Almost two years have passed since Swisscom and ESL joined forces to provide a place where ambitious Swiss gamers could prove themselves in a national championship. In late 2018, first qualifiers were held in which hundreds of players fought for a coveted spot in the competition. Now, the Swisscom Hero League is a well-established competition in Swiss eSports and a principal part of the eSports ecosystem.
Season 4 will continue with English being the official language and feature the same three titles as Season 3: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Clash Royale and League of Legends. Due to COVID-19, the Grand Finals for Season 3 this past May were held exclusively online at twitch.tv/eslswiss. The Season 4 Grand Finals will be held live during the recently announced 9-day Herofest event in Bern. As COVID-19 is still impacting the way competitions are being executed, the team is still working on how exactly fans will be able to cheer for their favourite players during the finals. Everyone, including colleagues from Herofest/BernEXPO are constantly evaluating the situation and looking for the best and most engaging way to create an epic Season 4 climax on the 10th and 11th of October.
The league format will be updated to a structure similar to the one used in the second season. Once qualified, CS: GO teams will compete in a double round robin Best-of-1 format. Fans will get two opportunities per week to vote for two matches to be streamed. Clash Royale players will play in a single round robin Best-of-5 format. For both games, the top six contestants (instead of the top four) will proceed to the playoffs this season to ensure an even more exciting road to the finals. For a detailed explanation on how the formats work, visit this article.
In terms of the MOBA game League of Legends one, major change to the qualification process in Season four will be impacting the competition. Riot’s Prime League has become the official national championship for League of Legends in the DACH region, providing a dedicated Pro circuit for LoL players, allowing the Swiss ecosystem to constantly grow. The Swisscom Hero League has had to adjust its format in order to continue to provide a fun and competitive experience for the League of Legends community. As a result of this change, the seedings and automatic qualifications from past seasons no longer carry over.
This season, qualifiers will be accessible for the whole community, meaning the entire bracket for the championship will be up for grabs during the Qualifiers. The top 16 teams will advance into the official regular season league play for a shot at the playoffs and a chance to compete in the Final at Hero Fest. This is a great opportunity for new teams and veterans alike to put their skills to the test and climb the Hero League charts from zero to hero.
The Zero to Hero, the structure gives national champions a chance to catch the attention of esports fans around the world and compete on international stages. For CS:GO, EPEC and Climber Cup, slots will be available for the winners of Season 4, giving them a chance to join the ESL Pro Tour and compete on the highest level of CS:GO gameplay worldwide. ESL remains committed to the growth of the Swiss esports scene and its teams and will continue looking for more ways to give them a place to step into the spotlight, gain experience and achieve their goals.