While the pandemic continues to rage on in all countries that aren't New Zealand, that doesn't mean that we don't get treated to some delicious esport action. While many TOs have been taking to online matches to mitigate the lack of ability to have in-person LANs at dedicated facilities, it seems like it's finally high time to roll the curtain back and treat ourselves to LAN play once again, courtesy of the ineffable ESL. \n \nESL One Cologne 2020 will be taking place in Cologne, Germany, from August 21 until August 30. Teams will face off against each other on a controlled set that allows for LAN; users that have purchased tickets to the 2020 Cologne will have their tickets honored at the 2021 Cologne. \n \nWithout fans rabidly cheering on their beloved teams and players, it's sure to be a quiet and intense deadlock between the greatest teams in Counter-Strike, although there is already an issue cropping up that ESL will have to figure out some way to mitigate. \n \nhttps:\/\/twitter.com\/ESLCS\/status\/1277995308551634944 \n \nCurrently, North America is on a travel ban coming to Germany (Team Liquid), along with Russia (Na'Vi) and China (Tyloo). So some logistical magic will need to happen in order for multiple teams to actually make the event, which is shaping up to be one of the most-hyped esport events that we've seen in the past couple of months. \n \nEven if you're not an avid Counter-Strike fan, this event will hold a fierce competition for an impressively large $1,000,000 prize pool. \n \nIt's assumed that, if ESL fails to figure out a way to circumvent the travel ban, other teams will need to step in to fill the slots that will be left vacant by teams restricted by travel bans. The bans are currently being reassessed every two weeks, and we're roughly two months out; there is still plenty of time for the travel to sort itself out to ensure that fans can see their favored teams competing once again in a LAN environment. \n \nThe outcome, however, is unknown for everyone; while there are teams that have been doing well as of late in online matches; it's simply a different beast when you have to consider latency into your shots and duels across maps. Shifting from latency-riddled matches to a LAN environment could well prove to be a difficult transition for many teams. \n \nAstralis is favored to come out ahead; or they were before Gla1ve and Xyp9x both took a leave of absence due to burn-out. Gla1ve is scheduled to return in time for Cologne: Xyp9x has yet to schedule his return with the team. Beyond that, this is anyone's tournament, and it's going to be an impeccable display of explosive Counter-Strike for seven days straight.