ESL Pro League Season 14 will not take place in Malta like originally planned. Here is why this is the case.
ESL Pro League Season 14 will be online due to Covid-related travel restrictions instead of the original location in Malta. 24 teams will compete remotely in Europe, seven of which are not yet confirmed. These seven teams will be determined through the ESL World Rankings. The other teams are filled by Partner and Qualifier teams.
ESL One Cologne 2021 First LAN Back
CS:GO made a return to offline events with ESL One Cologne 2021 where Natus Vincere took him the championship trophy. Aside from a Heroic Positive Test, ESL One Gologne 2021 was ran with very little issue in regard to Covid related protocols. Unfortunately, it looks like that success will not result in a repeat LAN event this time.
The following is the list of teams who will play in ESL Pro League Season 14:
- Natus Vincere
- Evil Geniuses
- Bad News Bears
- TBD for remaining 7 teams
Why CS:GO is going back online
The ESL organizers cite “different conditions compared to IEM Cologne” as the primary reason behind staying online for this tournament. Issues stemming from the rise of the delta variant of COVID-19 across Europe are creating a situation where an offline tournament would be tough. Furthermore, there is a lack of local governing support for a return to an online setting.
Since the Coronavirus Pandemic, CS:GO is in a weird position as an esport currently. Esports tournament organizers needed to make adjustments in 2020-21. Instead of being able to group teams together for an event, tournaments were held online. As a result, this made international CS:GO events tough. The majority of events in CS:GO took place in Europe during the pandemic, leaving the North American scene in dead water. Ultimately, teams are being left with a tough decisions career wise.
Even with a brief return to LAN with ESL One Cologne, CS:GO is still in a rough spot. If the delta variant continue to keep teams online, regions outside of Europe may opt for other FPS titles moving forward. However,
IEM Cologne 2021 will commence shortly after the Summer Player Break ends and begin on August 16 2021. From here, the tournament will run until mid-September where a winner will be crowned at the end of it all.