ESL and Valve have just announced that the ESL One Rio Major will be postponed until November and the year's second Major will be cancelled outright. To compensate, the Rio Major's prize pool will be doubled.
The coronavirus outbreak took its biggest victim of the CS:GO calendar so far, forcing the postponement of the first CS:GO Major of 2020 by almost half a year. Though the location remains the same (the New Champions Stage will still take place in the Jeuness Arena of Rio), the move means the cancellation of the 2020 Fall Major. The Rio Major will take over its planned timeslot in November. With the prize pools of the two planned Major combined, this makes the Rio Major the biggest in the history of CS:GO, and an unexpected return to 2013, the only calendar year with a single Major since their introduction.
Per ESL's announcement, the tickets purchased for May will still be valid for November, but fans can also request a refund via Eventbrite. They also promised further updates about "how participants for the Major are determined and content for the May Major / Minor time frame". With no Major in the first part of 2020, participants of the StarLadder Berlin Major will likely have to retain the core of their lineup if they want to keep their invitation for Rio, a change which will likely have a seismic impact on player transfers for the foreseeable future.
Previously, Valve has also cancelled their planned Dota 2 Major, also hosted by ESL, in Los Angeles, though industry insiders suggest their decision to opt against a closed-door event was at least partly motivated by the US travel ban which was announced at the time. With over 1500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazil on March 23, the organizers' hand was pretty much forced.
This is a developing story. We will update this post as we learn more.
Photo credit: HLTV