September was filled with a bunch of highlights as we unveiled the calendar plans for 2022, listing our 25+ tournaments across all levels of the ESL Pro Tour and our plan to return to audience attendance across the globe starting with IEM Katowice ‘22. Natus Vincere took home the Intel Grand Slam III winning $1,000,000. With their win, we are making improvements to the format for the IGS IV which can be found below.
Information on tickets can be found below with a full calendar overview ‘22.
With qualifiers completed and all teams confirmed, this will be the final ESL Pro Tour Masters event of the year and the third ESL LAN event since our return to in person competitions since IEM Cologne ‘21. 16 teams are planned to compete on LAN in Sweden to earn the last available EPT points from a Masters level tournament heading into IEM Katowice ‘22. The cut off date for EPT invitations will be on the 20th December, where we will invite the best 16 teams from the last 12 months of the ESL Pro Tour competitions.
This will be our first set of back to back LAN events since our return to in person competitions, and with this being our final event of the year we are excited to be planning towards our IEM Katowice ‘21 where we will welcome back an audience since the Spodek closed in at IEM Katowice ‘20.
ESL PRO League Season 15
With the 2022 calendar release we announced the ESL Pro League Conference as an extension to our regular EPL season, the league will see an increase from 24 teams to 34. The tournament will now include a new stage which will see 16 teams from across all ESL Pro Tour Challenger tournaments battle it out in a double elimination bracket where 3 teams progress to the group stage of EPL S15. In future editions there will be 6 teams progressing from the conference stage, however for S15 we wanted to honor the placements of the ongoing ESEA Premier seasons where 3 teams would already join the regular EPLS15 group stage.
The EPL Conference stage is set to take place from November 23 - 28, 2021, and will be held online. We will be supporting teams from outside of Europe with travel and boot camp and all teams additional tech support throughout the tournament to ensure they are able to compete in the latest edition of ESL Pro League.
ESL Pro League Season 15 Conference stage slot distribution*
- DHO 45 - North America
- DHO 45 - Asia
- DHO 46 - North America
- DHO 46 - South America
- DHO 46 - Oceania
- DHO 47 - Europe
- ESEA S38 - Europe 2nd
- ESEA S38 - North America 2nd
- ESL NC Oceania
- ESL NC Germany
- ESL NC UK
- ESL NC France
- ESL NC Spain
- ESL NC Poland
- ESL NC Turkey
- ESL NC Decider Match (between Switzerland & Benelux)**
*The slot distribution for EPL15 Conference stage will be reviewed for further editions of EPL. All slots are solely assigned per season, and depending on eligible participants may require further qualifiers into the conference stage in the future.
**For the EPL15 Conference there are 8 slots available for the 9 ESL National Championships. On the 16th November, there is a decider match between the Swiss and Benelux region on who will take the final spot in the EPL Conference from the ESL National Championship tournaments.
IEM Fall is our biggest ESL CS:GO tournament ever, with 60 CS:GO teams across 6 regions competing at the final Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament before the Valve CS:GO Major. Whilst 5 regions were held online, the European region was held on LAN with 24 teams being on site in Sweden. Check out which teams are heading to the Valve CS:GO Major.
Intel Grand Slam
Following the conclusion of the Intel Grand Slam III where Natus Vincere picked up the $1,000,000 spoils after their victory at ESL Pro League Season 14, we wish to share a more simplified rule set and offer further information about the Intel Grand Slam IV.
The Intel Grand Slam IV can be completed by the first team to win three ESL Pro Tour Masters tournaments and one Championship tournament (Katowice, Cologne or an ESL-operated CS:GO Major) inside a span of ten consecutive events.
The way to obtain the Intel Grand Slam prize has become a much clearer process. Previously possible to obtain the Intel Grand Slam in two methods, either winning 3 EPT Masters + 1 EPT Championship, or alternatively winning 6 EPT Masters events within a span of 10 consecutive tournaments. The singular format is a cleaner process and easier to follow.
With the completion of one race, a new one begins. All teams which held IGS titles have been reset and the full ruleset for IGS IV can be found here.
DreamHack Open concluded its 46th iteration featuring Oceania, South America and North America regional competitions, which has seen Renegades, Sharks Esports and GODSENT come up on top and secure their slots for the upcoming EPL Conference.
DreamHack Open 47 is currently underway with Closed Qualifier scheduled to take place next week, which will also be the last chance to obtain valuable EPT points towards IEM Katowice ‘22 and to determine the last spot for EPL Conference from DreamHack Opens.
As previously announced DreamHack Open 47 will be the last iteration of this tournament before moving into 2022 with the new ESL Challenger brand, a good opportunity to tune-in from 10th to 14th November and celebrate the long-standing legacy of DreamHack Open.
ESEA Premier S38 has come to the end and we had an exciting but also challenging season behind us. Due to a full international tournament calendar and three regions we recognized surpassing “wildcards”. We will look into this during the short offseason but we want to say thank you to all teams and players which came back to us and shared their understanding.
Congratulations to the winners; AGO (EU), Party Astronauts (NA) and Looking for Org (ANZ) who will be part of the EPL Conference S15.
You can also take a look at our Season 39 update news: https://play.esea.net/news/15759
ESL National Championships
With the new EPL Conference stage, ESL National Championship tournaments now have a direct path into ESL Pro League. For Season 15 there are 8 slots for the ESL NC tournaments.
For further information have a look at our ESL Pro league news.
We also announced a deeper licensed based cooperation between F4U Gaming and ESL Gaming GmbH for the local markets Austria, France and Germany. This will also include two of our bigger NC products; the German “ESL Meisterschaft” and the French ESL Championnat National. We are really excited to see further evolving in 2022. If you are interested in learning more please have a look at our news here.
The upcoming National Championship play-offs are next on our calendar as you watch your local heros fighting for honor, glory and of course for the coveted slot in our new EPL Conference which will happen between: 23.11.2021 - 28.11.2021. Find out more about each NC competition here