ESL reportedly might host ESL One Cologne online

The European Union's travel restrictions may force ESL to host the event online.

Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL

Tournament organizer ESL may have to hold ESL One Cologne online despite its wishes to host it on LAN amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports by Jarek “DeKay” Lewis and HLTV.

ESL One Cologne has historically been one of the top CS:GO events every year due to the LANXESS Arena’s environment. The arena is recognized as the cathedral of Counter-Strike by the community. Ulrich Schulze, ESL’s senior vice president of product, told DeKay that ESL is still evaluating the situation and hosting the tournament online is one option.

One ESL source, however, is more skeptical than Schulze, according to HLTV. “It looks like, based on the European Union regulations, getting people to one place will be challenging,” the anonymous source told HLTV.

Yesterday, the European Union recommended its countries to start lifting travel restrictions to 15 non-European countries. The list notably includes countries such as Canada, Australia, and China but doesn’t include the U.S., Brazil, and Russia, which are the three countries with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to Worldometer.

ESL One Cologne is scheduled to be played from Aug. 21 to 30. ESL revealed 18 of the 24 participants earlier this week. The list includes five teams from North America, one from China, and one from Russia. IEM Katowice was the last CS:GO event held on LAN this year between the end of February and the beginning of March.