Sweden relaxes travel restrictions for esports athletes, opening up avenue for PGL Major Stockholm

The first CS:GO Major in two years is now one step closer to taking place in Stockholm, Sweden.

Screengrab via PGL

The next CS:GO Major might be going to Sweden after all, despite all the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

All esports athletes have been granted the same travel exemptions as other sports in Sweden and they will be able to enter Sweden regardless of their country of origin if they provide a negative COVID-19 test, according to a report by Swedish newspaper Expressen.

The news was celebrated by Ninjas in Pyjamas’ CEO Hicham Chahine, who had been working with the Swedish authorities to help PGL organize the first CS:GO Major in two years in Stockholm. The removal of the travel restrictions for players was one of the conditions for PGL to host the event in the country. The other criterion, where indoor restrictions for events is lifted, should be fulfilled by Sept. 15. This would allow the PGL Major to have a full house during the playoffs at the Aviici Arena.

The travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic already made Sweden lose The International 10, Dota 2‘s $40 million tournament, and forced PGL to enter discussions with two other European countries about moving the CS:GO Major away from Sweden if the country failed to relax its restrictions for esports.

“It turned out that other European countries had a more expansive interpretation of elite sports,” Sweden’s Minister of Interior Mikael Damberg told the Expressen, according to a machine translation.

The PGL Major Stockholm is scheduled to take place from Oct. 23 to Nov. 7, but the dates could still be rearranged in case the tournament organizer has to move the $2 million tournament to another European country, despite the arrangements in place.