Event status update: How the coronavirus is affecting LAN tournaments*
As the global coronavirus pandemic grows worse and all forms of public events around the world are affected, CS:GO LAN tournaments are being moved online, postponed or canceled altogether. To keep you up to date on how the landscape is changing, we have put together a list of upcoming LAN tournaments, which we will update regularly with the latest information, explaining how the TOs have reacted.
April 15: ESL One Cologne at risk
April 12: ESEA MDL Global Challenge postponed
April 8: Games Clash Arena and Masters canceled
April 3: DreamHack Masters Jönköping moved to an online format and renamed 'DreamHack Masters Spring'
April 2: Valve abandons invite system for Rio Major and introduces the Regional Major Rankings (RMR).
April 1: BLAST Premier Spring Showdown & Finals to be played online
March 27: BLAST Premier Spring Showdown Nordic qualifier Elisa Invitational moved online
March 24: CPH Games canceled, possibly to be postponed or played online
March 23: ESL One Rio postponed to November
March 23: WESG World Finals added
ESL Pro League Season 11
When? March 16-April 12
Where? Malta and Denver, United States
Status? Moved online and regionalized, finished
As you may already know, season 11 of the long-standing league has undergone several adjustments to ensure the show goes on. Originally planned to take place in Malta with all 24 teams participating in one continuous tournament before the season finals in Denver, the historic league was moved online and split between Europe and North America, with an 18/6 split between the two divisions.
Both regions will have their own champion now. In Europe, there will be two stages of round-robin groups leading to a grand final, while in North America a single round-robin group will yield four spots in a double-elimination playoff bracket. Action has already begun in Europe with the first two groups of the first stage, and on March 26 the last group will follow and run alongside the North American division.
Meanwhile, four teams pulled out of the tournament at the last minute. Renegades, BOOM, and Sharks withdrew because of the global situation, while Heroic lost their roster to FunPlus Phoenix, with ESL inviting BIG, Spirit, Swole Patrol, and MIBR to fill the vacant slots.
When? March 13-April 19
Where? Los Angeles, United States
Status? Moved online, ongoing
Flashpoint managed to get all the teams to Los Angeles and kick off the action on LAN in their studio, but a few days into the competition the organizers were forced to review the situation and have the teams continue the event online, albeit from within the city as all 12 participants stayed in the Californian metropolis.
The first phase of the tournament was suspended for a few days and is currently underway. It will come to an end on March 24, when each group's finals will be played, with the second group phase scheduled to start three days later, and the playoffs on April 9.
WESG World Finals
Where? Chongqing, China
WESG and two of its qualifying stages, in Latin America and in the Asia-Pacific region, announced the suspension of their events in January already, as the Finals scheduled for March were supposed to take place in China, where the outbreak originated.
Most of the qualifying process has already taken place as 15 out of 20 qualifier spots have been handed out, with four more being invited directly to the World Finals. The remaining five will come from the suspended Latin America and Asia-Pacific finals, for which the respective organizers are yet to announce a more detailed plan.
The following teams have qualified so far:
ESEA MDL Season 33 Global Challenge
Where? TBA, United States
Season 33's Global Challenge has been moved to a later date that is still yet to be determined. The organizers have stated that they're aiming at holding the tournament at some point during the 34th season (which will be a training season and have no Global Challenge at the end) and before the start of ESL Pro League Season 12, as the $50,000 tournament will have three spots on offer in the prestigious league.
The following eight teams have qualified in their regions' Premier and Open divisions:
When? April 8-11
Where? Copenhagen, Denmark
Status? Canceled, possibly to be postponed or played online
Unsurprisingly, Copenhagen Games announced the cancelation of the event shortly after the Danish government extended the prohibition of gatherings of over ten people to April 13, which directly affects the original dates of the tournament on April 8-11.
For the time being, the organizers are looking into possibilities of postponing Copenhagen Games to a later date or having parts of it played online.
