Talent for the forthcoming CSGO Major will now be on-site at the Avicii Arena, Stockholm, after fan pressure on social media. The change was announced today by PGL CEO Silviu Stroie, and comes just a day after Duncan "Thorin" Shields, who will be working the event as an analyst, said the decision was due to "extenuating circumstances not all within their control".
The decision was met with joy from the community, and will no doubt add to the atmosphere in the arena both for the live audience and those watching on stream. There was some criticism of the initial decision on social media though, with speculation that demand for refunds had prompted PGL, who are running the event, to reverse a decision they had made to save money.
It should be pointed out that talent will only be on-site for the latter stages of the event, with HLTV confirming in their article that those involved will fly to Sweden after the group stages, and perform in the arena from Nov. 4-7, rather than for the entire event. This will most likely mean that some talent won't make it to the arena, as events will often pare back their numbers once there are fewer games and teams left at an event, and reduce costs for the organizers.
The Stockholm Major is set to be one of, if not the first "true" CSGO event since the start of the COVID pandemic, with PGL currently planning to have a crowd in the arena and now also the talent on-site. Obviously, as we saw with The International, things can still change, but CSGO fans are whipping themselves into a frenzy at the prospect of proper LAN competition after two years of online play, and any further changes will likely be met with dismay,
The Major even going ahead in Sweden as planned was touch and go for some time, with speculation it might have to be moved, and there are still complications with tourists from many nations not able to attend. Just this week Swedish authorities confirmed visitors from America would be unable to enter the country without special dispensation due to the European Council removing the US from the safe travel list.