Counter-Strike Major moved to November due to Coronavirus Outbreak
The ESL One Rio Major which was set to start with the Champions Stage on May 11-24 has been pushed back to November 19-22 due to the ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
The November date takes the reserved spot for the second 2020 major that was going to take place in fall later this year. This means Counter-Strike fans will be left with only one major for the year, the first time since 2013 when the first major was held.
The May 2020 @CSGO Major in Rio has been rescheduled to November 19-22 due to the COVID-19 situation. The event will remain at Jeunesse Arena and the prize money will be added to the November Major, upping it to $2,000,000https://t.co/WXxJGdSkbK
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) March 23, 2020
Although the date has changed, Brazilian fans will be happy to hear the major is still taking place in Rio, and in the original venue, the Jeunesse Arena.
Due to ESL One Rio taking the second major spot of 2020 there will now be an increase in prize money. The standard for Counter-Strike majors is now set at $1 million and the cancellation of the second major has allowed the money to shift towards ESL Rio, bringing the total prize money to $2 million – an unseen prize pool for a Counter-Strike tournament.
This announcement will not come as a surprise to Counter-Strike and esports fans alike due to mass gatherings being prohibited in many parts of the world.
Valve already decided to cancel the Dota 2 Major taking place on May 2-10 as opposed to postponing it for a later date, and the ESL Pro League and Flashpoint 1 have had to transition to online play.
At the time of writing, there are 1,924 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazil and 34 deaths with stats showing it is on the rise. Regardless of the cases specific to Brazil, travel restrictions are in place all over the world to stop the spread of the virus, and the major would be postponed wherever it is hosted.
ESL has also announced that fans with tickets to the major in May can keep them for the postponed date, or due to financial uncertainty, refund them through their Eventbrite account.
Viewers will also be wondering what will happen to the offline regional minors set to take place in April and May. The events which were originally listed on HLTV have been taken down from the calendar, and it is expected ESL will announce in the coming weeks how they will play out.
Archie is a freelance designer based in London. He has been playing CS:GO since 2014 and has followed the pro scene closely. In his spare time he likes to write about the game and contributes to Level Push's CS:GO section.