Due to the escalating Senkaku Islands dispute between China and Japan, ESL has decided to cancel the Intel Extreme Masters event that was supposed to be held in Guangzhou.
With almost half of the participants or exhibitors in IEM Guangzhou were Japanese, and with them being barred entry to the country by the Chinese government due to the worsening conflict over the islands, the organizers have called it quits to cut their losses.
Michael “Carmac” Blicharz of ESL released this statement:
“We were all looking forward to going to China yet again as last year's tournament in Guangzhou, at the same venue, was a great success for us. Fans from all over the world surely remember Greg "IdrA" Fields' successful run through the tournament as well as the first ever encounter between Western League of Legends teams and their Chinese counterparts.
We are terribly sorry to disappoint esports fans that were expecting to enjoy the event, especially all Chinese esports fans. Unfortunately, the circumstances that forced the cancellation upon us were entirely beyond our control, though we understand and respect the decisions made by the Anime Comics and Games organizers.
Despite this setback, we are working very hard on delivering more fantastic events for esports fans around the world. We will soon announce more Intel Extreme Masters tournaments, including another one in Asia.”
Players and teams who have booked their travel to Guangzhou will be reimbursed, ESL reassured those concerned. There are no reports yet if ESL plans to hold a replacement event for IEM Guangzhou.
ESL may have been one of the first organizations to drop CS 1.6 but to lose an entire eSport and gaming event due to a worsening political situation that is most likely dangerous---is not funny at all.