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IEM Katowice will go on without an audience

Esports tournament sees permission to hold a mass event revoked due to COVID-19 coronavirus concerns

This weekend's Intel Extreme Masters Katowice tournaments will go on despite COVID-19 novel coronavirus concerns, but they will do so without an audience on-site.

Organizer ESL said it was informed Thursday evening that the Governor of Silesian (Silesian Voivode) Jarosław Wieczorek revoked its approval to hold a mass event.

The opening ceremony of the event had been set for Friday afternoon.

ESL noted that it had reconfirmed its status with the province several times in the days leading up to the revocation.

While the statement on the official website didn't explain why the approval was revoked, a tweet from the official IEM account specified that it was "due to the dynamic changes in the global health situation."

"ESL respects this decision from the local authorities and is currently working on reaching out to all ticket holders, guests, and media," organizers said.

Those who purchased tickets for this year's event will be fully refunded. The online broadcast of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft 2 competitions will go on as planned.

IEM Katowice is one of two ESL Pro Tour Masters Championship events held each year. Last year's event drew 174,000 fans to its tournaments and the surrounding expo.

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