CS:GO tournament organizers ESL have finally announced that they will be returning to LAN for the first time over six months with their IEM Global Challenge event in Cologne that will round out the 2020 season.
Plenty of CS:GO LAN events across the world were canceled or moved to an online format in early March, shortly after IEM’s Season 14 World Championship, due to the ongoing global health crisis.
However, after months of playing online events, ESL has now announced their return to LAN, with the IEM Global Challenge 2020 scheduled for later in the year.
ESL announced that the event will be kicking off on December 15-20 and would have a whopping $500,000 prize pool in total.
While there are still concerns about returning to the normal CS:GO schedule, this IEM Global Challenge will only be an eight-team tournament, with an extensive online qualification system to determine who will be competing.
Qualification for the tournament will see the top teams from the last online events in 2020, IEM New York, DH Open: Fall, and IEM Beijing, make up four of the eight spots in the tournament.
Back on LAN. 8 Teams. $500,000 Prize Pool.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) September 17, 2020
The remaining four rosters will be determined by the ESL World Ranking ahead of the event, with two slots for Europe, one for the CIS Region, and a slot for North America.
ESL’s upcoming LAN will see the eight teams split into two groups of four, with the top two squads from each pool advancing to bracket play to determine a winner.
The IEM Global Challenge will be hosted in Cologne and it is likely that both the players and the fans will be quite eager for the action to resume on the main stage.
As of now, it is unclear how this event will be operated to include the necessary safety measures, although it is possible that ESL could host a bubble format, similar to what has been planned for League of Legends’ Worlds 2020.