Year 2020 has taken most of the LAN tournaments from us, and now, unfortunately, even our last hope for an international CS:GO offline event. That being IEM XV: Global Challenge, the last premier CS:GO tournament of 2020, recently transitioned to an online competition.
ESL announced the decision earlier this week, after several European countries tightened their restrictions in response to the second wave of coronavirus sweeping the continent. Despite the organiser's desire to host the $500,000 tournament in Cologne, Germany, the health and safety must come first.
Michal "Carmac" Blicharz, Vice President of pro gaming at ESL, commented on the announcement:
"In light of the rising infection numbers of Covid-19 across Europe, we have decided to move the tournament online. We would have loved to have brought everyone together for this tournament, but we are obligated to act responsibly towards the players and the staff working at our events."
Besides moving the event to an online environment, there shouldn't be any further changes to the format. The 15th edition of IEM Global Challenge will be held from December 15th-20th and will feature some of the best teams from Europe and North America, including the likes of Heroic and FURIA. These two qualified by winning the latest RMR events in Europe and North America, respectively.
The rest six teams are yet to be announced, depending on results from IEM Beijing EU and NA, as well as ESL rankings. The tournament organiser promised to support all teams in finding suitable facilities within Europe, from which they can safely compete.
Altogether it’s a very significant CS:GO event. Not only due to its cross-region nature and presence of elite teams, but also because it closes out the year in the CS:GO calendar. On top of that, the tournament will count towards the prestigious Intel Grand Slam.
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