The CEO of PGL, Silviu Stroie, today confirmed on Twitter that all PGL events in 2022 will require attendees to be fully vaccinated, including players, staff, coaches, and spectators. He stated that in his view this is the only way to bring back large LAN events in the short term, as authorities look to manage potential risk factors around the ongoing COVID situation.
In a follow-up tweet, Stroie clarified that this will only apply to next year's event. For the CSGO Major, scheduled to take place in Stockholm, Sweden in October, it will not be a hard requirement from the tournament organizer, though PGL is "strongly recommending" everyone in attendance to get vaccinated. Visitors to Sweden are required to provide proof of vaccination and a negative test to enter the country, and presumably the same will apply to any natives wishing to attend the event at the Avicii Arena.
PGL is also involved in the running of The International 10 in Bucharest this year, with Romania having its own set of rules for visitors to the nation, depending on the current COVID situation in the visitor’s place of origin.
The company also runs events in a wide variety of other titles, including but not limited to Apex Legends, FIFA, and Quake, with the publishers of Apex planning for the return of LAN play in the near future. PGL also ran the Singapore Major in Dota earlier this year, an event that saw a number of teams having to withdraw following positive COVID tests or travel issues related to the same.
This news will come as a positive to the majority of fans, many of whom are no doubt concerned about being in contact with unvaccinated people. As esports has not been enjoying the same level of government protection as traditional sports over the last couple of year, it is imperative that large events don’t lead to breakouts, which could, in turn, be used to justify shutting down future tournaments, as PGL’s trouble with the Stockholm Major has demonstrated.