The coronavirus pandemic has caused quite some problems in the field of esports, from canceled tournaments to rescheduling of qualifiers and even visa issues for players from heavily affected regions. But the biggest blow came yesterday when ESL announced that playoffs for IEM Katowice will be played in an empty Spodek Arena without any audience, just hours before the quarterfinals were due.
A lot of attendees had traveled to Katowice for the tournament and the news must have been heart-shattering for the fans. One of them going by the username of u/FromTunisia had taken to Reddit just a few hours before the news broke, sharing a photo of his forearm with a CS:GO logo tattoed on it and the post titled “Finally made it. After years of dreaming, I'm 130 meters away from Spodek.”
The fan must have been really sad as he commented: “Help me end my misery,” after the news broke. The community, however, came together suggesting all kinds of weird ideas to help the guy get into the arena, with Richard Lewis even tweeting about it and requesting ESL to “reach out and give this guy some goodies at least.”
Michal Blicharz - VP Pro Gaming at ESL commented on the fan’s post apologizing for the unfortunate turn of events, and even offered to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with him.
While it might not be as good as attending the finals of an IEM event at the Spodek Arena, at least the fan is not going back home empty-handed. The coronavirus has already spread to at least 44 countries, infected more than 80,000 people and claimed nearly 2,900 lives till now. Hope that no more tournaments have to undergo the same fate as IEM Katowice 2020.