PGL is looking into the possibility of moving the CS:GO Major in October to another location in case Sweden issues more restrictive guidelines on handling the pandemic.
PGL in Talks to Change Stockholm Major Location
The PGL Stockholm CS:GO Major, a Valve-sponsored event for the popular first-person shooter, is facing uncertainty as the Swedish government is still not fully prepared to acknowledge that esports are elite sports and deserve exemptions when it comes to hosting competitive video gaming events.
After forcing the Dota 2 International to move to Bucharest, Romania, now a second event is up in the air with no certainty over the PGL Major originally scheduled to run at Avicci Arena in Stockholm from October 23 through November 7.
PGL and Valve have both got in touch with Swedish authorities and Stockholm mayor Anna König Jerlmyr. Jerlmyr was surprisingly supportive of the cause as her city is home to DreamHack, one of the first and largest (competitive) gaming festivals in the world.
Lack of Clarity Calls for Plan B
In lack of certainty over the event, though, and whether it can be hosted in Sweden, new reports have surfaced that PGL is now in talks with other major European cities to relocate the event. Replacing the 16,000-capacity Avicii Arena will not be an easy undertaking, but at present, restrictions, Sweden only allows 300 spectators for similar in-person gatherings.
However, the situation is evolving, and with a second wave expected in the fall, PGL may find itself in a situation faced by The International where the event had to quickly look for a new venue with Bucharest happy to host.
Sweden Is Still PGL’s First Choice
As per an official update by PGL, the organization is already in talks with cities that have promised all the necessary organizational prerequisites, including select venues and a large audience. In an official statement, PGL stated its reasons as to why Sweden made such a suitable candidate to host the event:
“When we initially planned the CS:GO Major, we had in mind that, after such a long time, we needed to find a special place to unleash the passion of players, organizations, fans, and last but not least, ours and Sweden seemed the perfect spot; a place with a great Counter-Strike heritage that largely contributed to the esports industry.”
The statement continued by outlining that PGL did have a plan B from the beginning and noting that some European countries have been very fast to reopen for fan events. PGL did say that it still wanted to hold the Major in Sweden and has met with the country’s Minister of Culture, Amanda Lind, to address the issue.
Sweden is not all gung-ho against esports, but the country does have strict sanitation and pandemic protocols that it sticks to. However, PGL will probably have to consult with other partners as the availability of other venues may also be limited.