PGL has released an update on the PGL Major 2021, outlining the possibility for a move from Stockholm to another European Country if the Swedish government is not able to provide the required guarantees for hosting the Major in time. [Image: PGL]
In January, PGL hosted a year in review style podcast with Richard Lewis, Duncan "Thorin" Shields, Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' Alesund, and Semmler. The podcast concluded with an announcement video revealing that PGL will host the first Major in over 2 years at the Avicii Arena in Stockholm. The announcement of the PGL Major 2021 was a huge deal for the Counter-Strike community as it set a target for the return to Stadium LAN.
Sweden was chosen as the venue for the major as it is one of the most historied countries in Esports. Countless Champions in Counter-Strike came from Sweden including legends like Get_Right and Patrik 'f0rest' Lindberg. Sadly, the decision by the Swedish Government to deny Elite Sporting Event Stature to Dota's The International, meant that the event was forced to move to Bucharest.
Stockholm venue could be limited to 300 fans, backup plans in two EU countries
A similar fate seems to be in store for the PGL Major 2021, as PGL today revealed. The current regulations in Stockholm mean that an event in the Avicii arena can be attended by only 300 fans compared to the 16,000 seating capacity of the stadium.
The government has stated that these regulations might be lifted by September 15, depending on the state of the pandemic. But for PGL, planning such a large-scale event based on a possibility instead of a guarantee is a big risk. If the regulations aren't lifted in time it could lead to the PGL Major 2021 being canceled.
"Right now, we are in direct discussions with the Swedish authorities and working together to find a solution to still host the PGL MAJOR in Stockholm. For the city to be the heart of Counter-Strike later this year, we have to stick to the initial terms of the project: we need to fly in all the qualified players into Sweden and to entertain a large number of spectators inside the venue. The current restrictions in Sweden allow for only 300 spectators within the Avicii Arena, but these restrictions MIGHT be lifted after September 15, depending on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic."
PGL went on to say they have a backup plan in place, and they are in touch with two other European countries who have offered "all the necessary guarantees to run the CS:GO Major by having all the players on-site and a large audience inside the venue".
If PGL is unable to secure guarantees for the event in due time, they will be able to move the Major to another Venue. Among the European countries, Romania seems like the most likely option for the PGL Major 2021 as Dota 2's TI10 has already been moved there and PGL is headquartered in Bucharest. PGL has already helped in organizing a major in Romania before when it partnered with Dreamhack to organize the Cluj-Napoca Major.
With some European countries opening to large events, PGL has a short window to secure a stadium. Nevertheless, they remain committed to holding the Major in Sweden. With the Mayor of Stockholm Anna König Jerlmyr and the Minister of Culture and Democracy Amanda Lind involved in discussions with PGL, there is a chance that the major will still be held in Stockholm.