by Esports Pocket in

ESL One Cologne won’t be held on LAN this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament organizer announced today.

Instead, ESL will switch the CS:GO tournament to online play across four different regions: Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. ESL made this decision “after extensive research and understanding of global travel regulations and individual national guidelines.”

The announcement comes one week after Jarek “DeKay” Lewis and HLTV reported that ESL was leaning toward holding the event online despite its wishes to have it on LAN. ESL One Cologne has been one of the most important CS:GO tournaments every year and was marked as one of the two major events of the ESL Pro Tour in 2020.

The teams will compete for a RM2.1 million ($500,000) prize pool distributed across the four regions instead of the $1 million prize pool that ESL planned in case the tournament was played on LAN. ESL will equally allocate the remaining RM2.1 million ($500,000) for IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne in 2021.

ESL One Cologne will take place from Aug. 18 to 30. ESL distributed its initial invites according to its world ranking, its ESL Pro Tour ranking, and will invite the remaining nine teams on July 20 based on additional ESL world ranking information.

Here are all of the teams invited to ESL One Cologne 2020.

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