IEM Katowice playoffs to be played without an audience due to coronavirus concerns

The coronavirus outbreak continues to affect esports events.

Image via IEM

The playoffs of IEM Katowice will be played behind closed doors due to Polish authorities’ concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, ESL announced today.

The order came from Jarosław Wieczorek, the governor of Silesia (Silesian Voivode) “due to the dynamic changes in the global health situation and in order to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the region,” ESL said.

“The Gouverneur of Silesian Jarosław Wieczorek issued a decision to remove their approval regarding ESL hosting a mass event in Katowice, Poland,” ESL said. “Due to this development, Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 will not have any audience on-site.”

The event will be conducted and broadcasted as planned but without an audience or any additional visitors on-site. ESL will reach out to ticket holders to fully reimburse them. IEM Katowice features a CS:GO and Starcraft II tournament.

This news comes after ESL updated its health measures for IEM Katowice yesterday. At the time, the tournament organizer planned to provide extra health staff, additional hygiene stations, check the temperature of all attendees before they enter the Spodek Arena, and conduct interviews with select people.

IEM Katowice was expected to be one of the biggest esports events of 2020, but safety has to come first in these cases. The playoffs will still have great matches and the production crew will certainly do their best to deliver the best experience for viewers at home.