The Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association, or CSSPA, has issued a press release this Friday, stating a formal intent to return to LAN as soon as possible, working with event organizers to guarantee the health and safety of the players it represents.
The Copenhagen based association has also announced a series of protocols which will include regulations regarding ‘travel, testing policies, interaction with staff, media as well as other general safety measures’. As with sporting events, returning to LAN events does come with considerable risk, with the CSSPA saying,
As in any other professional sport, returning to physical events during the COVID-19 pandemic exposes players to considerable health risks due to travel and added exposure to a larger number of people.
With an ongoing second wave of the pandemic, a return to face-to-face Counter-Strike is still a developing topic, as tournament organizers are observing and analysing the situation, working towards a come back to a local environment, as repeated online tournaments are starting to wear down their audiences.
The highly confined ‘bubble’ leagues have flourished during this period, with high profile traditional esports creating controlled conditions for the realization of big events such as the Champions League or the NBA Play-offs.
League of Legends has been ahead of the curve in copying this format, with Worlds 2020 taking place in Shanghai under a confined setting, with this gamble being backed up by millions of viewers following closely.
Last month, ESL announced IEM Global Challenge, an eight team tournament held on their studios at Cologne, Germany and the first event completely set on LAN since March, with IEM Katowice featuring their last set of series devoid of any live audience.