Stockholm still a priority for 2021 CS:GO Major, according to HLTV sources
The organisers still hope to bring the Major to the Swedish capital.
Plans to hold Counter-Strike Major in Stockholm in the autumn have so far not been affected by this development, sources said. And bringing the event to the Swedish capital for the first time remains a priority for PGL, which has hosted several CS:GO events in the past, including the 2017 major in Krakow.
Valve revealed Monday night that moving TI10 out of Stockholm is a strong possibility after the Swedish Sports Federation voted against adding esports to the organisation. The game developer's application to reclassify the Dota 2 tournament as an elite sporting event was subsequently rejected by the Swedish Minister Ministry of the Interior.
Without official recognition from Swedish authorities, Valve explained, anyone applying for a visa to enter Sweden, "including players, talent and staff," will likely be denied entry due to international travel restrictions imposed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have begun looking at possible alternatives in other European countries to host the event this year should the Swedish government be unable to host The International - Dota 2 Championships as planned," Valve said. The event is scheduled to take place from August 5-15 at Avicii Arena - the same venue that hosts the CS:GO Major - with a whopping $40 million prize pool beckoning.
The PGL Major Stockholm will run from October 23 to November 7, with the playoffs being played in front of a live audience. It marks the return of the CS:GO Majors after a two-year hiatus caused by the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced Valve and the ESL to cancel plans for a major in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in 2020.
Counter-Strike fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of in-person events after more than a year of mostly online action. IEM Cologne, scheduled for July 6-18, is expected to be the first high-profile CS:GO tournament held at LAN since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It will be held in a studio environment with 24 teams and $1 million to be won.
The qualification process for PGL Major Stockholm is underway in all six regions (Europe, CIS, North America, South America, Asia and Oceania). The 24 event participants will be determined via the Regional Major Rankings (RMR), with each region hosting at least two RMR events, including one on LAN, Valve said.