Brazil Counter-Strike major postponed to November

CS:GO's Brazil major has been postponed. ESL / Helena Kristiansson

The ESL One Rio 2020 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major, originally scheduled for May 11-24 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, has been postponed to November, due to concerns around the novel coronavirus, ESL announced on Monday.

The tournament will replace the second Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major of the year, which was earmarked for a November date, and absorb that event's prize pool, meaning Rio will consist of a $2 million purse in total. The Rio Major will also retain its status in the ESL Pro Tour as a championship event and count towards winning the Intel Grand Slam.

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The Champions playoff stage for Rio will take place on November 19-22 at Jeunesse Arena, the home of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

"Our decision is an extremely tough one, but health and safety have to take absolute priority", said ESL senior vice president of product Ulrich Schulze said in a press release. "Given the very difficult circumstances for live events, we still wanted to give the Brazilian fans the CS:GO Major they deserve. We ask everyone to stay safe and we are pleased to be able to continue to deliver some quality CS:GO esports content to the community during these troubling times, while we prepare the Rio Major for November."

The Rio Major is the latest in event postponements or cancelations in esports and gaming as a result of coronavirus concerns. In Counter-Strike, both ESL and Flashpoint moved their respective leagues -- which were set to take place in Malta and Los Angeles respectively -- to an online-only format in the past few weeks. ESL also canceled its Los Angeles Dota 2 Major, which was scheduled for mid-March.

As of Monday, there are 353,692 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, named COVID-19, with a total of 15,430 deaths worldwide, according to the John Hopkins Center for Systems Sciences and Engineering and the Associated Press. In Brazil, there are 1,620 cases of the virus.