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ESL Pro League to be played online due to COVID-19

ESL Pro League

ESL has announced today that the CS:GO ESL Pro League will no longer be hosted in Denver due to COVID-19. The event was due to be played over several weeks in Denver, Colorado, but due to fears over COVID-19, they’ve moved it online.

ESL has been planning on moving the big event to a smaller venue for some time. Originally, ESL marked a Maltese studio as their solution to the COVID-19 fear. However, the Maltese government announced today they close their borders to France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. This is in addition to the travel restrictions to Italy made on Monday.

Due to ESL hiring many freelancers and staff members from these countries, this effectively closed off their ability to run the ESL Pro League from a Maltese studio. Now, ESL will be forced to relocate their venue elsewhere. Furthermore, the event will be forced to play online from the 16th March to 4th April.

Teams competing in the league will have to play from home, team houses or boot camps in Europe. From those locations, they will connect to official dedicated servers for the matches.

This news follows the likes of FLASHPOINT, who last week cancelled FLASHPOINT 1 in Sweden, which was supposed to begin from this weekend till April. ESL join them by choosing a more secure location, for the benefit of staff’s, players’, and fans’ health.

This is not the first CS:GO event under ESL’s umbrella to be stopped by COVID-19. The Spodek Arena in Katowice had orders from the mayor to be crowdless. COVID-19 remains the reason for so many cancellations. E3 also announced today that E3 2020 will be shut this year due to COVID-19. The WHO (World Health Organisation) marked the spread of COVID-19 as an epidemic today, meaning this trend is likely to continue for some time.

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Featured image via: ESL Twitter