International Competition Remains at Risk

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( — January 11, 2021) — Despite the difficulties faced by many throughout 2020, there were some sectors that were able to find huge amounts of success throughout the year – one of the big winners had been within esports, despite the restrictions across the world that had a big impact on more traditional sporting events, esports events were able to remain offline and continue without much disruption. There had been a big impact on offline events with cancellations and postponements however, and with the new year kicking off in a similar fashion as last year, it seems as if some international competition may remain at risk again.

The first big international event of the year comes from IEM as the yearly event in Katowice is set to go ahead in February – although there are expected restrictions such as the lack of fans in attendance, it was suggested that the event would go ahead with international teams able to attend the event as planned. Since the announcement at the end of last year, however, there have been changes for some that could put this in jeopardy and the same rings true for events moving forward as other titles such as Valorant have already stated that disruptions to international travel would solidify a requirement to focus primarily on regional competition.

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This may have a big impact on other sectors that have become more present in esports too, namely with the growing esports betting market – as more casual viewers have made the adjustment there has been a huge surge in visitors to esports betting sites like those found here, but many of them rely on the successes from international tournaments as well as regional, and the international tournaments often being much bigger provide many different markets too – whilst regional markets will s till provide a key part for esports in 2021, the lack of international events early on certainly may have an impact.

There is some positive news however as there has been a surge in new titles becoming popularised in the esports world with this new viewership – games such as FIFA and NBA have become more present as those looking for something more familiar have enabled a new demographic to join the fanbase, and with the ease of accessibility through events being live streamed, many are more accessible than before too. 

Many organisers are now making arrangements to allow for change wherever possible, whilst some have moved operations away from their usual location in hopes that COVID restrictions won’t prevent events as an elite sport, and some may be pushed back later on to ensure they can still take place this year, but there’s no doubt international events remain at risk and fans could see a repeat of last year where some will have to forgo taking place entirely as concerns over safety remains.