We’ve already talked about IEM Global Challenge 2020 throughout our event previews and esports picks. IEM Global Challenge was touted as one of (if not the) biggest events in 2020. It was supposed to be the first LAN event in more than half a year; the event that would put the best NA and EU teams up against each other in the very heart of the European esports scene – Cologne, Germany. Unfortunately, IEM Global Challenge online switch announcement came just a few hours ago, ruining everyone’s plans and putting another online event on the board.
Due to the restrictions around COVID-19 in ??, we’ve made the decision to transition the #IEM Global Challenge to an online event.
? One global tournament
? @furia, @Heroicgg and 6 more teams
? $500,000 & #IntelGrandSlam
? Last CS:GO event in 2020
? https://t.co/SctYdwAx09 pic.twitter.com/xQRxnSqWoa
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) November 9, 2020
As you can see from this Tweet, everything else is staying the same… everything but the LAN segment, the most important part. IEM Global Challenge online will still be a part of the Intel Grand slam, that part has been left untouched. Also, it will have $500,000 in prize money, and feature FURIA, Heroic, as well as six more teams.
But, that all falls into the background because the last CSGO event in 2020 won’t be hosted in a LAN environment… and that hurts! IEM Global Challenge online switch means it will most likely be more than a full year without a proper LAN event in everyone’s favorite first-person shooter.
IEM Global Challenge Online Switch | Why?
Germany had announced new safety measures just days before Europe’s numbers started growing exponentially across the board. Speculations related to IEM Global Challenge online switch surfaced just a few days later; the only thing that’s surprising about all this is the fact we haven’t seen the announcement earlier.
As far as Europe and the Americas are concerned, it looks like the darkest scenario is becoming a reality – no LAN events in the foreseeable future. We might see the scene move to Asia – that’s not that far of a stretch, assuming Chinese authorities manage to keep the pandemic under control. LAN events in Asia could actually be the compromise the scene needs… and let’s face it:
CSGO Esports Needs LAN Events
LAN events are something else! They’re on a whole different level than their online counterparts – there, I’ve said it! Online events can only lead the scene that far – after a while, the excitement just isn’t there. Fans need a way to connect with their favorite teams and players; they need to sense a feeling of togetherness, and that’s just not possible with constant online events.
There’s also the good old psyche factor. You see, LAN and online events are totally different experiences for pro players. When they play online, they’re in a closed-off, well-known environment, either home or at a team house. Everyone is fully focused; everything goes as smoothly as possible, if we assume there are no latency issues.
LAN events; playing at a real venue with thousands of fans cheering from the stands is what professional CSGO is all about! That’s the thrill of the chase – that’s why people love to bet on CSGO – that’s where the best players show up for the occasion. The stakes are much higher, the fans are buzzing, and players are at the very center of everyone’s attention. That feeling of “being watched” is what gets the best out of pro players. Some of them are just natural at giving the crowds and the commentators something to talk about, something to cheer for.
Fingers crossed the situation calms down a bit and we get our treat in January/February next year. Fingers crossed!