While the final competition of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 didn’t exactly draw a huge physical crowd owing to a coronavirus quarantine, it did reportedly set a new viewership record online, so there were plenty of eyes on the final in spite of them not physically being present.
According to analysis from Esports Charts, Katowice 2020 raked in a peak viewership of 1,002,132 people, setting a new record for the event itself and also breaking the viewership totals of 2019’s Berlin Major and 2017’s Krakow Major. While there were better than a million people watching online, the physical venue in Katowice, Poland, was practically empty thanks to a last-minute quarantine, which likely helped to drive viewership numbers upwards. The CSGO final saw Natus Vincere take down G2 Esports in a 3-0 sweep.
The quarantine at Katowice is just the latest in a string of impacts the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has made to the gaming industry itself, including voluntary cancellations of PAX East attendance and GDC attendance, a cancellation of EVE Fanfest in April, a wholesale rescheduling of GDC, and even a hindrance of development on EVE Echoes.