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The first Global Esports Games 2021 remains "on track" to be held in December, organisers said on Tuesday (30 November), even as Singapore's multi-ministry task force on COVID-19 announced more stringent measures to battle the new Omicron variant.
Over 100 esports athletes are scheduled to compete in the event at Resorts World Sentosa on Dec 18 and 19, with some flying in from Africa, Asia and South America.
"We remain on track to holding a safe and successful Global Esports Games for our esports community," said Gabriel Chan, the Global Esports Federation head of communications in a statement to Yahoo Esports SEA.
Chan also added that players have not yet arrived in Singapore, and that there are no participants from South Africa.
With Singapore tightening the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) rules, participants will now have to undergo supervised antigen rapid tests (ARTs) on their third and seventh day of arrival.
As there will be no quarantine required on arrival for VTL travellers, participating esports athletes can head straight on to compete if they qualify.
They will still need to have been tested negative on a pre-departure test two days in advance of arrival, and will also have to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test when entering or transiting Singapore from Dec 3.
To ensure the safety and health of all participants, GEF will ensure that teams and participants will adhere to "strict protocols and safe management guidelines in accordance with the prevailing national health authority guidelines".
"The safety and wellbeing of everyone is our top priority, and we will continue to keep a close eye on the evolving COVID-19 situation and advise accordingly," Chan said.
The GEG 2021 will feature games such as Dota 2, eFootball 2022, and Street Fighter V: Champion Edition. The Dota 2 competition will see eight teams of five players battle it out in an open and all-women category, while Konami's eFootball 2022 and Street Fighter V: CE will feature 32 players in a 1v1 format.
However, the event will be by invite "only due to limited capacity in accordance with" Singapore's Safe Management Measures.
Fans can catch the GEG livestream on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube. Those still keen on watching the livestream organised by the Global Esports Federation in person can head to Orchard Cineleisure — but attendance is limited to just 400 people.
On Tuesday, Singapore's health minister Ong Ye Kung said at a virtual media conference that no cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the Republic so far. But he warned that while the Delta variant took three to four months to become the predominant variant globally, the Omicron variant may be faster in transmission.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com