27m CS:GO fans tune in to ESL Cologne as doping tests give all clear

More than 27m unique viewers watched Fnatic claim their third Major title at last weekend’s ESL Cologne CS:GO finals as all competitors tested negative for drug use.

The Swedish team became the first to take back-to-back victories in front of an 11,000-strong crowd on both days in Germany’s largest indoor venue, the LANXESS arena.

At peak viewership during the finals, more than 1.3m people were watching the action concurrently on Twitch and in-game – a 30% increase on March’s ESL One Katowice tournament, setting new records.

Another record-breaking aspect of the tournament was the first randomised drug testing, in partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Germany’s Nationale Anti-Doping Agentur (NADA).

The prevention program was presented to players and officials for the first time at the event, and subsequent tests all returned negative results on randomly selected players.

The newly-established policy, a result of doping allegations brought against the organisers last month, will continue to be implemented for future ESL One series events.

Future events include October’s Dota 2 ESL One event to be held in New York’s Madison Square Garden Theater, next door to the 18,000-seater stadium which hosted last weekend’s League of Legends finals.

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