ESL Has “Backup Plans” in case of Coronavirus Pandemic
Christopher Flato, head of global PR for CS:GO League, ESL has issued a statement in which he talks about the ESL One Rio major continuing despite the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the 2019 Coronavirus.
This comes in after witnessing entire countries shutting down and at the very least, large sport gatherings and crowds in general, being on lockdown. Many big tournaments have had their locations changed or been cancelled entirely.
According to an interview with WIN.GG, a spokesman for the event said that as of now, they “still intent to proceed with ESL One Rio” but warned they would monitor the situation very closely. He went on to say that they would be “preparing alternate scenarios” should they be necessary. The organizer specified that they would be providing updates as proactively as and when they’ve received information.
Since the statement was made, Overwatch League announced they would be canceling all their homestand events as far forward as late April. The ESL has also indicated that the first ever Brazilian CSGO Major held in Rio should still be happening as planned.
Last month, the IEM Katowice playoffs in Poland were shown to vacant arena, as the ESL had canceled tickets and were turning fans away from the doors, over fears of coronavirus.
Earlier in the week, Flashpoint expressed that the spring finals wouldn’t be taking place in Stockholm and has instead been relocated to Los Angeles.
According to a statement, Flashpoint claimed they had “decided to change our plans for Flashpoint Season 1” and will host the event from their studio based in Los Angeles. They believe this will help due to “avoiding travel and interactions with fans”, whilst providing a more controlled environment that should help protect both employees and players from coming into contact with the disease.
Coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 6000 people worldwide. With over 160,000 recorded cases, these are expected to rise in the coming weeks. Countries like Spain and Italy have gone into total lockdown, allowing citizens to only leave for necessities like food or work, the rest have been told to stay indoors to avoid further risk of infection.