Despite attempts to hold the tournament on LAN, ESL One Cologne 2020 will take place online.
Premier CS:GO event ESL One Cologne will be held online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament organizer announced today. The event will be split into four regional tournaments, taking place in late August with a $500,000 collective prize pool.
After extensive research of global travel regulations, #ESLOne Cologne 2020 will happen online.
We are going to split the trophy across four regional divisions in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania from 18th - 30th of August.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) July 16, 2020
Originally scheduled to take place in July, the Cologne event was pushed back to August in an attempt to hold it on LAN. ESL later considered holding the tournament in a studio environment in Cologne, Germany. A LAN return became unlikely due to global travel restrictions regarding countries like the United States, Russia, and Brazil.
The event will go live with $500,000 of the original $1,000,000 prize pool on offer. The other $500k will be added to the prize pools of IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne 2021. In regards to the ESL Pro Tour, ESL One Cologne 2020 will not be counted as a Masters Championship event. It will also not count towards Season 3 of the Intel Grand Slam.
Cologne Goes Regional
ESL One Cologne 2020 will be divided into four regional events, taking place in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. Europe will host 16 teams with $325,000 on offer, while North America will see eight teams fight for a $135,000 prize pool. Both Asia and Oceania will have four teams competing for a $20,000 prize pool.
ESL also revealed many of the event’s invited teams, including current world number one BIG, reigning champions Team Liquid, Natus Vincere, Astralis, and Evil Geniuses. The final participating teams for each region will be decided through the ESL World Ranking. Each of the remaining invites will be revealed on July 20.
ESL One Cologne 2020’s European and North American divisions will begin competing on August 18. Asia and Oceania begin competition on August 25.