The future of the first Counter-Strike Global Offensive Major since 2019 is now blurred due to a diplomatic sway in Sweden. Valve, the developer of CS:GO and DotA 2 has shared a critical update in respect to The International 2021 this year, which might affect CS:GO in the run-up to PGL Major 2021.
Many countries have eased the travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people with proofs, which has impacted the esports ecosystem positively. As a result, numerous esports have gone back to normal, with significant events moving to LAN. However, a setback in Valve’s DotA 2, has put a massive question mark over what would be CSGO’s first major event in two years.
DotA 2’s biggest event, The International, will once again see a delay. This time, however, global health issues won’t be the reason. The event was set to occur in Sweden, but Swedish Sports Federation had just voted not to accept esports into the sports federation. As a result, the professional players and crew might not safely travel to compete on LAN in Sweden, the official press release revealed.
“With the Minister of the Interior failing to recognize The International – Dota 2 Championships as an elite sporting event, anyone attempting to procure a visa for travel into Sweden for TI10 (including players, talent, and staff) would be denied,” the press release said.
Only “elite sporting events” are eligible to take place during COVID-19 in Sweden. With officials voting T10 and esports out of the sports federation, plans for the biggest DOTA 2 event ultimately fell through. While the organizers have already started damage control, the whole shebang has raised questions on CSGO Major expected to happen in Stockholm, Sweden.
“We have started looking for possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe to host the event this year, in case the Swedish government is unable to accommodate The International – DotA 2 Championships as planned,” Valve said.
PGL announced the first CSGO major since the Pandemic in Stockholm, Sweden. The event was scheduled to occur from October 23 to November 7 and would feature a $2 million prize pool, the highest in the history of Counter-Strike. However, taking DOTA2’s 11th-hour news flash into account, it seems highly unlikely that organizers would be able to set the stage in the Swedish capital.
HLTV’s sources report that organizers of CSGO Stockholm major are still committed to hosting this year’s event in a previously announced venue. It’s worth noting here that the 2021 Major for CSGO was being hosted by PGL, the company that has organized DOTA2’s The International in recent years. Unfortunately, the game venue is also the same as the International 10, which raises more concerns regarding PGL Stockholm 2021.
CSGO personalities, casters, and players have expressed their disappointment and shock at the recent development in Sweden’s strategy. While some players have criticized the government for sticking to outdated policies, others are badgering the developers for not clarifying the situation.
CSGO fans were eagerly waiting to watch their favourite players in action on their home turf: LAN. While other games like VALORANT have eventually returned to crowd-less LAN events, CSGO remains online during the pandemic. The last CSGO Major was the StarLadder Berlin Major, which took place in 2019.
CSGO Major Cancellation
The major was expected to be followed by the ESL One Rio Major in Brazil in May 2020, but the event was ultimately discarded. Instead, online “regional major” events were announced to keep teams engaged and determine the participants for future LAN tournaments.
This isn’t the first time DOTA2’s main event has been postponed during the pandemic. However, the International 10 was expected to happen, considering the easing travel restrictions. The organizer would likely fire on all cylinders to find an alternate venue because the event was already under advanced stages of preparations, and this news doesn’t favor the organizers commercially at all.
The production of live events, venue rental, hospitality, betting, merchandise, and equipment, etc., all of which would suffer a massive setback. The companies in the fantasy betting industry who rely on match-making odds and spend millions in advertising will also see plummeted viewership and traction. Similarly, the advertisers who buy placements on live streams and other coverage platforms would not see the expected retention.
It’s cool though to see Sweden as Valve’s PGL CS:GO Major 2021’s considerate choice of venue after the hostile shunt.