IEM Katowice Has Mass Event License Revoked In Poland Due To Outbreak Concerns

IEM Katowice Has Mass Event License Revoked In Poland Due To Outbreak Concerns
Credit: ESL_CSGO via Twitch

Yet another gaming victim is had from COVID-19’s widely spread reign of pestilence, and it is once again an esports casualty.  IEM Katowice, one of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s largest tournaments, has had its mass event license revoked one day before the playoffs are slated to begin.  There’s nothing that the tournament organizers can do; it comes down to safety precautions, and no country wanting to invite a hotbed of catastrophic plague to inflict suffering on their citizens.

It’s why events from South Korea to China have been canceled, and we’re only in the beginning stages of the disease as it spreads like wildfire through the newest infected countries Italy and South Korea.  It’s also expected to be the first of many event cancelations this year, with the Game Developer Conference coming up quickly.

The event hasn’t been entirely canceled, it’s worth noting.  The matches will still be played in the center as planned, but crowds that have flown to Poland to make the event will no longer be allowed entrance.

Intel Extreme Master tournament organizers will be refunding all ticket purchases, and are expressing their deepest condolences.  Clearly, the tournament organizers have very little say when it comes to government mandates and cancellations being passed down to the event.

Despite IEM verifying multiple times over the past couple of days that they were still available to host the mass event that has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity.  Esports Charts registered the IEM Katowice tournament as registering a massive 545,265 viewers around the world on February 27th, and massive increase yet again from other tournaments, excluding IEM Katowice 2019 which was a Major.

Valve bestows Major status on specific tournaments that are conducted very well, and is a massive boost to the popularity and typically prize winnings as well, which is why we’re excluding it for that statement.

Carmac himself made an appearance today on the IEM Katowice 2020 stream where he was unfortunately responsible for bringing fans the crushing news that they wouldn’t be allowed in the venue.  It made for difficult watching as Carmac was clearly pained by the crushing news; it’s a massive blow not only to the popularity of the tournament but likely a financial blow as well that may cause problems for future tournaments.

The silver lining (that I’m desperately reaching for) is that the matches will be played out and broadcasted as scheduled for the world to enjoy as the pinnacle competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive experience that it is.  The IEM Expo has also been canceled.