Valve has decided to cancel ESL One Rio Major 2020, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. The event, which was scheduled for May 11 to 24, was later postponed to November 9 to 22. However, given current travel restrictions and health concerns, the organization has decided to forego the competition altogether.
The ESL One Rio Major 2020, which was expected to include a $2 million prize pool, had invited twenty-four professional teams from around the world that had selected as winners of regional qualifiers called the Road to Rio. The event is considered the most prestigious tournament in the Global Offensive scene.
The championship would haven taken the place of both of this year’s majors and would mark the seventh time ESL hosted the event. As of September 8, 2020, Team Vitality of Europe and Renegades of Oceania were the only teams that had secured a slot.
“We’re not going to ask players and fans to risk their health in order to attend a Major while the pandemic still poses a threat to travelers. Therefore, we have made the painful decision to cancel the November Major,” the official announcement stated.
For now, all Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship will be put on hold, while Valve and ESL monitor the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the organizers expect to continue to hold online Regional Major Ranking (RMR) events, which will determine the best teams in each of the regions, which include North America, South America, Europe, CIS, Asia, and Oceania.
ESL’s VP of ProGaming Michal “CARMAC” Blicharz expressed his disappointment at having to cancel this year’s CS:GO Major, yet vowed to work to get LAN tournaments up and running as soon as possible once the global pandemic is under control.
2020 will be the first year since 2013 that an official Valve-sponsored Counter-Strike Major hasn’t been held. The last event was the StarLadder Major: Berlin 2019, which was the fifteenth Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship. It was held in Berlin, Germany from August 23 to September 8, 2019.
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