The COVID-19 coronavirus continues to claim more and more major events. Many of them have been across the esports world and there doesn't seem to be a day where a major esports gathering isn't cancelled. While the ESL isn't outright cancelling the current season of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it has announced on Wednesday that the remainder of the season will go online-only.
The following was posted on the ESL website on Wednesday morning:
We have been closely monitoring the daily developments in regards to the global health situation and want to be as transparent with you, the fans, as possible.
In light of the current dynamics regarding COVID-19, we have made the decision to play the regular season matches of ESL Pro League Season 11 online, and are moving the finals from 1STBANK CENTER, Denver to a studio location without a live audience in Europe.
This decision was largely motivated by the fact that Malta, the country of our originally planned studio location, has instituted a wide range of travel restrictions and quarantine regulations as of today. We fully support all measures aimed at containing the COVID-19 dynamics as much as possible. These travel restrictions have made it impossible for a large amount of staff and the majority of teams to make their way to the planned season location.
Because of this, instead of having over a hundred players, coaches, team members and ESL staff in a single location over multiple weeks, teams and players will be playing their matches either from home, team houses or in suitable boot camp locations in Europe and play out their matches on dedicated online servers.
The big majority of teams are already in Europe as we speak. All of the teams and the CSPPA have been extremely supportive and teams are offering their facilities and boot camp locations to fellow players coming in from other countries and we are doing everything we can to provide the safest environment.
In order to further ensure the health and safety of our players, staff and fans alike, we are also moving the Denver finals to a studio location in Europe to minimize the overall travel and mitigate the risk for potential travel restrictions. We are deeply sorry to all fans who have been looking forward to seeing the Finals in Denver and are hoping to bring an event there soon. Needless to say, we will refund all tickets and fans will be receiving further instruction from 1STBANK Center shortly.
The ESL Pro League Season 11 for CS:GO joins a parade of esports tournaments that have been either shifted online or canceled outright. Today alone, the Paris Eternal canceled their Overwatch League Homestand over COVID-19 concerns. And in the gaming world as a whole, June's E3 2020 was canceled. We're keeping up with coronavirus cancellations as they come in, so be sure to check back in with Shacknews for all of the latest news.