When will Esports Return to In-Person Event’s?

By: Zachary Fingerle

IEM Cologne 2021(CSGO), LCS Summer Split, Valorant, and many other games/organizations have shifted to digital tournaments and LAN settings, seeking to shift back to in-person events in the future. While people who have bought tickets for IEM Cologne 2021 will supposedly keep their tickets valid for the next year. Valorant has yet to even see an in-person event, and the LCS has moved all casters, players, and staff into the arena but without any in-person viewers.

The concern that first comes to my mind is the funds used to bring the digital space to become efficient and effective. When the shift to in-person events occurs what happens to the foundations of the digital space? Will they be kept around for convenience in some cases or will they be trashed and organizations seek to make profits based on the costs incurred during the pandemic?

In the case of the event organizers and sponsors, it is a no-brainer to bring back in-person events. Ticket Sales, COncessions, Gift Stores and several other avenues of income open once again not to mention that sponsors such as Mountain Dew can attend events, meet fans, and make sales/connections when they attend events such as the CDL World Championships!

As mentioned earlier, the health of everyone involved still seems to be of utmost importance! This is a good thing, there is no need to rush back to events when the digital space handles the industry just fine! Although how long until events return? LCS states that they will not have any attendees through the progression of the Summer Split. For games like CSGO and Valorant that do not have a weekly schedule like the LCS, that means there are fewer opportunities for those industries to create cash flows. How might that affect the bottom line? Will organizations and sponsors sit aside or will they push for events once again.

Maybe I am overanalyzing how “greedy” organizations may be and various other factors. Although it never hurts too much to be a cynic/devil’s advocate!

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