According to Call of Duty pro player Clayster, a number of esports players and fans may have contracted COVID-19 from attending a Call of Duty League (CDL) Kickoff Classic event over the weekend where players had to get tested, but fans didn’t.
The event took place from January 21 until January 23 at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
On Tuesday this week — just a few days after the tournament — Clayster tweeted out a positive COVID test result with a scathing message for the CDL:
“Really happy I had to attend a meaningless kickoff single elim event without proper testing and regulations. Fucking pathetic,” he wrote on Twitter. “Make sure you and everyone gets tested as well, I’d be surprised if I was the only one out of the NY group to get it,” he added.
Other Call of Duty esports figures agreed with Clayster, with FaZe Clan’s Simp writing that the kickoff event “should’ve been online period” and former CDL coach Joey DiGiacomo agreeing that the event should have taken the COVID risk more seriously.
“The fact you didn’t fist bump, walked on stage with your team in a mask, and clearly followed recommended practice, and STILL got it, should show people how serious [COVID] should be taken and hopefully help everyone do better in the future,” DiGiacomo said to Clayster over Twitter.
Clayster explained that the CDL required all esports players to submit one negative COVID test on January 20, but did not make any requirements for fans. He also suggested that multiple CDL players didn’t want any fans at the IRL event at all due to COVID concerns.
“We pushed for no fans, [and] daily testing for players/staff... of course there’s a ton of positive tests coming from this weekend. So braindead,” Clayster argued.
The risk is bigger in Texas — As the pandemic rages on, the state of Texas has been notoriously lax on its COVID rules since day one. Masks appear to remain optional in most places and the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has said that “Going forward, there will not be any government-imposed shutdowns or mask mandates. Everyone already knows what to do.”
But clearly, knowing what to do isn’t enough when large-scale events at stadiums fail to take adequate precautions to stop the spread of COVID.
Unreal — According to Call of Duty player Envoy, fans in the front row — closest to the players — did not wear masks at the event and were “barely six feet from our walkout places.” To make matters worse, he reported that event staff had “masks on their chins, talent taking pics with fans and seeing them backstage minutes after.”
In response to the news that CDL players tested positive after their event, the CDL issued a statement. In it, it confirmed that staff and players had to present one negative COVID test to enter the venue, and that masks were mandated as well.
They did not mention any COVID vaccination or testing requirements for fans, however.
Those rules don’t seem like much to begin with, but what’s the point of making staff and players get tested if fans don’t, and then proceed to mingle with staff and players?
Does the CDL think fans are incapable of bringing COVID to an event? Are players incapable of contracting COVID from fans within close proximity?