ESL who had earlier reportedly thought of returning to LAN tournaments with the ESL One Cologne 2020 is now looking the other way and opting to host the tournament online like the rest of them, according to a report by DBLTAP.
ESL One Cologne Might Not Take Place On LAN
With the intention to mark their return to LAN tournaments, ESL was hoping to achieve the feat with ESL One Cologne 2020 set to take place late next month. But amid the global health situation and the recent European Union guidelines which have still restricted air travel to and from the United States of America, Brazil, Russia, among other countries, ESL is finding it rather challenging to assemble all teams at one location for the tournament.
Just a few days back ESL had announced 16 of the 20 participating teams for the tournament. But with the new guidelines coming into effect travelling for the tournament would not have been possible for a few teams like Na’Vi, Team Liquid, 100Thieves, Evil Geniuses, FURIA Esports, and TYLOO (maybe), hence rendering the supposed LAN tournament ineffective.
In an earlier statement provided to HLTV, someone from ESL had stated that “If it’s possible to run a LAN event, it will be a LAN event.” It seems that this feeling has since changed as Ulrich Schulze - ESL Senior VP of Product in a statement provided to DBLTAP said that “We are still evaluating the situation, and having the event take place online is one of the options."
So though he has not clearly stated that the possibility of a LAN tournament is out of the question, his comment does show the lack of confidence as he states that organizing the tournament online is being kept as a backup.
No changes have been made to the revised schedule of the tournament yet which is all set to take place from 21st - 30th August. But the original plan of hosting it in a closed environment without a live audience, similar to how IEM Katowice was hosted in an empty Spodek Arena earlier this year seems to be fading away.
ESL One Cologne which is affectionately also known as ‘The Cathedral of Counter-Strike’ has already been shifted once from July to August. Though the dates are not changing this time around, the dream of hosting one of the most passionate annual tournaments on LAN is slowly fading away.
ESL Pro League Season 11 was played online this time around and by the looks of it, Cologne might also follow in its footsteps. With this, ESL Pro League Season 12 and ESL One: Rio Major are the two remaining tournaments that are still officially listed as LAN tournaments.