PGL, the tournament organizer in charge of the Stockholm CS:GO Major, has confirmed that it’s looking for alternative locations to host the Valve-sponsored event.
PGL is in touch with two other European countries who offered the company all the “necessary guarantees,” including “having all the players on-site and a large audience,” to run the Major in case it can’t be organized in Sweden due to COVID-19 regulations.
There have been reports about the uncertainty of hosting the CS:GO Major in Sweden, especially after Valve had to move Dota 2‘s The International from Stockholm to Bucharest, Romania earlier this month. PGL said that the Major was planned to happen in front of a large audience, but the current regulations in Sweden allow just 300 spectators inside the Avicii Arena, a 16,000-capacity venue. That might change after Sept. 15, depending on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to PGL.
“When we initially planned the CS:GO Major, we had in mind that, after such a long time, we needed to find a special place to unleash the passion of players, organizations, fans, and last but not least, ours and Sweden seemed the perfect spot; a place with a great Counter-Strike heritage that largely contributed to the esports industry,” PGL’s announcement reads.
“But, as with every other event we have organized, we always had a backup plan in case we wouldn’t be able to execute the event properly… With certain European countries reopening really fast for events, we have a very short window of opportunity to secure a new venue that will allow a large vaccinated audience, even with an uncertain COVID situation.”
PGL said it remains hopeful that the Major will still be held in Sweden, but if the conditions aren’t met, the tournament organizer will go forward with the backup plan and move the 2021 CS:GO Major to a different country. The Swedish website Fragbite reported earlier today that PGL met with Sweden’s Minister of Culture Amanda Lind yesterday to discuss the situation.
Swedish representatives are still optimistic about the possibility of holding the tournament in the country, according to Fragbite. “Sweden has long been a pioneer in esports and I am very positive that these events can be held here,” Lind told Fragbite, according to a machine translation.
Nonetheless, PGL will have to make the decision of sticking with Sweden or move the Major to another country soon as the $2 million Counter-Strike tournament is slated to run from Oct. 23 to Nov. 7. The tournament organizer said it will provide more updates in the near future.