The esports scene has been forced to undergo a lot of changes this year to stay safe, which has resulted in the temporary end of those big, exciting events we all know and love. CounterStrike: Global Offensive is one of the circuit’s premier titles, usually hosting two Majors a year, but according to a post on the official CounterStrike blog they’ve made the decision not to schedule them until they consider it safe to do so.
“We’re not going to ask players and fans to risk their health in order to attend a Major while the pandemic still poses a threat to travelers. Therefore, we have made the painful decision to cancel the November Major. So, what’s the plan? First, we’re going to hold off on scheduling Majors until, at a minimum, Regional Major Ranking (RMR) LAN events are safe to hold around the world. Until then, we expect to continue to hold online RMR events to keep track of the best teams in each region.”
You can read the full post here, which also includes some interesting info about a bug some teams have been exploiting to gain the upper hand. The November Major was set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, with an unprecedented prize pot of two million dollars. Half of that was rolled over from the canceled Spring Major, which surely would have inspired some fierce competition from the teams that made it to Rio. So far there’s no such announcement to roll the prize pot over to next year’s Majors or even any confirmation that they’re going ahead – but a three million dollar prize pot would be insane. It’s worth staying updated with the blog for any future announcements of the state of play moving forward – it’s hard to imagine the global situation being all that different by the time the Spring Major would normally take place.
Unfortunately, many other events organizers have followed suit. DreamHack – the Swedish company some would say is responsible for making CS: GO into the esports powerhouse it is today – has postponed their Winter Open until 2021. DreamHack delivers some incredibly polished events, and their presence in the CS: Go scene will certainly be missed this year.
BLAST Premier’s league still seems to be going ahead, with their Fall Showdown taking place from November 23rd-29th. Sixteen teams will be competing, including big names like FaZe Clan, Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses. Their Fall Final is also still scheduled – you can get all of the information over at their website, which includes a handy countdown if you can’t wait for your next CS:GO fix.
The Intel Extreme Masters Beijing-Haidian is currently ongoing. The playoffs are set to commence between the 19th and 22nd of November, which is just around the corner – stakes aren’t all that high with a prize pool of fifteen thousand dollars thought there’s a lot to cover so at SBR we can find a full preview of the Beijing-Haidian to keep updated with tournament, but with all the big events forced to reschedule or outright cancel, pro teams have to take what they can get. Either way, it’s great that there are still events proceeding despite the current global situation. If you’re looking to get a little more excitement out of your esports, Intertops is offering lines on the tournaments.
There are quite a lot of smaller regional events continuing where possible – CBCS The Revenge is scheduled in Brazil from Nov 12th-27th, Latin America’s La Liga Pro TWD World Beyond will go ahead from Nov 28th-29th, and Nine to Five 6 is due to take place from Nov 16th-25th with a fifty thousand dollar prize pool. November is still shaping up to be quite an exciting month for CounterStrike, and although we might have to wait some time for the big events we all know and love, it’s worth waiting until they can proceed in a safer fashion.
Losing the Major and DreamHack this year is a tremendous loss to the esports community, fans flocking to these big events to see the world’s best players duke it out for glory – and, obviously, lots of cash. The circuit may be interrupted; but competition goes on regardless, and the scene will survive thanks to the dedication of teams and organisers across the globe. It might be some time before we see CS:GO play out in a massive arena, but when it does, it’ll return in force.