For those not familiar with ESL Pro League, it features 37 of the worlds best Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO) teams split across 5 regional divisions which include Europe (EU), North America (NA), South America, Oceania and Asia. After a very successful Pro League Season 11, which concluded earlier this year in March, season 12 is set to start on 1 September with an online broadcasted format instead of a LAN based event due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Participants will fight for the Pro League Championship in 5 week-long season in the 5 regional divisions.
ESL Pro League Season 12 will feature 24 teams, including the 13 partners who signed what was called the “Louvre Agreement” following a meeting in Paris in January 2020. For those that are not aware, the “Louvre Agreement” was signed by Astralis, Complexity, Evil Geniuses, ENCE, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, Mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Liquid, Team Vitality, 100 Thieves and ESL following a meeting in Paris in January 2020. Between them, the signatories of the agreement have won 28 ESL and DreamHack Masters-level competitions and two Intel® Grand Slams in the last four years and represent all the top 10 ranked teams in the world.
The agreement establishes a deep partnership between ESL, DreamHack and the partner teams, and introduces teams as key stakeholders in the transformed ESL Pro League running with a single global division of 24 teams. The founding teams will retain a long-term slot in the league like other sports, with remaining teams qualifying based on their world ranking or directly through the Mountain Dew League, the ESL Pro League’s gateway competition. The agreement will also mean partner teams earn a share of revenues from all competitions in the ESL Pro Tour – including marque tournaments such as IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne.
The divisions from Season 11 (Europe and North America) will be extended by South America, Asia, and Oceania to guarantee all teams who owned a spot for Season 11 but couldn’t participate as well as the teams qualifying through the promised special qualifier to compete in Season 12. The remaining teams were invited based on the World Ranking end of July, which included all competitions that were completed before the summer break.
Invites have been handed to Renegades, Sharks and BOOM, three teams who missed Season 11 due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and that, as ESL had promised, kept their spots in the league for another season. The last three participants rounding off the North American participants include Gen.G, Cloud 9 and Chaos. These teams also participated in the NA regional online tournament for ESL One Cologne where Chaos managed to reach the playoff stage but was defeated by Team Liquid. Chaos will look to take revenge on Team Liquid as both teams square off in the first round in the NA regional matches.
Regions will have varying tournament structures. EU will have 2 groups of 8 teams each, whereas NA will have 1 group of 8 teams. Both EU and NA will have a best of three tournament structure as part of the group stage with 8 teams and 4 teams advancing to a playoff stage respectively. Smaller regions such as South America, Oceania and Asia will feature only 4 teams and will consist of double elimination matches. All five regions will feature a best of five grand final.
Seeing that Europe has the most teams competing, their prize pool is the largest with a staggering $450 000 on the line. North America comes in second with a $225 000, followed by South America, Oceania and Asia which each having $25 000 up for grabs. The action is set to start on 1 September with EU heavy weights Natus Vincere against Godsent, G2 will be in action against OG and BIG will face off against AGO. As for NA matches, Liquid will go up against Chaos.
All the matches can be watched live on ESL’s Twitch and YouTube channels. The action will begin 14:00 (SAST) with the first EU match. If the EU scene doesn’t tickle your fancy, why not tune into the first NA match which is scheduled to begin at 22:00 (SAST). No matter which team(s) you support, ESL Pro League Season 12 is bound to deliver the best CSGO live score action you will ever witness, that is a promise.