Chaos EC and Team Liquid have announced that they will postpone their ESL One Cologne semi-finals match, originally scheduled to take place today, in a show of solidarity with ongoing protests against racism and police brutality across the US and around the world.
Chaos made the first move, saying that it would not be taking part in today's match in order to help "move the light where it belongs—on the protests against this country's continued systemic racism and police brutality."
We will be postponing our ESL One match today against @TeamLiquid pic.twitter.com/Rjapziz2fEAugust 27, 2020
Shortly after, Team Liquid expressed support, saying, "We believe competition is our players' platform and it's their personal decision whether to use it as a means for protest. We appreciate and support players who do make that decision."
pic.twitter.com/3VRov3UBhTAugust 27, 2020
The postponement follows player action in pro sports leagues including the NBA, WNBA, and MLB, all of which were forced to push back games after individual players and teams went on strike to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As noted by SB Nation, the Milwaukee Bucks started the ball rolling by refusing to take the court for game 5 of their playoff series with the Orlando Magic; the Magic joined by refusing to accept a forfeit loss. Shortly after that, other teams announced that they would also not play.
WNBA players also postponed games, as did MLB players and teams including the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants. Several NFL teams also cancelled practice sessions in protest, and the NHL postponed playoff games scheduled for tonight and Friday following pressure from the Hockey Diversity Alliance.
Not all players involved in the action called it a strike—WNBA Players Association president Nneka Ogwumike said in statement that "this is not a strike, this is not a boycott, this is affirmatively a day of reflection"—but even if it's called something else (whether due to semantic disagreement or legal caution) it is ultimately players stopping work as a form of protest.
ESL said on Twitter that it agreed to reschedule the match until later in the week. I've reached out for more information and will update if I receive a reply.
Earlier today, we were asked to postpone today’s semifinal match between @ChaosEC and @TeamLiquid due to the ongoing circumstances in the US. We have agreed to reschedule this to later this week.August 27, 2020