Fnatic have announced the temporary signing of Alliance’s Enzo ‘Fearoth’ Mestari ahead of the VCT Stage 1 Masters event in Iceland.
Fearoth will step in for Andrey ‘BraveAF’ Gorchakov, who is unable to attend the event due to visa issues and the travel restrictions currently in place for Russian citizens.
BraveAF is currently suspended by Fnatic, pending the outcome of an internal investigation, after a number of private messages were leaked on social media. In those messages, BraveAF appears to express his support for Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, sparking outrage across the esports world and prompting calls for Fnatic to drop the player.
VCT Roster Update: As we set our eyes on Masters Reykjavík, we welcome @FearothVAL to the roster.
We want to express a huge thank you to @theAllianceGG for allowing this loan to happen.
Read more about the change:
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) March 31, 2022
Despite already having a substitute player in Tom ‘otom’ Hart, who was signed at the beginning of March, Fnatic believe that Fearoth is a more suitable replacement for BraveAF.
“I think we have found a great replacement in Enzo, who has proven over the last 18 months in Valorant that he is one of the best Sovas in the region,” Fnatic senior team director Colin ‘CoJo’ Johnson said in a statement.
“He has been consistently playing at a top level and led Alliance to some really impressive performances especially in the last few months as their IGL and captain in the Polaris VRL. We believe he will slot in pretty easily and add a lot of value going into Iceland.”
Another replacement in the works?
Fnatic’s announcement comes amid rumours that another team member, Nikita ‘Derke’ Sirmitev, could miss the VCT Stage 1 Masters event after returning a positive test.
Joona ‘H1ber’ Parviainen, who currently plays for KOI, is allegedly lined up as a replacement for Derke, but the Finnish player remains confident that he will be able to make the trip to Reykjavík.
“There’s a big chance I’ll go,” Derke wrote on Reddit. “Just relax and believe, guys.”
Fnatic are one of the three EMEA teams that will attend VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters Iceland. They have been granted the region’s top seed following FunPlus Phoenix’s withdrawal, and will thus skip the group stage, entering the tournament only in the playoffs.