ESL teases Major in Rio de Janeiro
Earlier today, ESL released a three-minute-long video on their official Twitter account of a still of a painting of Rio de Janeiro with the caption "cs_rio". The tweet alludes to the ESL Major that was to be played in Rio de Janeiro in the spring of 2020, which was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESL first showed their intent to host a Major in Brazil in December of 2019 when the tournament organizer announced that it was set to host ESL One Rio in May of 2020. Despite hosting both a significantly large and passionate fanbase, Brazil has suffered from a lack of tier-one international events being hosted in the region. The last international event in the country was Dreamhack Open Rio in 2019, but Brazil also hosted Blast São Paulo in the same year, ESL One Belo Horizonte in 2018 and EPL Season 4 Finals in 2016.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early portion of 2020, it quickly became apparent that holding the ESL One Rio event in May of that year would simply not be feasible. As such, ESL announced that the Major would be moved back to November of that year, meaning only one Major would be played during the year.
With that news, ESL continued to host the Road to Rio Regional Major Ranking events, in an effort to determine who would be qualifying for ESL One Rio. Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to be an issue, and ESL had to make the decision to scrap the event entirely in September of 2020.
While the next Major would not be played until November of 2021 in Stockholm, Sweden, a Major in Rio de Janeiro has still been on the minds of many fans worldwide. With this tweet from ESL, it seems reasonable to conclude that ESL One Rio is slated to make a return as the second Major event of the year. If ESL One Rio does end up being the second Major event of the year, it is set to be played in the early weeks of November this year.