The finals tomorrow will crown each of the represented regions First Strike champions but there will be a change in the North American broadcast after it emerged that a member of the crew has potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
The broadcast will now be done, in whole, remotely, where previously Riot had banked on being able to use their studios in Los Angeles without issue the threat of someone being exposed to COVID-19 was always there and so it has come to pass.
This morning we learned that a member of our crew was potentially exposed to COVID-19. The safety of our team is placed above all else, so the final two days of First Strike North America will feature a fully remote cast. We appreciate your understanding and support.— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) December 5, 2020
"This morning we learned that a member of our crew was potentially exposed to COVID-19," wrote Riot in a post to Valorant Champions Tour Twitter. "The safety of our team is placed above all else, so the final two days of First Strike North America will feature a fully remote cast."
Viewers may not notice a perceptible to the broadcast, the only on-air talent actually in-studio was host, James Dash. Everyone else from analysts to commentators was done remotely.
The different regions represented in First Strike all approached COVID-19 differently, depending on the situation in each host country, and what was logistically possible.
The European leg, at Riot's studios in Berlin, had the entirety of its on-air talent in the studio. First Strike Korea went a step further and had players in attendance throughout.
(Picture: Riot Games)
First Strike Brazil also had players in attendance but disaster struck when team Vorax Fusion was disqualified after a player tested positive for COVID-19.
The North American First Strike semi-finals are scheduled for 1 pm PT. Team SoloMid will face off against Team Envy with the winner of that game facing off against 100 Thieves or Sentinals in Sunday's Grand Final. The winner will take home $40,000 and regional bragging rights.