ESL has announced changes to several CS:GO tournaments that were a part of ESL Pro Tour including the highly anticipated ESL One Cologne 2021, which was initially planned to take place in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike - The Lanxess Arena. While the tournament will not be played in front of a live audience, it will still be taking place in a closed studio environment, marking the return of CS:GO to a LAN tournament after more than a year. While Cologne might not be witnessing a live audience until next year, ESL is still hoping to “return to live audience events in November of this year”.
CS:GO returns to LAN with ESL One Cologne 2021
ESL has announced an update with a lot of changes to the schedule and format of multiple CS:GO tournaments that will be taking place in the second quarter of the year. While the biggest change is ESL One Cologne 2021 moving from a live audience tournament to a studio-based LAN event, there are several other small but significant changes.
“While our return to live audience events is still set to be in November of this year, we are here with an update regarding several of our upcoming events. Due to the ever changing landscape we have had to make changes to our calendar and how we will bring everyone the best show possible directly to your screens at home. All of this is in order to make the right decisions for our players, crew, staff and of course, our fans.”
This is the ESL schedule for some of the upcoming CS:GO tournaments, with IEM Winter 2021 being the only live audience tournament on the calendar for now.
ESL has stated that they will continue to monitor the global situation and provide a further update if they change the ESL and DreamHack calendar. However, the good thing is that going ahead we will be witnessing a lot more CS:GO LAN tournaments taking place within a closed studio environment.
Cologne 2021 will be the return of competitive CS:GO to LAN and its success will be paramount to the future of such studio-based tournaments. So hopefully, ESL will be able to conduct the planned LAN tournament perfectly which is currently scheduled to take place from 6 - 18 July, with a total prize pool of $1,000,000 and 24 teams set to compete in it.