IEM Katowice

IEM Katowice matches to be played behind closed doors

Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice officials announced that due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, the event would no longer host a live audience. IEM tournaments are some of the most significant competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions. Sixteen top teams from around the world have travelled to compete for a piece of a $500 thousand prize pool.

Taking place in Katowice, Poland, CSGO enthusiasts gathered from around the world for this weekend’s live stage events at Spodek Arena. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, IEM organizers prioritized safeguarding the health and safety of players, staff, and guests. Reports stated event officials were working closely with the local government, planned to implement health screenings. Furthermore, ESL intended to provide additional medical resources on-site such as sanitation stations and first-aid patrol.

Government intervenes in IEM Katowice

This afternoon during the 100 Thieves and Mouseports best-of-three match, IEM revealed new information regarding the tournament’s status. According to their statement, the event is no longer able to host a live audience.

“We were informed by the Silesian Voivodeship that our mass event license for IEM Katowice was revoked. Until that moment we had a legally binding decision allowing us to organize the event, which was confirmed multiple times over the last few days. The last time the decision was confirmed was several hours ago.”

IEM’s audience cancelation comes as a result of Jarosław Wieczorek, Governor of Silesian (Silesian Voivode), who issued the decision to revoke ESL’s mass event license in Katowice. Therefore, there will be no on-site audience at Spodek-Arena and the IEM Expo.

“ESL respects this decision from the local authorities and is currently working on reaching out to all ticket holders, guests, and media. “

Obviously, the announcement comes as a massive disappointment to all of those involved. Professional players look forward to performing for their fans. Likewise, the fans adore the opportunity to see their favorite players compete live.

While a live audience is no longer viable, the tournament will continue as planned, and broadcasts will still be available through the official Twitch channels (ESL_CSGO and ESL_CSGOb).