IEM Katowice to be played away from crowd due to Coronavirus

This year, after ESL has unexpectedly revoked its permit on coronavirus problems, the IEM-Katowice playoffs will be held in silence. The organiser of the tournament states that it complies with the local authorities ‘ decision and will reimburse holders for the inconvenience.

The news is shocking for fans, particularly since Poland has no confirmed cases of the virus at present. ESL initially planned on hiring additional medical personnel for the event to test each fan for the virus before accessing the Spodek arena. More first aid workers will be deployed on police stations and hygiene stations around the arena will be set up.

However, this rule means that playoffs starting tomorrow, the semifinals and the finals are all played behind closed doors and can only be viewed online.

“The Silesian Voivodeship advises us at 19:54 CET that our licence for mass events in IEM Katowice has been withdrawn,” ESL announces. “There was a legally binding decision to schedule the event until then, which has in recent days been repeatedly confirmed. It was several hours ago the last time that the decision was confirmed.

“Silesian Governor Jaroslaw Wieczorek has decided to delete his approval for the ESL hosting of a mass event in Katowice, Poland. Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 will not have an on-site audience because of this development.

“ESL complies with this decision by the local governments and is working to meet both ticket owners, visitors and media. Completely reimbursed fares. The tournaments will be held and broadcast as planned, but without any guests at the venue. The coronavirus infected more than 80,000 people in recent weeks and killed nearly 3,000 people, but we were deeply sorry for all fans and players.

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