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Chaos EC and Team Liquid postpone ESL One playoffs to protest racism and police brutality

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Chaos EC and Team Liquid have announced that they will postpone their ESL One Cologne (opens in new tab) 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."

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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."

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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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) also postponed games, as did MLB players and teams including the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants. Several NFL teams (opens in new tab) also cancelled practice sessions in protest, and the NHL (opens in new tab) postponed playoff games scheduled for tonight and Friday following pressure from the Hockey Diversity Alliance (opens in new tab)

Not all players involved in the action called it a strike—WNBA Players Association president Nneka Ogwumike said in statement (opens in new tab) 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.

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Thanks, Slasher (opens in new tab)

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.