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In the biggest hit to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene in 2020 yet, Valve has revealed that the ESL One: Rio Major has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Originally scheduled for May 11th to 24th, the event was postponed to November prior to this announcement. The plan was to have a $2 million prize pool with the Rio event taking the place of both of the years Majors.

“We’re not going to ask players and fans to risk their health in order to attend a Major while the pandemic still poses a threat to travelers. Therefore, we have made the painful decision to cancel the November Major,” the official announcement stated.

This means the Major system will come to a hold for now while ESL and Valve wait to see what the future holds in terms of the current global health crisis.

“We’re going to hold off on scheduling Majors until, at a minimum, Regional Major Ranking (RMR) LAN events are safe to hold around the world. Until then, we expect to continue to hold online RMR events to keep track of the best teams in each region,” Valve explained.

ESL’s VP of ProGaming Michal “CARMAC” Blicharz also spoke on the cancelled events and plans for the future. “It is with great sadness that we needed to cancel this year’s CS:GO Major, but we are doing everything we can to resume running tournaments like we used to as soon as it is possible. The IEM Global Challenge will be our first step towards that,” he said. “All plans are of course subject to change as we continue to monitor guidance around the COVID-19 situation, and ESL’s top priority is always the health and well-being of teams, coaches, managers and crew.”

This makes 2020 the first year since 2013 in which an official Valve-sponsored Counter-Strike Major hasn’t been held.

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