- The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major has been experiencing difficulties with the Swedish government
- However, the Mayor of Stockholm urged the Ministers of Sports and Interior to resolve the issue
- As a result, PGL and Valve were invited by the Minister of Sports to discuss the event
As the CS:GO Major approaches, demands to resolve the travel issues grow louder, resulting in the Swedish Minister of Sports inviting PGL and Valve to negotiate the future of the event.
The Swedish Government Opens Negotiations
Sweden has been a tempting location for esports as both the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major and the Dota 2 The International 10 were expected to take place in the country. However, this proved to be easier said than done. Because of the pandemic and the Swedish government’s refusal to acknowledge esports as elite sporting events, players may find themselves being unable to get VISAs and enter Sweden.
Silviu Stroie, PGL’s CEO, was prepared for the worst and has been thinking of potential new venues for the CS:GO event. Additionally, the Swedish Esports Association filed a proposal on July 16 in hopes of reaching an agreement.
There is still hope as Anna König Jerlmyr, Stockholm’s Mayor stepped in support of the event and urged the Minister of Interior Mikael Damberg, and the Minister for Culture and Democracy, with responsibility for sport and national minorities, Amanda Lind, to resolve the issue.
As a result, Lind opened up for a discussion and invited PGL and Valve to negotiate the future of the Counter-Strike Major.
The Pandemic as a Major Setback
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish government is quite unwilling to easily approve events as it means people from other countries are coming in and out. Some events that are approved have the chance of bypassing those difficulties.
The Dota 2 The International 10 tournament, one of the biggest esports events to date, didn’t have much success and had to resort to relocating to Bucharest, Romania, where the measures allow for such an event. Counter-Strike fans shudder to imagine the same happening to the CS:GO Major, as it will mean a lot of extra work on the organizers’ side, which implies the possibility of the quality dropping.
The negotiations with Lind are the CS:GO Major’s last chance of being held in the country. Currently, PGL’s only demands are that players are given VISAs in order to be able to enter the country and compete. If the talks fail, PGL will be forced to move the event, much like the TI10 in Dota 2.