Due to COVID 19, we’ve had a fair few delays over the summer, and many events have had to be rearranged. As such, we’ve been missing out on some of the biggest and best music, sports, and even eSports events around. Many have tried to replicate these events online, and by playing behind closed doors without supporters there, but it’s just not quite the same without the atmosphere of thousands in attendance watching their favorite events on the big stages.
Fortunately, for eSports fans, competitive CS:GO is back in the form of the ESL Pro League Season 12. You can familiarize yourself with this guide. And whilst it is being played behind closed doors in Malta, and without fans in attendance, there are still sure to be some tasty ties as some of the best teams in the world compete in one of the most popular eSports around.
Season 12 follows a record-breaking season back in March before the pandemic put the world on hold, and it started this week on September 1st, 2020, with all games broadcast online. The ESL Pro League Season 12 will take place over the next five weeks, across five regional divisions in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Oceania.
The reason for having five divisions compared to the usual two was to guarantee all teams who owned a spot for Season 11 but couldn’t participate due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Plus, spaces for those teams who qualified through the promised special qualifier in Season 12. There were then a bunch of teams invited personally based on their World Ranking in CS:GO at the end of July, which included all competitions that were completed before the summer break.
The European regionals have the biggest number of teams competing with 16 teams and thus have the biggest prize pool too, sitting at $450,000. And they’re the only region to have kicked off so far, running from September 1st, 2020 to October 4th, 2020.
There are ten partner teams; Astralis, Complexity, Ence, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Mouseports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Vitality; X-Kom Ago from the Mountain Dew League; Big and Team Spirit from the European Qualifiers; and OG, Heroic and Godsent invited through their World Rankings.
On the heels of a #CSGO cheating scandal, @ESLCS along with 13 member teams have announced the creation of a commissioner’s office that will look to build a collaborative structure to optimize governance.
— The Esports Observer (@esportsobserved) September 2, 2020
The format of the Europe Region will see two groups of eight teams, with a round-robin best-of-three format. The top four of each group will then head to the playoffs, where those who make it will enter a double-elimination bracket, with best-of-three games until the grand final which will be best-of-five (1 map advantage).
The North America regionals consist of eight teams, with a smaller prize pool of $225,000, but you won’t see any of them in-game until September 22nd, 2020, and they’ll be finishing before Europe too with their games finishing on September 27th, 2020. There will be three partner teams in 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid; Triumph from the Mountain Dew League, Furia from the North America Qualifier and Gen.G, Cloud9, and Chaos who made it through the World Rankings.
The format will differ slightly to Europe, with just one group of eight, using the same round-robin best-of-three format, and the top four making the playoffs. 1st and 2nd place will take the upper bracket, with 3rd and 4th filling the lower bracket. The Playoffs will then be a 4 teams double elimination brackets with best-of-three matches again, and a Grand Final that will see best-of-five (1 map advantage).
The remaining three regionals each consist of four teams. South America has Isurus from the South America Qualifier, Sharks and Boom Esports due to missing Season 11, and Havan Liberty invited due to their World Ranking. They will all compete from September 22nd to October 6th, through a straight playoff in a four double-elimination bracket, with the winner picking up $25,000.
In the Asia regionals, which spans from 21st September to October 6th, sees Tyloo from the Asia Qualifier, and Invictus, Vici Gaming, and Beyond Esports from World Ranking invites. The Oceania regionals streamed on the same days as the Asia regionals, see regional qualifier Order taking on Renegades who missed out in Season 11, and Avant and Chiefs who both qualified through World Ranking. Both Asia and Oceania regionals will follow the same format as South America and have the same prize pool of $25,000.
Who will come out on top? Who knows. What is guaranteed though is some mouthwatering ties, and an entertaining season of competitive CS:GO.
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