Update: Party Astronauts cancel EU bootcamp due to confused vaccination requirements
Party Astronauts' coach, Joseph "Muenster" Lima, has announced that Party Astronauts have canceled their German bootcamp due to misunderstanding the country's COVID-19 vaccination requirements that the team are unable to meet. An undisclosed player on Party Astronauts has not yet received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and therefore would not be able to enter the country.
To make matters worse, Party Astronauts have forfeited the majority of the $6,000 spent on travel due to cancelation fees associated with their plane tickets. Unfortunately, this cancelation seems to have been a kneejerk reaction from Muenster, as Dust2.us knows that some members of the team expressed interest in attending the bootcamp without their fifth player but are now unable to do so due to the cancelation being final.
Importantly, this was not Party Astronaut's own money but rather the efforts of an extensive fundraising initiative to help the team prepare for ESL Pro League Season 15. The loss of the donation money in particular will likely hurt the team's standing with fans as Party Astronauts had seen an upswell of support from the community including substantial donations from William "RUSH" Wierzba, Jason "moses" O'Toole, and Jared "Slove" Sloven.
Party Astronauts qualified for ESL Pro League Season 15 back in October after winning ESEA Premier Season 38 over Extra Salt. Dust2.us knows that the team's attendance at the event is not currently at risk as the insufficiently vaccinated player is working to become fully vaccinated before Pro League starts on March 9th.
The United States was added to the "high-risk" category for travelling to Germany on December 25th, which meant that entry to travelers would only be permitted if they are double-vaccinated or if they qualify as an urgent traveler, which includes those classed as being a "skilled or highly qualified foreign worker." Included under that classification are "professional athletes and professional eAthletes taking part in competitions or international sport events or playing in German clubs." Whether or not Party Astronaut's attendance in Germany for a bootcamp, considering that the competition they travelled for (ESL Pro League) is being held in Malta, would fall under this exception is unclear. Despite this, Lufthansa only updated their guidance for this on February 16th which is what caused the team's confusion.
Party Astronauts will now head into Pro League without recent experience playing on LAN together. The last time they competed together in a LAN setting was all the way back at Fragadelphia 15 in early September when Gage "Infinite" Green was still on the team.
Party Astronauts will now have to forgo their planned prep ahead of a difficult ESL Pro League Season 15 group that features a number of top teams including BIG, Liquid, and Gambit.
Update: Muenster has since clarified that he has received partial refunds for some of the canceled flights. His clarification also stated that, including the money from the partially refunded flights, the Party Astronauts have $3,105 left from their GoFundMe. Muenster has pointed out it would be unfair to give refunds to only some contributors, and as such is exploring alternative options for the funds raised, such as donating the money to charity.