Due to the cancellation of the Anime Comics and Games show in Guangzhou, China, we regret to inform that the Intel Extreme Masters China tournament will not take place. The ACG will not be taking place on the dates which were originally scheduled for September 30 - October 4. The official statement by ACG quotes problems with the increased expected visitor traffic and manpower shortage due to the holiday season in China. Unofficial sources in China report that the cancellation was connected to the current political unrest between China and Japan and the nature of the ACG show which heavily features Japanese culture, causing security concerns.
With the venue not being available for the Intel Extreme Masters tournament, no alternative solution could be found for ESL and Intel to deliver a high standard tournament in Guangzhou on the same dates.
ESL's Director of Pro Gaming Michał Blicharz has issued the following 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."
The teams and players that have already qualified for Intel Extreme Masters China and booked their travel will be contacted by ESL about compensation.
As the disagreement between Japan and China escalates, esports becomes the latest victim.
IEM Guangzhou was scheduled to begin in just a few short weeks on September 30. But with the problems caused by China and Japan's argument over the Senkaku islands getting worse, the computer fair that hosts the event has been forced to close. Without a venue for the tournament, ESL had no choice but to cancel the tournaments and shut down IEM Guangzhou altogether.
The tournament was due to be part of the IEM circuit, leading up to the grand finals in March. The qualifiers for this event are currently ongoing, but with the tournament cancelled the qualifiers become largely meaningless except for the entertainment factor they brought to viewers.
A member of ESL staff told GosuGamers that a large proportion of the exhibitors at the fair were Japanese and were therefore barred from attending during the argument between the two countries. With so many stalls left empty, the ACG expo was left with no choice but to cut their losses and cancel the event.
ESL will be releasing an official statement on the matter shortly.