We hoped we'd be done with those type of announcements by now, but alas, here's another event moved online. It is ESL One Cologne - the CS:GO Academy Awards, that falls under the coronavirus knife and will be held entirely online.
Tournament organizers ESL waited quite a bit before coming up with a final decision, but they finally faltered and announced the disappointing news via their Twitter:
With a lot of travel regulations and health concerns still overwhelming countries worldwide, as much as it pains us to admit, this was the only feasible decision that could have been made. ESL One Cologne without audience would feel almost as wrong as socks and sandals, but safety should always come first. So then, what will we get with ESL One Cologne 2020?
ESL One Cologne 2020 Online, Divided Into Four Regions
The main consequence of online play is that there is not going to be a unified ESL One Cologne 2020 champion, but rather four regional ones. As has been the common practice since the global pandemic took over, ESL One Cologne will be split into regions. Four of them, to be exact - Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania. The total prize pool will be cut down to $500,000 from the originally planned $1 million. The remainder of the money will not go to waste, however. It will be reallocated towards next year's IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne tournaments.
This is how the prize pool is split among regions:
- Europe - $325,000
- North America - $135,000
- Asia - $20,000
- Oceania - $20,000
ESL One Cologne will be one of the first tournaments after the player break is over. It will begin on August 18 with the final games scheduled for August 30. It is of course part of the ESL Pro Tour, though it will not count towards the Intel Grand Slam for understandable reasons.
We'll be there to cover all four regions of ESL One Cologne 2020 once the time comes. Until then, we could always go back to those legendary times when the Lanxess Arena wasn't empty.