ESL One Cologne 2020 to be played without an audience, IEM Melbourne postponed

CS:GO events continue to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Image via Valve

ESL One Cologne 2020, the second Masters event of the ESL Pro Tour CS:GO circuit, will be played without a live audience due to the coronavirus pandemic, ESL announced today.

The tournament organizer has also delayed IEM Melbourne. The CS:GO tournament was previously set to take place in August, but it’s been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. Tickets purchased for both events will be valid for the next year, but people can also reach out to ESL for a refund.

“Following Germany’s official ruling that no large gatherings can take place until the end of August 2020 we are announcing that the 2020 edition of ESL One Cologne will take place without a live audience this year,” ESL said.

ESL One Cologne 2020 will be broadcast between Aug. 21 to 30 without attendees. It’s unclear, however, if the teams will play in a LAN environment like they did at IEM Katowice in February or if the tournament will be played entirely online like ESL Pro League season 11.

ESL recently adapted the qualification system for ESL One Cologne. Instead of merely inviting the top CS:GO teams, the tournament organizer will use its online events, such as the ESL Pro League season 11, the ESL One Road to Rio, and DreamHack Masters Spring, to gather points.

This is the fourth major ESL CS:GO tournament that’s been affected by the pandemic. The first was IEM Katowice in February. The first Masters event of 2020 had to be played without attendees following a last-minute decision by the government.

In March, ESL had to reschedule the Rio Major from May to November and transformed ESL Pro League season 11 into an online tournament split by regions.