The 2020 Indianapolis Summer Open, an amateur Call of Duty tournament taking place on August 1, was supposed to pivot from a LAN event to a fully online format the day before it began due to health concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the tournament organizer, American Gaming Network, announcing the day prior that the event would be fully online, video footage has surfaced in a report by Dexerto of the even still taking place on LAN with in-person matches.
The statement from AGN, which was posted to the company's Twitter, reads as follows: "After discussions with representatives from Activision, we are deciding to change the Indianapolis Open to be online only, for health and safety concerns. Players are advised to participate in the tournament from their home location, alone. We apologize for any inconvenience in which this may bring upon players, spectators, and organizations. We look forward to working. With Activision for future events."
Announcing such a pivot the day before a tournament begins is bound to ruffle some feathers, but due to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, AGN is smart to play it safe. However, since the footage of LAN games being played for the tournament has surfaced, AGN has been criticized both for its lack of caution surrounding health and safety concerns as well as its announcement yesterday that states the event would be moved to an online only format.
AGN has since addressed the public backlash, stating that the company did not endorse nor have anything to do with players gathering at a LAN center to compete in the Indianapolis Open. However, members of the AGN team have been reported to be present at the event, and AGN owner Gage Cash simply has replied with, "We are hosting an online event" when questioned by others in the industry.
Whether AGN is knowingly allowing players to continue competing in the facility or if the players are gathering of their own volition has yet to be determined, but Gage has stated in a tweet reply that he may be addressing the series of events in the near future.