Nick J. August 27, 2020
Chaos Esports Club and Team Liquid have postponed their ESL One Cologne matchup, making them the first esports organizations to publically take such a step in protesting racial inequality and a rash of police brutality against minorities in the United States.
Chaos was scheduled to play Team Liquid in ESL One Cologne's semifinal matchup on August 27, but a tweet from the organization announced that it had decided to postpone the match to help bring attention to systemic racism and judicial inequality. In a statement from Chaos' official Twitter account, the team said that "now [was] not the time for games."
Chaos, TL follows NBA teams to protest police brutality
The news comes after the walkout of the Milwaukee Bucks prior to game five of its playoff series against the Orlando Magic in response to the shooting of an unarmed black man named Jacob Blake by police. A number of other NBA teams with playoff games scheduled then followed suit.
Bucks management was unaware of the walkout until it happened, but released a supportive statement after.
"We fully support our players and the decision they made. Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them. The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us. Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change," the Bucks said.
In response to both the shooting and the ensuing NBA walkout, Chaos EC echoed that support and was soon followed by their opponents at Team Liquid. TL also released a statement on its official Twitter account in support of the postponement.
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In addition to the match, Chaos also revealed it planned to announce a widespread effort to use its platform and status to bring attention to social justice issues in a program called "Organizing Chaos." Initially unrelated to the events in Wisconsin, the Chaos CEO drew a line from those events to Chaos' upcoming efforts.
"While we know that our initiatives alone will not completely solve these issues, we are committed to using our platform to push for meaningful change in the gaming industry and support the chaos creators that our out on the frontline every day. Ultimately, we’re down to support anyone organizing chaos to leave this world better than we found it," CEO Ramon Gamble said.
The full text of Gamble's statement can be found here.
It is unclear when the semifinal match will be rescheduled for, but the North American grand finals of ESL One Cologne is currently scheduled for Saturday, August 30, at 4:00 p.m. EST.