Some of the most notable teams who are listed as participants on the website are:
ESL One Rio Minors and Major
When? April 26-May 24
Where? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Status? Postponed to November, second Major canceled
On March 23, ESL announced that the first Major of 2020 would be moved to November and its prizepool increased to a record-breaking $2 million. Meanwhile, the second Valve-affiliated tournament of the year, originally scheduled for the first two weeks of November, was canceled altogether.
The postponement has created an additional six-month gap between the previous Major organized by StarLadder in Berlin and ESL One Rio, adding up to a total of 14 months. Valve has abandoned the invite system for the Major and, as previously reported by HLTV.org, has adopted a ranking system called Regional Major Rankings (RMR).
There will be two RMR Series, one in the Spring and one in the Fall, each one with $255,000 on offer. Valve has also encouraged other tournament organisers to come forward and submit proposals for competitions that can be held as part of the RMR circuit.
The teams that previously held spots at the ESL One Rio Major (top 14 at the StarLadder Major) and the ones that had qualified for the Minors have been invited to compete in the first RMR Series, which will be held by ESL.
BLAST Premier Spring Series Showdown & Finals
When? June 2-7 and June 16-21
Where? Unannounced and Moscow, Russia
Status? Moved online & regionalized
The remainder of BLAST Premier's Spring Series has been revamped in light of the pandemic as the organizers decided to move both events to an online setting and split them into regional divisions, similarly to ESL Pro League.
The format was changed as a result, with the $375,000 Showdown event now featuring ten teams in each region, split into best-of-one round-robin groups of five, which will lead into a best-of-three bracket stage. In Europe, there will be an eight-team finals and half of its participants will come from the respective Showdown, while the Americas will have a four-team finals, for which two teams are already qualified and two will advance from the Showdown.
Showdown (May 31-June 7)
Finals (June 15-21)
Games Clash Arena and Masters
When? June 5-7 and September 11-13
Where? Gliwice and Gdynia, Poland
The organizers of the $100,000 Polish tournaments, which in previous editions attracted some of the biggest local sides as well as foreign teams such as Heroic, FURIA, and Sprout, announced that they have taken the last possible measure, canceling both eight-team events taking place in June and September.
DreamHack Masters Jönköping
When? June 9-14
Where? Jönköping, Sweden
Status? Moved online, renamed and regionalized
After previously suspending the Masters event and postponing the Jönköping and Dallas festivals to August, DreamHack has announced that the tournament has been moved to an online format and renamed 'DreamHack Masters Spring'.
The prize pool has been increased by $50,000 to $300,000 and 32 teams will be taking part in the tournament across four regions: Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania.
Moche XL Esports
When? June 27-28
Where? Lisbon, Portugal
Status? Studying options, decision to be made in early April
The third edition of Moche XL in the Altice Arena in Lisbon was set to bring 2018's champions, MIBR, and five other teams to the Portuguese capital in late June. Questioned about where the $100,000 tournament stands, E2Tech revealed to HLTV.org that Moche XL and its partners are studying all options and waiting until the beginning of April to make a final decision:
"Hosting Moche XL Esports in June 2020 at Altice Arena is at the moment seriously under risk. E2Tech will wait until the beginning of April to make a final decision but it is already, along with its partners, studying every option to make sure that it can offer a solution that can please all esports enthusiasts."
Keep an eye on this article if you want to stay up to date with how CS:GO is being affected by the global situation, as we will update it whenever new information comes out about events in the foreseeable future.
ESL One Cologne
When? July 6-12
Where? Cologne, Germany
Status? Qualifiers amended, event at risk
2020's edition of perhaps the most prestigious non-Major tournament of the year is currently at risk due to the German government suspending all large gatherings until August 31 — well after ESL One Cologne is supposed to take place.
ESL has acknowledged the situation and is currently at work trying to find out what the ban means for the $1,000,000 tournament. Previously, the organizers amended the qualifying system, assigning a number of direct invitations to the event itself and its Play-In stage, which was originally meant to be played on LAN.