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ESL Rio cancelled; No Majors in 2020

The last hope for a Counter-Strike Major in 2020 was just shattered today with a sadly anticipated announcement from ESL

Counter-Strike Major Championships, commonly referred to simply as *Majors*, was founded by Valve in 2013 as a way to add more structure and incentive to watch and compete at the highest level. The first Major was in Jonkoping, Sweden and boasted a $1,000,000 prize pool

There have been at least 2 Counter-Strike Majors each year since it’s conception. From Katowice to Atlanta, all Majors have two things in common: the best of the best players in attendance and a beautiful destination LAN

Due to the unforeseen climate caused by COVID-19, neither of which will be happening in 2020. ESL Rio, which was slated to happen in November, was the glimmer of hope for a Major LAN in 2020

Valve issued a statement of their own via blog post

"When we announced the Rio Major, we were excited to bring a CS:GO Major to one of Counter-Strike’s most passionate fan bases. At the time, we couldn’t have imagined the global challenges that have limited live events throughout 2020" - Counter Strike team

Future plan

Counter-Strike developers and ESL have jointly made statements that reiterate the same basic principle: LAN events will not be held if safety is at all a concern. Until we move past the pandemic environment or at the very least find a way to guarantee player safety, our favorite players won't be competing under the same roof

"We worked through several alternative options down to the last hour to make the Major a reality, but ultimately have to face the fact that the global situation currently does not allow for a Major to take place," ESL Admins wrote

Regional Major Ranking (RMR) events that are held online will continue to operate until a new Major schedule can be put in place

Astralis wins StarLadder Major: Berlin 2019

It wasn't all bad news from ESL's end as they announced a tentative schedule for their Online Pro Tour. Here's what you can expect in the coming months:

  • October: IEM New York 2020 - Online
  • November: IEM Beijing-Haidian 2020 - Online
  • December: IEM Global Challenge 2020

View the full tournament descriptions here

Facing the reality of the situation isn't pretty. On the same wavelength, Astralis would have probably won it anyways so who cares (I'm only half joking)


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