Only a week before The International, three Dota 2 pros test positive for Covid-19

Team Aster has announced on Weibo that three players—named by JoinDOTA as carry Du "Monet" Peng, offlaner Lin "Xxs" Jing, and support Ye "BoBoKa" Zhibiao—along with coach Cheng "Mad" Han and other staff members—have all tested positive for Covid-19 just over a week before the start of the Dota 2 world championship tournament known as The International.

Team Aster was staying in the same hotel as four other Chinese teams competing in The International, all of whose members have shown no symptoms and are awaiting test results. The positive Team Aster players are "asymptomatic [or] mildly ill." according to a Google translation of the original Weibo post. The team is currently isolated and in contact with tournament organizers to determine the next steps.

The outbreak emphasizes the dangers of holding live events during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which is still spreading due to a mix of global inequity, bureaucratic bungling, and vaccine hesitancy. Because of the pandemic, the International had to find a new venue at the last minute after the original host country, Sweden, refused to adjust its restrictions to allow all players to enter the country. The event was relocated to Bucharest, Romania, in the end.

PGL, an esports event organizer and one of the organizers of The International 10, recently announced that in order to participate in its 2022 events, participants and attendees will need to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination.