ESL has announced a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive women’s circuit for 2022. The aim of the circuit is to “increase awareness, provide new opportunities and improve the representation for all women CS:GO players,” according to the press release. The new circuit, sponsored by Intel and DHL, will offer a total of $500,000 across regional leagues, standalone events at DreamHack festivals and ESL Cash Cups.
The circuit is the first part of a new program called #GGFORALL, which will include several Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to “decrease the company’s environmental impact, to aid in establishing an inclusive gaming community free of discrimination, verbal abuse and bullying, and much more,” according to the release. The company has already announced a plan to offset its carbon emissions.
“By providing an infrastructure equal to their male counterparts, we are thrilled to create more visibility and opportunities for women in the esports space, as well as to support them in their professional development and to help make their dreams come true,” Roberta Hernandez, SVP People and Culture at ESL Gaming, said.
ESL has also committed to instituting a women players council. The council will provide input in developing the CS:GO ecosystem for women and will create “a platform for consolidated feedback towards ESL Gaming and other Tournament Organizers.”
Finally, ESL has committed to increasing representation of women within their company and as broadcasting talent. They plan to introduce a “talent development program” that will provide aspiring talent with the skills and the tools to succeed. The program will also offer opportunities to cast ESL competitions.
Two regional leagues in Europe and North American will feature eight teams each, competing for a $150,000 prize pool. The three best teams from both regions, along with a South American and an Asian-Pacific team coming from open qualifiers, participate in the Global League Finals at DreamHack Dallas (June 3-5, 2022) and DreamHack Winter (Nov. 25-27, 2022).
Besides the league finals, other DreamHack festivals will feature standalone women’s events. Each event will pit eight teams from all four regions — Europe, North America, South America and Asian-Pacific — against each other for a $100,000 prize pool, the same as the ESL Pro Tour Challenger events.
The first event will take place at DreamHack Valencia on July 1-3, 2022.
ESL Cash Cups
The final part of the new women’s circuit will add ESEA Cash Cups for women’s teams. Teams with a full women’s roster can compete twice a month for their share of a total of $4,000 prize pool (split evenly between the Asian-Pacific, European, North American and South American regions). The Cash Cups will begin in Jan. 2022.