ESL One Cologne to be Played Behind Closed Doors, IEM Melbourne Rescheduled

  • ESL One Cologne, one of the largest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) events of the year will go ahead, but without a live audience.
  • The Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) event in Melbourne has also been rescheduled to 2021.
  • Since March, CS:GO competition competitions have been played entirely online, with teams on lockdown in their respective countries.

One of ESL’s most attended annual esports events, ESL One Cologne, will take place behind closed doors this year. Germany is easing its lockdown measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however large gatherings and global travel will not be lifted until the end of August. 

The ESL Pro Tour Masters Championship will take place Aug. 21-30, and will feature a $1M USD prize pool. An ESL spokesperson told The Esports Observer that it is not decided yet if the tournament would be played online remotely, or if teams would play in-person in a studio production. Further information will be released at a later date.

In addition, IEM Melbourne—which was meant to play out for the first time in the Australian city since moving from Sydney—has also been rescheduled to Aug 21-22. Purchased tickets for both events are valid for next year, with refund options available depending on point of purchase.

The previous ESL Pro Tour Masters Championship, IEM Katowice, was played in a crowdless stadium as the western world began enacting lockdown measures against COVID-19. Since then, the 11th season of the ESL Pro League was played entirely online, as is the current ESL One Road to Rio competition. The latter was designed to fill in for the postponed CS:GO Major championship in Brazil. If still able to go ahead, this will now be ESL’s largest live esports event of the year.

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