CSGO teams agree to play in complete darkness at IEM Rio 2023 after lighting fault

Jeremy Gan
Heroic plays in the dark at IEM Rio 2023 after lighting fault

Heroic and TheMongolZ agreed to play in complete darkness at IEM Rio 2023 after a lighting rig fault, with both teams opting to continue on despite the massive change in conditions. 

During 2020, when all CSGO events switched to online play, it became a familiar sight to see player cams that were completely dark, with esports superstars only illuminated by their monitors. It was only when we came back to in-person LANs that it became a much rarer sight in Tier One CSGO. 

But it seems viewers were treated to a small throwback to the online days when during an IEM Rio 2023 Group Stage match between Heroic and TheMongolZ, the lights in the stadium suddenly went off, shrouding players in complete darkness. 

The most surprising part? Nobody batted an eye. Not one of the players was startled, and nor were the casters. To be fair, both casters were off-site and not actually in the venue when the lights went out. 

In round 20 of the second map, as the observer is on BART4K’s pov, we suddenly see his player cam go dark and he is still fully focused on his screen. Shortly after MongolZ loses the round, a tech pause is taken.

This intermission was rather short given the circumstance. It was only after the second map was finished, with TheMongolZ taking it to a third, when the casters revealed that the players all unanimously agreed to play in the dark during this brief pause in the action. 

HLTV writer, Nohte, posted a surreal picture of the stage, with the MongolZ players sitting in the dark.

Pietro, a Senior Partner Manager for ESL, compared it to a “LAN sleepover party.” Harkening to the old days of Dreamhack LANs where gamers would play in the dark all night. 

Despite the lighting issues, it seems it did not faze the players whatsoever. Heroic would go on to take the series 2-1, and their next lower bracket match will be against NIP, fighting for a playoff spot in the elimination match.