COVID strikes CS:GO again: ESL cancels Intel Extreme Masters in China

The virus once again forces an event to be shut down.

ESL has been forced to cancel a pivotal tournament in its ecosystem due to COVID-19.

The popular CS:GO tournament organizer released a statement in which it says that the Intel Extreme Masters China event, which was scheduled to take place in December in an unannounced Chinese city, has been called off. The main reason behind the decision is the “ongoing COVID-19 situation and complexities of hosting an international competition in China,” the statement reads.

ESL adds that it is going to “monitor developments within the region for 2023+ onwards.” Although China has never been known as a popular place to host CS:GO tournaments, ESL has been one of the exceptions and has hosted big events in the Asian country. It organized IEM Shanghai and IEM Beijing in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

While most of the countries in the Eastern Hemisphere have been dealing with the pandemic fairly well and a lot of esports tournaments, especially in CS:GO, returned to the LAN setup with a live audience, China has seen a surge of infections recently. Government officials have been advising the citizens of certain cities to stay home over the last couple of days, according to Reuters. More than 10,000 new infections were reported in August, according to

In the same statement, ESL also moved the Conference stage of ESL Pro League season 17 so that it doesn’t conflict with BLAST Premier Fall Finals 2023, which takes place from Nov. 23 to 27. The organizer added that it plans to reveal the full schedule for next year soon.

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