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Will ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Major be played without an Audience?

Vignesh Raghuram
5th Mar, 2020

Copyright: ESL | Helena Kristiansson

Many were sceptical about the third Major of the season and whether it would still take place considering the increasing spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. These fears were particularly amplified after CS:GO tournaments like IEM Katowice 2020 happened behind closed doors.

With Californian events like Game Developers Conference 2020 and Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit being cancelled or postponed, there was a very real possibility that ESL One Los Angeles 2020 might end up being played without an audience or being outright cancelled.

ESL has addressed those fears by issuing a statement earlier yesterday. They stated that the tournament will still take place, as planned.

"The ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Major will happen as planned on March 20-22 at Shrine Auditorium. We are in close contact with the local authorities, and if there is any reason to suggest that the event is not perfectly safe we will re-evaluate and react to the new situation. As of now, the venue, the authorities, and ESL evaluate the event to be safe to attend."

They also added that they will be increasing the hygiene standards and have additional medical staff at the venue for countermeasures against the virus.




Interestingly the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the L.A. County Department of Public Health declared a local and public state of emergency, 90 minutes after this announcement was made. They stated that if things get worse they will force sporting/esports events to be played without an audience.

It should also be noted that IEM Katowice 2019 announced that the tournament will not have an audience, less than 24 hours before it kicked off.

So there is still a very real possibility that the event might happen behind closed doors.


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Vignesh is one of AFK Gaming’s most experienced writers, having written over 1000 articles for the website over the last 3 years. Although his primary focus has always been Dota 2, his experience in esports also includes expertise in CS:GO and mobile esports titles.