Is the World of Esports Events Finally Making a Return?
Two major esports events intend to have fans in live attendance before the end of 2021. Could this be a sign of a return to normality for esports events as a whole?
DOTA 2 and PGL made announcements yesterday and this morning, respectively, addressing the next events that they would be holding. The International (TI) for DOTA 2 and PGL Major 2021 (Major) for CS: GO are among the highest-profile events in esports, let alone just for their games individually.
Within these announcements, both events had locations in Romania for the DOTA 2 TI and Sweden for the CS: GO Major, dates and fan attendance officially confirmed. As to how both events are achieving fan attendance, the post relating to The International added that all attendees would be required to have been fully vaccinated and wear masks. PGL has not announced if such requirements will be needed to attend the CS:GO Major.
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How Has Esports Fared Through the Pandemic So Far
Events such as the League of Legends World Championships have taken place consistently. However, fans have not attended international tournaments or regular season play, except the League of Legends 2020 Worlds finals held in China.
At the very least, the annual and seasonal events have continued despite the struggles of working around the global pandemic. Unfortunately, tournaments like the Fortnite World Cup have not been able to operate similarly.
The pandemic caused cancellations of the Fortnite World Cup for both 2020 and 2021. Meaning that it could not build off the massive success from the debut tournament held in 2019.
As compared to Riot Games, Valve, PGL, ESL and other esports tournament organisers. Epic Games had not had a long-standing reputation for holding esports events before the pandemic hit. Leading to the decision to cancel tournaments, for not make logistical or financial sense to even to try and hold the event. However, Epic Games have been hosting online tournaments to keep the Fortnite esports scene alive.
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What This Means for Other Tournaments
Other high-profile esports events could follow suit with the DOTA 2 International and CS: GO Major guaranteeing fan attendance.
Both the DOTA 2 TI and CS: GO Major have quite a responsibility to lead the way for other esports events going into 2022. If no incidents or safety concerns occur during the events, it may show other companies that it is possible to hold tournaments safely with fans.
Or, at the very least, that it is possible to do so within Europe. Hopefully leading to an eventual return to normal fan attendance at the biggest esports events for 2022 and beyond.