” Howlett (in-game leader)
- James “Mistic” Orfila
- Joona “H1ber” Parvianen (on loan)
- Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev
- Martin “Magnum” Penkov
- Enzo “Fearoth” Mestari (on loan)
- Tom “otom” Hart (substitute)
- Jacob “mini” Harris (coach)
Fnatic will start their VCT Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik campaign in the group stage, where they are set to face Brazilian squad Ninjas in Pyjamas in their opening match.