Sources: Stockholm still a priority for 2021 CS:GO Major
The event organisers remain hopeful of bringing the Major back to the Swedish capital.
The organisers of PGL Major Stockholm remain committed to hosting this year's Counter-Strike Major in Stockholm, HLTV.org understands. Concerns have been raised about Stockholm's ability to stage the event after Valve announced that it is considering alternative European locations for The International 10 following an impasse with Swedish authorities over holding the showpiece Dota 2 competition in the Swedish capital later this summer.
The plans to hold the Counter-Strike Major in Stockholm in the fall have not been affected by this development as of yet, sources said. And bringing the event to the Swedish capital for the first time remains a priority for PGL, which has hosted several CS:GO events in the past, including the 2017 Major in Krakow.
Valve revealed on Monday evening that moving TI10 out of Stockholm is a strong possibility after the Swedish Sports Federation voted against accepting esports into the organisation. The game developer's request to have the Dota 2 tournament reclassified as an elite sporting event was subsequently declined by the Swedish Minister of the Interior.
Without the official recognition from Swedish authorities, Valve explained, anyone seeking a visa to enter Sweden, "including players, talent, and staff", will likely be denied due to the international travel restrictions put in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have started looking for possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe to host the event this year, in case the Swedish government is unable to accommodate The International - Dota 2 Championships as planned," Valve said. The event is slated to take place at the Avicii Arena — the same venue that will host the CS:GO Major — from August 5-15, with a whopping $40 million prize pool on offer.
PGL Major Stockholm will take place from October 23 through November 7, with the playoffs being held in front of a live audience. It will mark the return of CS:GO Majors after a two-year gap caused by the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced Valve and ESL to cancel plans to hold a Major in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in 2020.
Counter-Strike fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of in-person events after over a year of mostly online action. IEM Cologne, scheduled for July 6-18, is expected to be the first top-tier CS:GO tournament to be held on LAN since the coronavirus pandemic started. It will be held in a studio environment with 24 teams in attendance and will have $1 million up for grabs.
The qualifying process for PGL Major Stockholm is in full swing in all six regions (Europe, CIS, North America, South America, Asia and Oceania). The 24 participants at the event will be determined by the Regional Major Rankings (RMR), with each region hosting at least two RMR events, including one on LAN, according to Valve.
PGL Major Stockholm will be the 16th Major in CS:GO history and the third to be held in Sweden following the 2013 and 2014 DreamHack Winter events in Jönköping. It will have $2 million on the line — a record prize pool for a Valve-sponsored CS:GO tournament.