Tournament organizers ESL have announced that they will be hosting their highly anticipated 2020 ESL One Cologne CS:GO event online, following global travel restrictions.
ESL Cologne is an annual CS:GO competition that features top teams from around the world, often considered one of the biggest events of the year, outside of the Majors.
However, ESL announced, in a blog post, that they would be switching up the format for the tournament in 2020, following concerns around global travel leading up to the event.
"After a thorough evaluation we’ve concluded that ESL One Cologne 2020 powered by Intel will transition to an Online Tournament." the tournament organizer revealed, "The decision was made after extensive research and understanding of global travel regulations and individual national guidelines."
They also revealed that they would be splitting the event into four separate regions, Europe, North America, Oceania, and Asia, allowing each of the teams to compete from home.
"The teams were determined based on a regionalized version of the original ESL One Cologne qualification rule set: via the ESL Pro Tour ranking, ESL Pro Tour Challenger events, and the ESL World Ranking."
After extensive research of global travel regulations, #ESLOne Cologne 2020 will happen online.
We are going to split the trophy across four regional divisions in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania from 18th - 30th of August.
Read more here:https://t.co/GSSnKC1OjE pic.twitter.com/hsgIwgUplh
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) July 16, 2020
The $500,000 prize pool has also been proportionally split into each of the regions with Asia and Oceania, who are only fielding 4 teams each, fighting for a $20,000 prize compared to the $325,000 for Europe's top 16.
ESL One Cologne which was originally expected to run from July 6-12, however, it is now scheduled to span from August 18-30 after moving to an online format.
Although the likes of Vitality, BIG, and Evil Geniuses have all been confirmed, there are still plenty of teams to be invited for each of these regional competitions, with more teams expected to receive an invite on July 20.
ESL is also playing host to the next CS:GO Major in Rio, which has been delayed until November following similar concerns regarding the ongoing health crisis.