The ESL Pro League is back, and it is hoped it will be bigger and better than ever before! The ESL Pro League is a 24 team global competition spanning four weeks. Teams from all over the world compete in the tournament, and they compete for the chance to win an ESL Pro League title and ESL Pro Tour Points in the Road to Cologne 2021 and Katowice 2022. This time, the tournament is taking place in Malta between March 8th and April 11th. The counter strike video game (officially known as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) is an incredibly popular online game, and the opportunity to compete in the tournament is incredibly prestigious.
The Teams Taking Part
The tournament is divided into four groups (A, B, C and D) with the first group starting their competition on the 8th March. There will be six teams in each of these four groups, and there are 24 teams taking part in the tournament this season: 12 of these teams are ESL gaming partners, and 12 of these teams have qualified by demonstrating their skill and talent in the ESL world rankings and other connected leagues.
The 12 teams that are ESL gaming partners are:
- Evil Geniuses
- FaZe Clan
- G2 Esports
- Natus Vincere
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Team Liquid
The 12 teams that are attending the tournament as a result of their successes in the rankings and leagues are:
- Endpoint CEX (via the Mountain Dew League)
- Team One Esports (via the Mountain Dew League)
- Heroic (via the world rankings)
- BIG (via the world rankings)
- FURIA (via the world rankings)
- OG (via the world rankings)
- VP (via the world rankings)
- Gambit (via the world rankings)
- Cloud9 (via the world rankings)
- Renegades (via the world rankings)
- MIBR (via the world rankings)
- One unconfirmed invite is still yet to be announced
Each of the teams listed above will take part in the play offs. From there, the team that places first in each group will proceed to a closed bracket, with the winners from each of those brackets advancing to the semi-finals. The team that comes fourth (last) in the first place play-ins go to the round of six byes. The other teams finishing in second and third of the groups will compete in a single-elimination round of 16, until the rankings of all the teams are completed, and the winners are announced.
A Full List of the Prizes Involved
So, what are the prizes that these 24 teams will be competing for? Well in total, there is $750,000 USD to be won throughout the full month-long event. The exact breakdown of how this will be divided amongst the winners is not yet clear, but we do know that the ultimate winner will net $175,000 and the teams making it to the playoffs can expect to bring home a minimum of a $7,000 cash prize.
As well as being exciting to watch, and incredibly prestigious for the teams involved, the tournament also serves as a huge incentive to entice more players to compete in and engage with ESL Gaming’s internal leagues. After all, if you are playing within a ESL league then you can earn Pro Tour Points, and these are counted towards your overall ranking which will determine whether you (and your team) and eligible to proceed to some of the biggest ESL gaming events. After all, the bigger the event, the bigger the prize fund and that is a huge carrot to dangle in front of gaming enthusiasts hoping to turn their hobby into a lucrative career.
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