1win’s ESL One Birmingham Transferred To OG, But There’s Drama

ESL has announced that the 1win organization failed to secure its players’ visas in time for the ESL One... Owen | 12. April 2024

ESL has announced that the 1win organization failed to secure its players’ visas in time for the ESL One Birmingham 2024 deadline. As a result, the Eastern European team’s slot has been passed over to OG. However, the procedure was not sunshine and rainbows.

ESL Announces 1win Will Be Replaced By OG

On April 9, ESL’s official Twitter account released an important update regarding the coming tournament in the United Kingdom, ESL One Birmingham 2024. The statement summarizes the following:

  • ESL has extended the visa deadline to 12:00 CEST on April 8.
  • Despite the extension, the 1win team was unable to secure their visas in time.
  • With the ineligibility of the 1win roster, the team’s spot was supposed to be passed over to Virtus.Pro, who lost to 1win in the Birmingham qualification match. 
  • However, for similar reasons, Virtus.Pro also failed to secure their visas in time. 
  • As a result, ESL has chosen the next eligible team, OG, who came in second at the Western European qualifier.
  • Being a Wastern European team, OG has easily secured visas for all players, confirming their ability to join ESL One Birmingham in time.

In hindsight, the announcement seemed reasonable, and fans were elated that they could watch the OG roster play in another LAN tournament. At the same time, many were saddened to hear that 1win could not make it, as the roster has barely qualified for any Tier 1 events in their careers.

However, on the same day, the coach of the 1win team released a statement claiming that ESL allegedly stole the team’s spot in the event.

1win Releases An Official Statement

On his Telegram channel, 1win’s head coach posted the following announcement:

“Expect an official statement and full story from us. Small spoiler. Our whole team has now got visas and passports ready to go to England for the tournament. ESL took the slot away from us and gave it to the OG team.”

The coach claimed that the entire roster had secured their visas on time, but ESL still handed the slot to OG. 

What ensued was an official post from the 1win organization. The main points of the situation:

  • January 26 to 28: The 1win team (formerly Klim Sani4) qualified for ESL One Birmingham through the Eastern European Qualifier. The next day, the team started preparing to apply for their visas.
  • February 15: The team collected documents, and the entire team, players and staff included, arrived in Moscow to apply for their visas.
  • ESL then announced that the deadline for visa confirmations would be April 5. However, the deadline for a decision from the British visa would come six weeks after the team’s application, which should come by March 28.
  • March 27: The British Consulate contacted ESL about 1win’s participation in the upcoming event. According to ESL representatives, the connection broke down during the conversation, causing a one-week delay for the British side to receive final confirmation. 
  • April 5: Due to the communication issues, ESL extended the deadline to April 8, 12:00 CET. 

The fateful day was on April 8. Here’s what happened:

  • The 1win team’s visas were confirmed and ready but not yet printed. 1win’s visa agent requested ESL to push the deadline back until the evening, only asking for an extension of several hours. 
  • 11:55 CET: The 1win team’s visas were confirmed, and the organization asked ESL for additional time until the evening to provide confirmation.
  • 13:13 CET: ESL asked the organization to provide confirmation. However, the visas were still being printed. 
  • 14:19 CET: ESL notified the 1win organization of their exclusion from the tournament.
  • 16:00 CET: The 1win organization received their completed visas.

1win Misses The Tournament By Four Hours

ESL didn’t budge, and the 1win team did not meet the official deadline. The roster worked extremely hard to qualify for their first LAN event together, and a media crew was already prepared to fly to the tournament to create content. However, four hours were all it took for the 1win team’s chances of playing to be “robbed” by ESL. 

The 1win team highlighted that ESL’s deadline fell on a Monday, meaning the two previous days were weekends, where no official consulates were open. As a result, the 1win team had difficulties processing their visas.

As of April 12, there have been no updates from ESL, likely inferring that OG’s participation in the tournament is final. 

Header: 1win Twitter