Dignitas will be without its newly signed jungler River throughout the first week of this year’s LCS Lock In tournament, the organization announced earlier today. The organization cited issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in regard to River’s unavailability to enter the United States in time for the start of the Lock In tournament.
“Due to ongoing issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, River has not been able to enter the US, and will not be able to compete in the first week of the LCS Lock In,” Dignitas said in a statement on Twitter. Last week, the LCS made the decision to play the group stage of the Lock In event remotely due to a recent spike in COVID cases in the state of California.
River, who signed with Dignitas in November, spent last season with PSG Talon, attending both the Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championship as the first seed out of the PCS. Dignitas has not given a definitive timeframe for River’s LCS debut, although the team did specify that he will miss the first week of the LCS Lock In tournament. Should River only miss the first week of the Lock In event, he could potentially make his season debut on Jan. 21 during the second week of the tournament.
In River’s stead, Dignitas will field its Academy-level jungler eXyu during the first week of the Lock In tournament. eXyu spent the 2021 season playing for Cloud9’s Amateur squad. Dignitas will open their 2022 season on Jan. 15 against Team Liquid. The LCS Lock In tournament will begin on Jan. 14.