The ESL Pro League is the latest esports league to be affected by coronavirus concerns.
In this forever changing and ever-expanding world of developing league play, the ESL is the latest esports organization to move forward with new plans.
In order to ensure the safety of players, fans and our crew in the current global dynamics, Season 11 of #ESLProLeague will be played entirely online and the finals will be moved from Denver to a studio location.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) March 11, 2020
Direct From The Source
The following is a message directly from the ESL Pro League page, posted earlier this morning for fans:
"We have been closely monitoring the daily developments in regards to the global health situation and want to be as transparent with you, the fans, as possible."
"In light of the current dynamics regarding COVID-19, we have made the decision to play the regular season matches of ESL Pro League Season 11 online, and are moving the finals from 1STBANK CENTER, Denver to a studio location without a live audience in Europe."
"This decision was largely motivated by the fact that Malta, the country of our originally planned studio location, has instituted a wide range of travel restrictions and quarantine regulations as of today. We fully support all measures aimed at containing the COVID-19 dynamics as much as possible. These travel restrictions have made it impossible for a large amount of staff and the majority of teams to make their way to the planned season location."
With bigtime sponsorship from companies like Intel, Mountain Dew, the US Airforce, CS Money, and MSI, the switch up of marketing and how the tournament will play out moving forward is completely up in the air. It is nice that the ESL is being so direct and open about this change, seeing as most leagues have been posting with quick rundowns of Coronavirus cancelations.
There is more here, and with the ESL already stating their plans moving forward, it is only a matter of time before the locale of the new final will be announced for fans to pontificate over.
The press release expanded even further on the topic, going on to explain what exactly will be happening while they update the ESL:
"The big majority of teams are already in Europe as we speak. All of the teams and the CSPPA have been extremely supportive and teams are offering their facilities and boot camp locations to fellow players coming in from other countries and we are doing everything we can to provide the safest environment."
"In order to further ensure the health and safety of our players, staff and fans alike, we are also moving the Denver finals to a studio location in Europe to minimize the overall travel and mitigate the risk for potential travel restrictions. We are deeply sorry to all fans who have been looking forward to seeing the Finals in Denver and are hoping to bring an event there soon. Needless to say, we will refund all tickets and fans will be receiving further instruction from 1STBANK Center shortly."
"Your ESL Pro League Team"
The ESL is slated to continue on March 12th all the way through to April 12, taking place in Denver, Colorado. There will be 24 teams competing for a prize of over $750,000… so we will make sure to keep you updated if more changes are yet to come.