ESL One Cologne's official arena with live audience.

ESL One Cologne Considers an Online Format Instead of LAN

  • ESL One Cologne will most likely move to an online format if the global epidemiological situation worsens
  • Organizers would have preferred to fly all teams in and hold the event behind closed doors
  • New restrictions on incoming travelers from the United States, Russia and Brazil make it difficult to guarantee a LAN format

After a recent change in traveling guidelines for the European Union, one of the most significant Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) events, ESL Cologne, may have to be held online.

ESL Cologne May Have to Rely on Plan “B” and Go Online

ESL may renege on the organization’s original plans to host ESL One Cologne 2020 as a LAN event. Rumors have swirled that the organization may now be looking at an online format instead, with a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak looming globally.

ESL originally hoped that much of the pandemic would be brought under control by now, but a recent change in the European Union guidelines has left too much uncertainty. Air traveling to and from Russia, the United States and Brazil has been restricted, making flying in professional players very difficult.

With 16 teams now announced, we are looking forward a steady stream of names, including:

  • Evil Geniuses
  • 100 Thieves
  • Na’Vi
  • Team Liquid & others.

Yet, overseas teams may not be able to attend should ESL One Cologne launch as a LAN event.  However, an online backup plan exists, sources have confirmed. The current schedule of the tournament will also remain intact, with the event slated for August 21 – August 30.

ESL has some experience hosting LAN events in the conditions of a pandemic. Point in case is IEM Katowice which was hosted earlier this year at the Spodek Arena without live audience.

Yet, in light of the global situation, traveling for leisurely purposes, and especially participating in a video game competition may not prove a sufficient reason to allow overseas teams to the European Union.

Image credit: ESL One



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