PGL Major Stockholm One Step Closer to Reality as Sweden Relaxes CS:GO Player Restrictions
Sweden hits one of two requirements to host the CS:GO Major in Stockholm.
PGL had at last come forward to give an official update from their side about the CS:GO Major on 28th July, when they had put forth two requirements along with deadlines for the Swedish authorities. Well, the Swedish government seems to have met the first of the two deadlines as the travel restrictions have now been relaxed for esports players. As per the official press release, the relaxation of the travel restrictions will enter into force from 23rd Aug 2021. Despite the travel relaxations for esports athletes coming into Sweden, they would still be required to produce a negative COVID-19 result upon entry.
PGL CS:GO Major Update: Swedish government eases travel restrictions for esports players
The Swedish government always had an exception in place for players and athletes who were "taking part in or performing necessary tasks at international elite sports competitions," within Sweden.
Unfortunately, esports was not recognized as an international elite sports competition by the Swedish government. This led to a huge uproar within the CS:GO community as the Mayor of Stockholm - Anna König Jerlmyr came forward and wrote a letter to both, Minister of the Interior - Mikael Damberg and Minister of Sports - Amanda Lind, in support of hosting the PGL Major Stockholm 2021 in Sweden.
A series of events resulted in Amanda Lind inviting PGL and Valve for a meeting. After weeks of silence, PGL finally came forward to reveal the two important guarantees set by them to ensure that the event is accessible to all the players, staff, and fans, keeping a close eye on the following deadlines.
The first deadline is directly related to the change in Sweden's temporary entry ban restriction which will allow all the players and people supporting the event to enter the country. This amendment is supposed to be enforced by 23rd August, according to PGL.
This is the second deadline that affects the live audience numbers for the CS:GO Major. PGL is hoping that the indoor restrictions for this tournament will be lifted by this date and that they would be able to fill Avicii Arena to its full capacity.
The first of the two deadlines have now been met by Swedish authorities as esports has been included in the list of international elite sports competitions, allowing esports athletes to travel to Sweden.
The exemption that the Government has now adopted is important to be able to increase possibilities for holding international elite competitions in esports and similar events in Sweden.Mikael Damberg - Minister of the Interior
This exception will go into affect from 23rd August onwards. However, the players travelling into the country still need to produce a negative COVID-19 result upon entry.
I am glad that this decision now opens up the possibility of holding international esports events even during the pandemic. Sweden has long been a leader in esports, which is a position we must preserve.Amanda Lind - Minister for Culture and Democracy
Now all that remains is for the Swedish government to try and meet the second deadline, as PGL hopes that the indoor restrictions for the CS:GO Major Stockholm are lifted by 15th September.