Due to continued concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the next ESL Pro League season will once again be held online.
ESL Pro League Season 14 was planned to be held in Malta, but the event organizer said Tuesday that “due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-related travel restrictions, #ESLProLeague S14 will take place online with all 24 teams competing from their homes and boot camp locations within Europe.”
The decision was made in conjunction with the EPL Player Council and the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association.
Season 13, which ended in April, was played under the same restrictions.
ESL had just hosted its first LAN tournament in well over a year in Cologne, Germany, but says the conditions there were different from when league play begins Aug. 16.
“We would have loved to continue on LAN, but with the first playday kicking off in four weeks, the ever-changing challenges are simply too great to overcome as we are facing different conditions compared to IEM Cologne 2021,” an official statement from ESL begins.
“Especially with the drastic rise of the Delta variant of COVID-19 across Europe, undergoing similar if not tighter safety restrictions without local governing support is not sustainable for players, teams, talent, and our crew as ESL Pro League is twice as long as IEM Cologne. Going online is the safest option to make sure all teams will still be able to compete in Season 14 while not risking anyone getting stuck with travel complications.”
The organizer still hopes to host fall and winter LAN events with in-person attendance.
–Field Level Media