CSGO‘s ESL Pro League has announced a change with their upcoming games. In light of the global COVID-19 situation, the league will now broadcast the regular season matches online. Additionally, the ESL Pro League Season 11 finals will also change location. They were originally scheduled to take place in Denver, Colorado between April 10 to 12.
Moving the games elsewhere
In an official statement released by the ESL Pro League, they emphasize the importance of safety during these times. They have been scrutinizing and monitoring the daily developments related to the viral outbreak. As a result of the situation’s severity, the ESL has officially moved the Pro League Season 11 matches. Regular matches will now be played online. Meanwhile, the finals will take place in a studio located in Europe without a live audience. For fans who have purchased tickets, the ESL will communicate information regarding refunds very soon.
The statement reads, “We fully support all measures aimed at containing the COVID-19 dynamics as much as possible.” Unfortunately for the ESL Pro League, the originally planned studio location in Malta is no longer a viable option. Due to the various travel and quarantine restrictions, many staff members of the league cannot make it to the planned location.
All of the teams have been extremely supportive and are offering their facilities to fellow players coming in from other countries. Thank you everyone – we will do everything to provide a great viewing experience for everybody starting next Monday – this is the esports family!
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) March 11, 2020
Keeping the teams safe
The hundreds of players coaches and team members will now play their matches from a few different locations. They will either play from home, team houses, or in European boot camp locations. To better serve the players, they will also play matches on dedicated online servers.
Finally, the ESL’s statement notes that most of the teams are already in Europe. They have received plenty of support from several locations and facilities to continue with the games. “In order to further ensure the health and safety of our players, staff and fans alike,” the statement reads, “we are also moving the Denver finals […] to minimize the overall travel and mitigate the risk for potential travel restrictions.”
Not the first disrupted event
This situation is very similar to the ESL’s recent IEM Katowice event. That event was still held, but at the last minute, the government decided they could no longer host a live audience. Still, the event did well, reaching a peak viewer count of over 1 million fans. The COVID-19 situation has caused plenty of disruption within esports, but as seen from Katowice, it hasn’t stopped fans from enjoying their games.
Daily Esports will keep you posted on COVID-19 updates as it relates back to esports.