ESL has updated the Pro Tour outlook for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive by adding in-person competition to ESL One Cologne. This will be the first offline tournament for ESL in over a year due to the impact of COVID-19.
ESL Gaming, the world’s largest esports company, revealed updates to its highly anticipated CS:GO competition regarding upcoming offline and online events. This includes changes to DreamHack Masters Spring, IEM Summer 2021 and ESL One Cologne. DreamHack Masters and IEM Summer had previously planned to house in-person competition. However, they will now take place online due to the ever-changing environment of the pandemic. The changes have been announced; with the safety of the teams, crew and esport community taking precedence, according to ESL.
CS:GO competition has been almost exclusively online due to the restrictions of gathering overseas amidst COVID-19. These online tournaments have forced organizations to bring their players to locations across the globe in order to ensure an even playing field. Despite the tournament organizers’ best efforts to make the most of these online events, nothing compares to CS:GO in-person competition.
ESL One Cologne is set for in-person attendance in July
The ESL One Cologne tournament will allow in-person competition in the summer of 2021. However, this means that the doors will be closed to public attendance. One of the last tournaments in CS:GO that housed fans was Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV, in Katowice last year. But, the finals had to close its doors to fans due to increasing concerns with the pandemic.
ESL One Cologne will be the first in-person competition in ESL’s calendar since March of 2020 with the 24 teams battling it out in a controlled studio setting. According to the update, if this event is a success, the plan for the following tournaments is to follow this studio format. However, these tournaments are, of course, dependent on the health guidance and advice from the CDC globally.
Our Q2 update to the #ESLProTour CS:GO includes several updates, the main one being ESL One Cologne 2021 moving to a LAN environment.
🏆 ESL One Cologne 2021
Read the full update ➡️ https://t.co/rYeLnwHX4o
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) April 22, 2021
Despite a lack of offline events for CS:GO, the online formats have brought record-breaking broadcast numbers. ESL has been collaborating with teams to ensure the best possible viewing experience so that live events will be able to return sometime in November of 2021.