Intel Grand Slam on hold until at least ESL One Cologne, possibly longer

Nick J. May 17, 2020

ESL has announced the postponement of the INTEL Grand Slam meta-tournament. This comes as the organizer stated that online events and Road to Rio’s multiple winners prevents the organizer from determining who the best team in the world actually is.

The move comes on the heels of the postponement of several major LAN tournaments and their move to regional online formats. The decision makes sense, given the fact that the current contenders for the $1 million dollar cash prize are spread out across the North American, CIS, and European regions. The move to online tournaments to comply with local health regulations and to ensure player safety has left the international Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene split into several separate groups of competitors. 

Starting with ESL Pro League Season 11, online tournaments separated by region will not count towards the events needed to win the Grand Slam.

ESL Eyes Cologne for LAN and Intel Grand Slam Return

ESL is reportedly looking to get back to LAN competition with ESL One Cologne, but when asked if ESL One Cologne’s planned broadcast tournament would be held online or with the players live in a studio, ESL’s Chris Flato gave WIN.gg this response on May 5:

“We have no information about the final format as of yet. [We} will let you know once we know more,” Flato said.

It’s possible that the German government will give ESL the go-ahead to host the international tournament in-country, but current travel restrictions bar those from outside the EU from spending significant time in the country without an "urgent reason."

As of now, six teams are currently in the running for the Intel Grand Slam, with only one team having already won a masters event. Natus Vincere took home the top spot at IEM Katowice 2020. Here are the current standings, as well as the timeframes for each team to complete their grand slam.

Current Grand Slam Rankings

According to ESL, these are the current standings in the current season of the Intel Grand Slam:

  • Natus Vincere - 1 trophy, 9 chances remaining (must win three more tournaments or 5/9)
  • mousesports - 1 trophy, 8 chances remaining (must win two more tournaments and a masters-level event or 5/8)
  • Astralis – 1 trophy, 7 chances remaining (must win two more tournaments and a masters level event or 5/7)
  • Fnatic – 1 trophy, 6 chances remaining (must win two more tournaments and a masters level event or 5/6)
  • Evil Geniuses – 1 trophy, 5 chances remaining (must win two more tournaments and a masters level event or go 5/5)
  • Team Liquid – 1 trophy, 4 chances remaining (must win two more tournaments and a masters level event)

IEM Katowice 2020, ESL One Cologne, and CSGO majors hosted by either ESL or DreamHack, including ESL One Rio.