Just hours after ESL was contemplating the removal of live audiences from its upcoming Dota 2 Major, both the tournament organizer and Valve have instead confirmed that ESL One Los Angeles has been postponed.
Teams and talent have already been informed of the decision, which was made as a direct result of President Donald Trump’s new travel suspension regarding Europe and the United States, according to journalist Rod “Slasher” Breslau.
Unlike the situation around ESL Pro League CS:GO Season 11, which saw the event change to an online-only tournament hosted from an ESL studio in Europe instead of a live event in Colorado, the Dota Major has been postponed. This means that the entirety of the group stage and playoffs that was scheduled to run from March 15 to 22 will no longer happen on those dates.
As Slasher noted, this decision was made largely due to the travel suspension that was just put into place by the Trump administration. The restriction limits the “entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States.” This would have impacted teams such as Team Secret and Ninjas in Pyjamas in their travel, along with others like Team Aster who had already been struggling to get their players travel visas for the event.
Update March 12, 1:22am CT: ESL’s official statement has clarified that the Major will not be canceled, but will instead be postponed to a later date. The organizer is working with Valve to find a new time and location for the event.
“In light of recent travel restrictions and the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, ESL is postponing the ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Dota 2 Major,” ESL said. “We are working closely with Valve to determine a new time and location for the Major.”
ESL is also currently working with the venue and ticketing company to get everyone who purchased tickets their refund.
“We’re currently working with the venue and ticketing provider to refund tickets as soon as possible,” ESL said. “If you purchased a ticket, you should be receiving email communication in the coming days. We are deeply saddened that we won’t be able to bring you the event you deserved.”
This article is being updated as more information becomes available.