The 2020 Rio Major for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been officially cancelled by tournament organizer ESL, the company confirmed Wednesday. This means that 2020 will be the first year in CS:GO's history that will not have a Major tournament.
Originally planned for mid-May, ESL One: Rio had to be postponed to November over the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Together with ESL, Valve designed the so-called Road to Rio qualification system, which was made necessary due to the large gap in time between the Rio Major and the previous Major in Berlin, which finished September 2019. The prize pool was also increased to $2M, to compensate for skipping the regular second Major of the year.
With offline CS:GO not being possible, online regional leagues were formed as the backbone of this Road to Rio and teams started collecting points. All of this has been for nothing, however, as the Rio Major has been definitively cancelled for the same reason it was postponed — the coronavirus pandemic.
"We worked through several alternative options down to the last hour to make the Major a reality, but ultimately have to face the fact that the global situation currently does not allow for a Major to take place," ESL stated.
Valve has also been vague in their communication, as expected:
"So, what's the plan? First, we're going to hold off on scheduling Majors until, at a minimum, Regional Major Ranking (RMR) LAN events are safe to hold around the world. Until then, we expect to continue to hold online RMR events to keep track of the best teams in each region."
This puts CS:GO in a similar boat to its Valve cousin Dota 2. Dota's The International 10, originally planned for August, has also been indefinitely postponed, and even though players are still crowdfunding the prize pool for it — now upwards of $35M — there is still no statement from Valve as to when the Dota Pro Circuit and The International will be able to return.
Esports editor and journalist of 10+ years. Lives on black tea and corgi love.