ESL Gaming, the world’s largest esports company, has revealed updates to its much-anticipated Counter Strike: Global Offensive competitions including both events in Q2 as well as Q3’s ESL One Cologne. In light of ongoing global health restrictions, ESL plans further quarterly updates to keep the esports community informed.


ESL has today announced an update look ahead to the planned events for Q2 & Q3 of this year, which reduces the scope of ESL One Cologne due to the ongoing chaos being caused in mainland Europe from the pandemic.

DreamHack Masters Spring, scheduled to take place between April 29th and May 9th, will play out as a global online tournament with teams competing from various locations in Europe. Similarly, Intel Extreme Masters Summer slated for June will also move to an online-only format. Previous plans had been for both tournaments to be in-person competitions from within a controlled studio environment, however, the changes have been announced with the safety of the teams, crews, and the esports community being paramount.


July’s ESL One Cologne tournament falling into Q3 will, unfortunately, close its doors to any form of public attendance. However, pending continued evaluation, it will be the first in-person competition in ESL’s calendar since March 2020, with the 24 teams fighting it out from a controlled studio setting. Current plans allow for any tournaments after Cologne and to follow this format, again pending the latest health guidance and advice.


The past year has forced many changes to events and tournament formats, all of which will make the return of fans in the future all the sweeter, but the response from the esports community has been incredible. The online formats have brought record broadcast numbers with ESL collaborating with teams and partners to bring the best possible viewing experience to fans around the world. While current plans entail all events after ESL One Cologne will be played out as in-person studio competition, ESL are also working hard and exploring all available options to bring back live events in November. Further quarterly updates will be given so that the esports community can be kept up to speed on all upcoming tournaments across ESL’s gaming titles.

If you had tickets to ESL One Cologne 2021, you can either have them refunded (until 31st December, 2021) or you can keep them and they'll remain valid for next years event, in 2022.