ESL making backup plans for Rio Major in case of coronavirus issues

By Nick Johnson


Mar 11, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

According a statement from ESL’s head of global PR Christopher Flato, the ESL One Rio Major is scheduled to go on as planned but the company is making backup plans, just in case.

Several high-profile tournaments have changed their locations or canceled events completely due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. reached out to ESL regarding the status of the event, with the organizer issuing a statement in response.

“As of now, we still intend to proceed with ESL One Rio as planned, but we continue to closely monitor the situation and maintain a dialogue with the city, the venue and other relevant authorities, with commercial partners and external experts to make the best decisions at any given time….We are preparing alternate scenarios should they be required but we have no indication at this time that we will need to alter the event. We will provide updates proactively as we have them,” said ESL.

The statement came just before news broke that Overwatch League had cancelled all homestand events through the end of April. As of now, ESL is indicating CSGO’s first Brazilian Major in Rio is not yet in danger of being moved.

Alongside this, Flashpoint announced that it’s spring finals would take place in Los Angeles instead of Stockholm earlier this week, issuing a statement alongside the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association:

“In partnership with the CSPPA, Flashpoint has decided to change our plans for Flashpoint Season 1 and will host the event entirely in our Los Angeles studio. This is a controlled environment that allows us to implement strong policies and best practices to protect the players and our employees, while also avoiding incremental travel and interactions with fans,” said the release.

There have been over 125,000 confirmed cases and 4,000 deaths attributed to the virus since its emergence in 2019. Brazil hasn’t been spared either, with the country being the first in South America to receive an officially diagnosed case.

Earlier last month, the IEM Katowice playoffs were broadcast to an empty arena after ESL canceled all tickets and turned away fans at the behest of local officials over coronavirus concerns.

A slew of other esports events have been impacted by COVID-19.


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