ESL Pro League Update

ESL Pro League Update

ESL Pro League will upgrade its format for 2019 and expand to 16 teams in Europe as part of this.

ESL Pro League is the longest running professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league. Across its eight seasons over US$6M in prize-money have been at stake already. In 2019, the league will take its next big step to strengthen its position in the CS:GO ecosystem and focus more on player demands and viewer preferences. To get there, we have been working on a new and revised system which is going to be announced in detail soon.

One of the changes which is coming with this new system is that Pro League will feature 16 teams in the European region starting season 9. As part of the increase to 16 teams, the EU relegation - happening at the Mountain Dew League Global Challenge December 5-6 - will see changes to the participating teams based on the relegation slots shifting downwards. Fnatic and NiP as 12th and 13th placed teams from EPL season 8 will retain their spots for season 9.

In return, AGO Gaming - who were initially directly moved down but now end up in a relegation slot - and Epsilon Esports - 4th placed team from MDL - will get another shot at qualifying for Pro League in the relegation tournament. After contacting Epsilon for their new relegation opportunity, the league administration was informed by the team that they won’t be able to participate. Followingly, the next team in line receives the vacant spot. Given #5-#8 aren’t played out and there is no time to do so, the same rule as for the MDL relegation applies. Out of all teams, the team with the best season placement is invited - OpTic Gaming in this case.

The EU relegation will look like this:

  • The winner of the MDL play-in match 3DMAX vs. Virtus.pro directly qualifies for Pro League Season 9
  • AGO, Team Kinguin, OpTic Gaming and the loser of 3DMAX / VP play relegation for the two remaining spots
  • Relegation is a 4-team BO3 double-elimination bracket

The NA relegation remains unaffected by this.

The NA relegation will look like this:

  • The winner of the MDL play-in match Swole Patrol  vs. cantwinalan directly qualifies for Pro League Season 9
  • Team Envy, Rogue, Singularity and the loser of Swole Patrol / cantwinalan play relegation for the two remaining spots
  • Relegation is a 4-team BO3 double-elimination bracket

Further details about the new format and the upgrades to the league will be announced after the Pro League finals in Odense on December 4-9.

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