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Published: May 12, 2021

Written by: Edward Pearcey

  • ESL and BLAST announce changes to their scheduling for the upcoming fall events
  • The changes were enacted with the explicit approval of teams and all parties involved
  • As a result, the events will no longer conflict with the PGL Stockholm Major

Esports hosting organizations ESL and BLAST have announced changes to the scheduling of H2 2021 events, having held consultations with participating teams beforehand.

Changes to CS:GO Schedule to Benefit Community

ESL and BLAST will have to rejuggle the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive schedule in the second half of 2021 as the tournament organizers are facing some challenges to pull off events as originally planned an announcement read. The biggest shake-up seems to be coming for the ESL Pro League Season 14 which was supposed to start on September 8 and run through October 10. However, the date has now been moved to August 16 through September 12.

While the change is not ideal as most teams make arrangements months ahead for each event they are planning to attend, ESL has provided participating teams with sufficient time to react. The changes are cleverly elaborated so that the ESL Pro League, BLAST Premier, and IEM Fall can run subsequently guaranteeing massive Counter-Strike action for fans from August 16 through October 10.

The other change in the schedule concerns the BLAST Premier Fall Groups which are moving to September 16 through September 26 from previously August 26 through September 5. Last but not least, the IEM Fall will be played between September 28 through October 10.

The rejuggled schedule was necessitated due to scheduling clashes with PGL Stockholm Major, which will be taking place from October 23 through November 7. The companies behind the events wrote a joint statement in which they said that the changes were made to the ultimate benefit of the competitive community and not forcing fans to choose which event to watch.

Consulting Community Before Jumping the Gun

Another great show of initiative in the matter is the fact that neither BLAST nor ESL embarked on the changes without hearing from all organizations involved in the events, essentially allowing them to decide whether such scheduling change may happen in the first place.

The companies used the opportunity to announce that they are working on a range of initiatives designed to improve integrity policies, rulebooks and scheduling for the 2022 season. Touching even briefly on integrity is an interesting topic in the context of increasing match-fixing fraud in competitive video gaming.

Even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is getting involved with understanding the way match-fixing works in esports, with esports betting now estimated to be worth at least $17 billion.

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