ESL One Cologne 2020 to be held online
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament will be split into four regional divisions covering Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania.
ESL One Cologne 2020 will be held online in late August due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the tournament organiser announced on Thursday. In a statement, ESL explained that the decision was made following "extensive research and understanding of global travel regulations and individual national guidelines."
The announcement came as little surprise after an ESL representative had told HLTV.org that it would be "challenging" to host an event of this magnitude, with teams from all over the world, with the pandemic still raging and countries like the United States, Brazil and Russia being left out of the European Union's list of "safe travel destinations".
ESL initially entertained the idea of hosting the tournament at a studio in Cologne from August 21-30, but as countries moved to reopen, the number of coronavirus cases spiked, raising doubts about whether ESL One Cologne would come too soon for it to be a LAN event.
The restructuring will see ESL One Cologne split into four regional divisions — Europe, North America Asia and Oceania — with a combined $500,000 prize pool. The remaining $500,000 that had been allocated to the German event will be redistributed equally to next year's IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne tournaments.
The revamped ESL One Cologne tournaments will be held from August 18-30 and will provide the highest ESL Pro Tour points value. However, they will not count as an ESL Pro Tour Masters Championship event and will not be taken into consideration for Intel Grand Slam Season 3, which has been put on hold for the time being.
The following teams will compete in the ESL One Cologne regional divisions:
Europe ($325,000 prize pool):
North America ($135,000 prize pool):
Asia ($20,000 prize pool):
Oceania ($20,000 prize pool):
ESL has not given any updates about the status of ESL Pro League Season 12, which will kick off on September 2. In a June 8 announcement, the German company stated that it was monitoring the global health situation and that the 24-team tournament would be held in a studio environment if players were allowed to "travel safely without larget restrictions".