Nick J. May 5, 2020
Both ESL One Cologne and IEM Melbourne have been effectively canceled according to a tweet from tournament organizer ESL. According to the accompanying blog post, tickets for both events will be honored at the events' new dates in 2021.
The cancellations are a result of both Germany and Australia's ban on gatherings of large crowds. Germany recently ruled that large groups of people are a public health concern, banning them until August 2020. In light of the ban, ESL One Cologne will be broadcast without a live audience. ESL's press release failed to clarify whether the replacement tournament would be held online or if the teams would attend the broadcast in person.
ESL One Cologne and IEM Melbourne 2020 rescheduled to 2021
This year would have been the sixth anniversary of ESL One Cologne. Summer's premiere CSGO event traditionally takes place in Cologne, Germany and is affectionately know to fans as the “Cathedral of Counter-Strike."
Tickets purchased for ESL One Cologne 2020 are valid for the event's new dates in 2021 on July 16-18. ESL has instructed fans who won't be able to make next year's dates that they request a refund for their tickets by the end of 2020.
The replacement broadcast tournment is now scheduled for August 21-30.
IEM Melbourne, formally IEM Sydney, would have been the first ESL Counter-Strike event held in the city. IEM Sydney previously ran for three years before moving to Melbourne for the Melbourne Esports Open in 2020. Unlike ESL One Cologne, ESL will not host a replacement tournament for IEM Melbourne.
ESL will, however, honor tickets for this year's IEM Melbourne at IEM Melbourne 2021. The tournament organizer revealed the event will take place during the weekend of August 21-22 next year. Once again, ESL will offer Melbourne 2020 ticketholders refunds through the end of this year.
CSGO tournament changes become routine with rescheduling in Cologne, Melbourne
ESL has seemingly taken swift action after Valve stepped in and moved the ESL One Rio Major to November, effectively cancelling Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's second planned Major event. In an unlikely move, Valve also instititued a rule by which all teams already qualified for the Major would have to requalify over a series of three regional tournaments. The first Regional Major tournament, ESL's Road to Rio, is currently ongoing.
Both the North American and European regional Major tournaments wrap up this week, with the CIS region starting their RMT Tuesday, May 5. The Asian, Middle Eastern, Oceania, Chinese, and South American RMTs also finish their competitions in the coming weeks.
Fans can find more information regarding ESL's decision to reschedule the tournaments, as well as instructions on how to request a refund to either of the events on ESL's official blog, found here.