WESA and ESL are proud to reveal details of next years Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Pro League, the longest running professional CS:GO league in history. The CS:GO Pro League will return with a brand new format featuring live studio matches, groups system and an increase to 16 teams in the regions Europe, Americas and Asia-Pacific. The new format will not only allow the league to become even more competitive but also emphasizes the importance of every match for the qualification leading to the season finals.
Kicking off on April 12th 2019 with the 9th season of the CS:GO Pro League, the three regions will each compete in four groups consisting of four teams, which are pre-seeded based on ESL’s CS:GO World Ranking. The group matches in Europe and America will be hosted at an offline LAN at the ESL studio in Leicester, United Kingdom and an additional studio in the United States which will be announced at a later date. The Asia-Pacific group matches will remain unchanged for now, being played out online.
The confirmed slots per region are as follows:
– Europe: 4 groups from Europe
– Americas: 3 groups from North America, 1 group from Latin America
– Asia-Pacific: 2 groups from Australia/New Zealand, 1 group from Greater China, 1 group from Southeast Asia
Only the winners of the European and American groups will receive a direct spot in the season finals that are played in front of a live audience. Teams that finished second and third in their groups will proceed to the second round of group stage. Within the Asia-Pacific region, winners and runner-ups will be able to secure one of the second group stage slots.
During the second group stage European teams must score first or second to play at the season finals whereas only the winners of the America and Asia-Pacific regions get the chance to proceed further in the tournament. The new format will conclude after a maximum of four weeks full of gripping esports, allowing players and teams to focus on the CS:GO Pro League for a shorter time frame within the vivid CS:GO ecosystem.
“The CS:GO Pro League will return with a brand new format featuring live studio matches in Europe and North America, offering more teams the chance to earn one of the coveted spots in the toughest CS:GO league to date,” said Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President at ESL. “We want to provide players, teams and the passionate CS:GO fans all around the world with the best possible experience – esports at its purest.”
“WESA’s goal was to bring Pro League to the next level. With the great commercial and competitive success of recent years we are grateful to be in the position to invest into improving Pro League even further. We want to make it more attractive for users and players who expressed their interest in improving the schedule, in order to have more time to prepare for matches,” said Pietro Fringuelli, Commissioner of WESA. “With the new high-quality production in offline locations as well as the new league format, we are confident that the games will become even more attractive and more competitive than ever.”
In 2019 the CS:GO Pro League season finals will feature the best 16 international teams (8 from Europe, 6 from America, 2 from Asia-Pacific) that fought their way up through the season. Since its inception in 2015, the CS:GO Pro League has grown season-over-season with some record breaking numbers in online viewership and live event attendance.
WESA was founded in May 2016 and counts as its Members thirteen of the world’s most popular esports teams (EnVyUS, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, OpTic Gaming, Renegades, SK Gaming, Splyce and Virtus.pro) together with ESL, the world’s largest esports company. This elite group shares a collective vision to continue to professionalize esports by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations and revenue sharing for teams. Based on traditional sports association models, WESA also aims to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters by engaging all appropriate stakeholders. Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Paladins are the first two professional esports competition played under WESA guidance.
ESL, a part of the international digital entertainment group MTG, is the world’s largest independent esports company, leading the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high profile, branded international and national leagues and tournaments such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL National Championships and other top tier stadium-size events, as well as grassroots amateur cups, leagues and matchmaking systems. ESL covers a broad field of services in gaming technology, event management, advertising and television production, fully catering to the needs of the esports ecosystem. With offices in North America, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Spain, China, and partners in many other countries, it has a truly global footprint (www.eslgaming.com).