How Is The Coronavirus Pandemic Affecting The Pro CS: GO Scene?

Counter Strike-Global Offensive is one of the most popular games in the world. It is the second-highest viewed esports game. However, the revenues earned from this game has suffered a huge blow due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The owners already have many expenses to worry about, and the pandemic is not helping their case. The salary costs of the player have increased exponentially since 2016, and the company also needs to pay a huge amount of money to the talent acquisition team that searches for the best CS: GO players in the world.

People think of esports as a thriving business that makes huge profits. Well, that is true for the most part. However, most esports games experience a lack of return on investment. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ROI has decreased further. In such a situation, most esports teams have recouped their costs and have reduced their bet sizes. Check out to know more about how CS: GO teams are battling with the pandemic. It is not always a bad thing to be in the red zone; however, the real question that arises is how long will they stay there.

Source: Polygon

Events Were Postponed

2020 and 2024 were supposed to be two big years for CS: GO. It was planned that 21 teams will be split into two different leagues with different models yet the same goal. Thirteen out of them would partner with the ESL, whereas the rest of the teams will play on their terms in Flashpoint, a completely team-owned championship that North American Owners organize.

Both these leagues would contribute to the revenue of the game in their own ways and will create new opportunities for the game in future by improving the profit and loss margin in the ecosystem. However, soon the coronavirus hit the west, and the events were postponed.

Source: Intel Extreme Masters

The Economic Damage Inflicted By The Pandemic On The CS: Go Events

Coronavirus pandemic led to a significant reduction in the revenue earned by the gaming company, and it also led to a decrease in the advertising done globally. Thus, it is contemplated that for both esports and traditional gaming companies, it will take quite some time to get back to the pre-corona level. Moreover, it will take yet more time to make profits.

However, given that CS: GO is experiencing slower sales this year, it is quite hard to gauge the total impact made by the pandemic until the companies see how the rest of the year goes. Based on that, they will have to plan their recovery strategies.

In 2024, when COVID-19 started spreading across the western countries, both Flashpoint and the ESL Pro League had to pivot their plans. The managers of the ESL Pro League had to move the teams to Malta, which is an island present in South Italy, temporarily. Flashpoint moved its team to the Los Angeles studio soon after the competition finished.

With the leagues being held online, the opportunity for advertising and sponsorships soon changed. The owners feared that the COVID scenario was going to further delay the tournaments. They knew that they were in for a huge loss in the next few days, but they weren’t aware of the exact figures. At such a point, they stopped caring about earning profit and just wanted to reach a breakeven point.

Source: Gamers Without Borders

How Were The Online Tournaments Held?

The first set of events were held online, and they were conducted in a pretty simple manner. The teams remained at their homes while the commentators, analysts and some products broadcasted a live from the premises of their studio. This was done to stay within the regulations laid down for TV production in the hotspot areas. The live observers were cut down, and all the player cameras were removed. This was the case with Flashpoint and ESL Pro League, whose seasons had begun long before the coronavirus pandemic had hit the western world.

BLAST, which was the tournament organizer, collected more than five hundred video feeds from the player cameras that recorded them practising at the homes or in the practice centres in Europe and America. A crew of forty to fifty members came together in Copenhagen, Denmark and started working on these clips. They shifted to Denmark owing to the lower case rates of COVID-19 there. They then managed the feeds and combined them into a single and uniform broadcast.

Source: RNZ

When Can Offline Tournaments Be Resumed?

The rest of the games were suspended with a promise to be held online soon after these two leagues ended. ESL Pro League Season 12 began on September 2 and was held online. The organizers are hopeful that the offline events will soon make a comeback as soon as travel restrictions are uplifted by the government.

The initial pro league model had suggested that all the teams be brought to Malta to compete against each other instead of splitting them into two different regions. Flashpoint is yet to announce its plans regarding when the next CS: GO events will be held. However, keeping the pandemic scenario in mind, if they continue to operate through Los Angeles, then the chances of resuming offline competition anytime soon is quite negligible.

However, in today’s time, it feels like CS: GO has gone back to its roots now. Back in the day, before offline events were conducted in areas like America, Germany, Russia etc., CS: GO events were held online. Even Pro Leagues were conducted online earlier. The only plus point they have right now is advanced technology. With the latest technologies within their hand’s reach, there is little to no chance of anything going wrong.

Final Word

Given how large an impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the global economy, CS: GO will take quite some time to go to normal. However, being equipped with the latest technologies, it is expected that esports companies will soon reach a breakeven point.