Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice officials have announced that this weekend’s event will no longer host a live audience. This stems from concerns surrounding the coronavirus, which have caused the government to revoke IEM’s mass event license.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, IEM organizers have prioritized safeguarding the health and safety of players, staff, and guests. Reports stated that event officials were working closely with the local government and planned to implement health screenings. Furthermore, ESL intended to provide additional medical resources on-site such as sanitation stations and first-aid patrol.
This isn’t the first time the recent coronavirus outbreak has affected gaming and esports events. Recently, Sony canceled their appearance at PAX East due to health worries. Furthermore, Overwatch League matches in South Korea were also canceled due to the virus.
This afternoon, during the 100 Thieves and Mousesports best-of-three match, IEM revealed new information regarding the tournament’s status. According to their statement, the event is no longer able to host a live audience.
We were informed by the Silesian Voivodeship that our mass event license for IEM Katowice was revoked. Until that moment we had a legally binding decision allowing us to organize the event, which was confirmed multiple times over the last few days. The last time the decision was confirmed was several hours ago.
IEM’s audience cancelation comes as a result of Jarosław Wieczorek, Governor of Silesian (Silesian Voivode), who issued the decision to revoke the license. As a result, there will be no on-site audience at Spodek Arena and the IEM Expo. The ESL has already confirmed that it will fully refund all tickets.
Obviously, the announcement comes as a massive disappointment to all of those involved. Professional players look forward to performing for their fans just as much as their fans love the opportunity to see their favorite players compete live.
I think it’s important to state that safety is first and Poland choosing to shut down the event is first and foremost to keep the attendees (the crowd) from getting sick.
You know that all teams would have loved to play in a full arena ❤️
— Nicolai Reedtz (@dev1ce) February 27, 2020
Many CSGO enthusiasts have already gathered from around the world for this weekend’s live stage events, which makes this news especially disappointing for them. Even so, while a live audience is no longer viable, IEM Katowice will continue as planned. Broadcasts will still be available through the official Twitch channels as well.
IEM tournaments are some of the most significant competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions. Sixteen teams from around the world compete for a piece of a $500 thousand prize pool. Stick with Daily Esports for more CSGO and IEM Katowice news.