The future of this year’s ESL One Cologne and the League of Legends European Championship is hanging in the balance after Angela Merkel confirmed no large gatherings could be held until after August 31. The directive comes as Germany puts new coronavirus measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus nationwide.
The tournament in the Cathedral of Counter-Strike is due to take place in early July, but due to yesterday’s announcement, it might suffer the same fate as the Rio Major. ESL hasn’t confirmed the cancellation or postponement of the $1 million event just yet, but in a statement on Twitter the company says it is “working on what this means” for the tournament this year.
This is now the fourth ESL tournament that has been directly affected by the pandemic. In February, the Silesian Governor revoked the tournament organiser’s mass gathering license for IEM Katowice, despite having no confirmed case of the virus in Poland. The Rio Major, which will now be the only Major tournament of the year, has been rescheduled from May to November, and Season 11 of the ESL Pro League has been moved to an online-only format.
The directive also affects the LEC. Even though League teams have been playing the Spring Split online, hopes of returning to the Berlin studio for the Summer Split have been dashed.
Riot Games has not commented on the directive yet.