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IEM Global Challenge set to be 1st CSGO live event since IEM Katowice

ESL has announced its plans to host the 2020 IEM Global Challenge as a live event in December 2020.

The tournament organizer revealed that the 2020 IEM Global Challenge will take place in Cologne, Germany, pending any more global developments that might impact the tournament. It will feature the top eight teams from a variety of tournaments set to take place between now and the end of the year.

  • IEM New York 2020 Online
  • IEM Beijing-Haiden 2020
  • DreamHack Open Fall 2020

The IEM Global Challenge is also set to be an Intel Grand Slam event, the first since IEM Katowice 2020. The Grand Slam event series and its $1 million prize was put on hold when CSGO organizers across the world moved to online formats in early 2020, starting with ESL Pro League Season 11. When it was puased, the rankings for the Intel Grand Slam had six teams tied for the challenge. The Intel Grand Slam requires a team to win four events that ESL categorizes as Grand Slams over a limited peroid of time to claim the prize.

Teams in the running for the Intel Grand Slam

  • Natus Vincere
  • Astralis
  • Fnatic
  • Team Liquid 
  • mousesports
  • Evil Geniuses

Coaching exploit looms large over the Global Challenge

As CSGO's LAN events start to trickle back onto the calendar, accusations and admissions from coaches across CSGO's top teams have tainted the current pro landscape. At this time, over 15 coaches have either been accused of or admitted to using an exploit to gain a competitive advantage in tournaments. The exploit allowed a coach to view any spot on a map for an entire round, with full sight of the enemy teams, their positions, and even their weaponry.

Several of these coaches have already been banned by ESL from participating in ESL tournaments, while the rest wait for the Esports Integrity Coalition to complete its investigation. Even then, it's possible that more teams used to exploit in CSGO's lower divisions. 

Read more about Valve's comment on CSGO's coaching exploits, including upholding the ban on MIBR's recently released head coach, right here.

In addition to the coaching exploit that rocked the CSGO world, there has also been an ongoing investigation into ESL's Mountain Dew League concerning matchfixing. This has also been given to the ESIC for review.

In the end, when CSGO finally comes back to LAN, it might be a more low-key affair than most fans would expect, especially if the ESIC completes its investigations before the tournament is set to take place.

The IEM Global Challenge's next qualifying event is IEM New York 2020, an online tournament that will take place across several regions and is the last officially scheduled Regional Ranking tournament for the unscheduled ESL One Major. The Global Challenge is officially set to start on December 15 and will run until December 20, allowing CSGO's top teams to compete for a $500,000 prize pool.

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