With the announcement in mid-March that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were being postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a big question was what would happen to the Intel World Open.
A tournament designed to showcase the world’s best Rocket League and Street Fighter V players, the IWO was set to turn the global spotlight on eSports just ahead of the Olympics.
Today, Intel confirmed what many have predicted for the past couple of weeks. The IWO has been pushed to 2021.
In a release, Intel stated: “Due to the evolving global situation around COVID-19 and the postponement of the Olympic Games, the Intel World Open, and the planned May 2 online qualifiers, have been postponed until next year. Though we were excited to witness the best Street Fighter V and Rocket League players, we must focus on the health and safety of the community first. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as quickly as we can. Though we will have to make adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety, we are committed to bringing Intel World Open to life. Thank you for your continued support.”
The Intel World Open was seen as a way to introduce eSports to an Olympics audience that might not be familiar with them. Rocket League and Street Fighter 5 were chosen to highlight eSports competition because they are easier for the general public to wrap their head around than more complex games like League of Legends.
Players would have been vying for a US$250,000 first-place prize for each title.