The pandemic has led to some big changes in esports as a whole as many events have had to turn to an online format in order to continue – whilst this has been good in some sense, as more traditional sporting events have found large postponements or cancellations, esports has been able to continue largely undisturbed, it also isn’t without its drawbacks. We’ve seen widespread technical issues through player connection problems or scheduling conflicts, amongst a host of other problems, but also the lack of any international competition as play outside of regional is next to impossible due to player connection and ping. So when could we see the return of offline events and bring international play back?
Well the first will take place very soon as the League of Legends World Championships takes place in Shanghai – there are some changes to the event as usually there would be a tour of some big cities across the event whereas this one will take place in one venue, but it does at least bring some competition back. Of course, as expected it will largely be likely that no fans will be able to attend but seeing our favourite teams from different regions competing is always exciting.
Counter-Strike hasn’t been so lucky as the major that was set to take place in Rio has since been cancelled – the next big event in the game is set to take place in May but with no location yet announced and uncertainty around the landscape during that period of time there’s still the possibility that it could be yet another event played behind closed doors if no changes are seen despite it being so far away. The same has also been true in DoTA as the International had also been pushed back through uncertainty around the logistics of hosting an international event.
The LoL Worlds will be a good indicator and perhaps even provide a blue print in how to approach the international stage safely, however that is under the assumption that everything goes well without any issues – it can probably be expected that any player or team returning a positive test could throw a huge wrench in the works and cause big delays with the possibility of cancellation, and with the event just days away that could cause a huge number of problems.
International events are always the pinnacle of the esports world, it brings players from all over the world together – different styles of play, different meta games, and different attitudes toward the game always lead to excitement and provide a bit of a mix up for punters who’ve largely spent the year watching regional play, it can provide some different results for the betters too as Best Esports Betting always provide some interesting odds on international competition – so whilst the hope is that offline events could return sooner than later, there are still plenty of obstacles that could cause organisers with some pause with the new year being the target for many different games.