The grand finals of the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament took place last weekend, setting a new viewership record for a non-major CS:GO event in the process.
Who or what can attribute this success to? The Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.
According to statistics provided by Esports Charts, the tournament managed to garner an impressive peak viewership of 1,002,132. That’s a peak viewership number higher than even the 2018 Berlin Major and 2017 Krakow Major.
In a change from previous tournaments, last weekend’s three-day grand finals were played at Katowice’s 11,500-seat Spodek Arena without any fans or spectators on-site. The organisers revealed that the Polish health authorities recently closed the event to the mass public as a precautionary measure against the Coronavirus.
Natus Vincere was the champion of the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 after grabbing a 3-0 win against G2 Esports. The Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 StarCraft 2 tournament also took place at the arena this weekend, with Rogue from Jin Air Green Wings dominating Zest 4-1 in a best-of-seven grand final.
The esports, and games industry as a whole, has been disrupted due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020 was recently announced to have been postponed indefinitely, while esports leagues like the Overwatch League and League Of Legends Pro League have been moved or suspended.