MANILA - Bren Esports' Valorant team will withdraw from the Masters: Berlin tournament amid issues concerning their travel permits, tournament organizers announced Friday night.
In a statement, game developer and tournament organizer Riot Games said they failed to secure the necessary permits for Bren, who would've been the first squad to represent the Philippines in the worldwide tournament.
As a result, the tourney will proceed with only 15 teams.
"Over the past month, our global mobility teams in North America, Europe, and Asia explored multiple avenues to find a solution, including engaging with relevant governmental agencies in the Philippines and Germany. But at this time, having passed the final deadline that would allow Bren Esports to travel and attend the event, we are going to proceed with a 15-team tournament," Riot Games said.
In a separate statement after Riot Games' decision, Bren Esports said they exhausted options to travel to Germany.
"Our Valorant Team's historical win in the VCT Challengers- SEA has once again proved that the Philippines has what it takes to compete in the global stage of Esports," they said.
"We have exhausted all possible options that would enable our team to travel to Berlin on time and safely to compete. Unfortunately, given the unfavorable circumstances, tight deadlines, and travel restrictions that our out of control, our team will be unable to travel to Berlin to compete," they added.
The group where Bren Esports was classified will play under a double-round robin format, while the rest of the groups will remain unaffected.
The squad, however, will still be awarded 175 VCT points and the prize for qualifying for the tournament.
The all-Pinoy squad dominated the VCT Challengers - SEA playoffs, winning against Singapore squad Paper Rex in a dominant 3-0 sweep to be called kings of Southeast Asia Valorant this year.
The twitter hashtag #BringBRENToBerlin topped local trends throughout the evening, as reports concerning the "denied visas" of the players surfaced.
Former Senator Bam Aquino also said his team was looking for remedies to help the squad with their travel proceedings.
"We reached out to our friends in the eSports community earlier & tried finding out how best to help," Aquino, a known esports and gaming advocate, said in a tweet.
The tournament will be held at the Verti Music Hall in German capital Berlin from September 9-19. Bren was supposed to be grouped with top Valorant squad Sentinels in the group stages.