PGL has communicated to the teams participating at the Stockholm Major that anyone that returns a positive COVID-19 test could be disqualified from the event.
As PGL Major Stockholm draws near, the Romanian company have begun to lift the veil on the tournament rules and the safety protocols in light of the global health crisis.
In the official tournament rulebook sent out to teams, which Dexerto had access to, it is stated that players, coaches, and members are advised to wear masks “at all times while being around other people.” PGL have also recommended that everyone follows Sweden’s health protocols.
In case a team member shows symptoms and returns a positive test result, they “may not be able to continue playing in the tournament and may be disqualified”. And while there are no restrictions on what team members can do in their free time, they “may be subjected to penalties and/or disqualification if the person(s) is deemed to have endangered the tournament by putting others at risk.”
Dexerto knows that a number of teams have expressed concern about the event’s protocols. In their opinion, a player who tests positive should be isolated but still be allowed to play from his hotel room, for example, at least during the early stages of the event. However, it seems unlikely that PGL will change their policy due to broadcast-related reasons.
Each team can register five players, one coach, and a substitute player. PGL has told Dexerto that if a player tests positive, the substitute can be brought in to play in his stead.
“We can’t put in danger the integrity of the Major,” PGL said. “That’s why we asked every team to have a substitute if one player tests positive.
“We want our position to be consistent, and that’s why every positive player will have to be substituted by the reserve player.”
At IEM Cologne, the first international CS:GO LAN event since the global health crisis began, players could be quarantined and still be allowed to play from their hotel rooms if necessary.
Heroic’s players were placed under quarantine for approximately 48 hours after one of their members returned a positive test. Just hours before their opening match, they were given permission to exit quarantine after producing a negative test. According to ESL, the positive test “was not a false positive, but likely traces from a previous infection earlier this year.”
The Team Spirit duo of Boris ‘magixx’ Vorobiev and Abdul ‘degster’ Gasanov also spent over a week under quarantine after it was revealed that a passenger on their flight to Germany had tested positive.
But while IEM Cologne was played entirely in a hotel without a live audience, the Major will see the playoff matches held at the Avicii Arena in front of a large crowd, which presents many practical and logistical challenges.
PGL Major Stockholm comes less than two weeks after the end of The International 10, which was co-organized by Valve and PGL in Bucharest. The event was held without a live audience due to the “continued rise” of cases in Romania.