Fnatic head coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi will not support his team in person during the Worlds 2022 Group Stage. On Twitter, the Fnatic tutor shared that his visa application for the United States did not come through in time. It’s not sure if YamatoCannon can join his team at a later point during the tournament.
However, in the meantime, YamatoCannon will still be able to communicate with his players before they play their scheduled games and during the draft phase. “I am not allowed on stage in America, but I will be in communication with the players before and during draft,” he Tweeted. In a follow-up Tweet, he briefly touched on the cause of his absence, “My VISA was griefed.”
The Worlds 2022 Group Stage, for which Fnatic qualified through the Play-In Stage, is held in New York City. The subsequent quarterfinals also take place in the Big Apple. After that, the semifinals take place in Atlanta, Georgia, and the grand final is hosted in San Francisco.
Visa issues have repeatedly caused stress at Worlds 2022. GAM Esports and Saigon Buffalo, the two representatives from Vietnam, only narrowly made it to the event. Just days before Worlds 2022 was supposed to start, the final green lights came through for their players and staff.
Fnatic too has had a rollercoaster experience at Worlds 2022, albeit for different reasons. Two of the team’s starting players, Elias “Upset” Lipp and Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov, caught COVID-19 one week before the start of the Play-In Stage. Fnatic made two emergency substitutions but then found out that Upset had recovered in time to join the team for their first game after all. Hylissang joined one day later and was briefly replaced by Rúben “Rhuckz” Barbosa.
Fnatic plays its first game of the Worlds 2022 Group Stage against LCS first seed Cloud9 on Oct. 7 at 11 PM CEST. Their full schedule can be found here. You can watch the game live on the official LoL Esports channel.