ESL has announced that it will not be going ahead with IEM China this year. The gaming tournament organiser made the decision with regards to the ongoing COVID situation in China.
IEM China was initially scheduled to be held in December 2022, but now the fans in the country will have to wait for another year to catch some live Counter-Strike: Global Offensive action.
The China edition was held in the country regularly until 2020, when the COVID pandemic struck. The last event was IEM Beijing, which Astralis won in 2019.
ESL has also stated that the EPL Conference Season 17 will take place in 2023 instead of late November 2022. The decision was made so that it would avoid clashing with the BLAST Premier Fall Final, which is scheduled to take place from November 23 to 27, 2022.
ESL released a statement, which read:
“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation and complexities of hosting an international competition in China, we’ve made the decision to not host the planned #IEM tournament there later this year. We’ll continue to monitor developments within the region for 2023+ onwards.
“Additionally, to avoid conflicting with the Blast Premier Fall Final across Nov 26-27, #ESLProLeague S17 Conference will move to 2023, enabling us to schedule as per our original vision and attaching it directly to EPL Season 17. Full details on the 2023 program TBA soon.“
Most of the CS:GO tournaments have slowly started shifting back to LAN with live audiences, but China has been reporting a surge in COVID cases over the last few weeks, which is why this decision has been made.