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ESL One Cologne Moves to Online Format

Craig Robinson

ESL has announced that ESL One Cologne 2020 has been delayed till August and will operate using four regional online tournaments. This news comes after their initial announcement in May that the event would go ahead without a live audience.


ESL One Cologne to move entirely online through August 2020. (Photo courtesy Adela Sznajder - ESL)

The ESL One Cologne 2020 event will now run from August 18th-30th with four divisions running online across Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. Across the four leagues is a $500,000 USD prize pool up for grabs, retaining the event’s value as one of the most prestigious of the year.

Each region has separate dates, times and prize pool allocations. Europe spans for the most prolonged time running from August 18th-30th and has a prize of $325,000. The next big-ticket tournament is North America’s running from August 18th-29th for a $135,000 prize. Asia and Oceania are much shorter, running from August 25th-30th with both having a $20,000 prize each.

Europe has 16 teams attending the event, with big names like Na’Vi, FaZe, G2 and more attending via the ESL Pro Tour Ranking. More organizations have earned their way through the ESL World Ranking and various ESL Pro Tour tournaments. So far 15 teams are confirmed with one more pending via the ESL World Rankings.

North America is much smaller, with eight teams attending the event. Seven teams are confirmed right now with Team Liquid, 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, FURIA Esports, Cloud 9, GEN.G, MiBR locked in with one more from the ESL World Rankings TBD.

Both Asia and Oceania have four slots available, with Tyloo confirmed for Asia and Renegades for Oceania. Both regions have three more slots to be decided by the ESL World Rankings. ESL will confirm all the remaining teams via the ESL World Rankings on July 20th.

Michal “Carmac” Blicharz, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL said: “ESL One Cologne is one of the truly special events in the esports calendar, and one that players and fans around the world cherish. The crew at ESL wanted nothing more than to have players on-site to compete, after an extended period of research and deliberations, we came to the conclusion that the time is not yet right for an in-person competition. Until that day comes, we want to deliver the best online experience we can.”

Even with COVID-19 heavily in retreat across Europe, ESL has decided to schedule their summer blockbuster online for now. It seems ESL only intend on returning to live crowd audiences once when there is almost no risk of transmission for the good of everyone’s health. More details on ESL One Cologne is visible here.