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ESL Gaming have released details about their new $500,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive women’s circuit, which will go under the name of ESL Impact. The circuit will feature two league seasons with live finals, a standalone event and online cash cups for all-women teams.

Last December, ESL announced a new CS:GO women’s circuit as part of their #GGFORALL initiative. The cash cups have been underway since January. ESEA Cash Cups will now be rebranded to ESL Impact Cash Cups and include dedicated tournaments for South Africa and Oceania.

ESL Impact season 1

ESL women's circuit
The ESL Impact CS:GO women’s circuit for 2022. | Provided by ESL.

ESL Impact begins on March 17. Matches will be played and broadcasted on Thursday and Friday for six weeks. The first season of the ESL Impact league will feature 24 teams across three regions (Europe, North America and South America) competing for a $150,000 prize pool. Two teams from each region will be invited directly to the league with the other six determined through two open qualifiers.

The ESL Impact format will see eight teams per region divided into two groups of four. Teams will play out a round-robin best-of-three format. Each team will face each other twice. The two teams sent to the global final will be determined by the winner of a match between the Group A winner and the Group B second place, and vice versa. Each group’s last place teams will play relegation games against the best teams from the open qualifiers.

The Season 1 global finals for ESL Impact will take place at DreamHack Dallas from June 3-5. The eight best teams from all participating regions will battle it out for the prize money. Six teams will qualify from the ESL Impact League season, with the other two teams as wildcards coming in through open qualifiers in South Africa and Asia/Oceania. For ESL Impact Season 1, the wildcard slot will go to Oceania. For Season 2, it will go to Asia.

Season 1 qualifiers

Qualifiers:

  • Open Qualifier #1: March 8-9 (three teams qualify for the league season)
  • Open Qualifier #2: March 11-12 (three teams qualify for the league season)
  • Unlimited single-elimination best-of-one bracket
  • Semifinal and third place matches will be best-of-three
  • Each qualifier determines three teams

Wildcard Qualifiers

  • Open Qualifier ZA: April 23-24 (winner qualifies for global finals)
  • Open Qualifier OCE: April 23-24 (winner qualifies for global finals)
  • Unlimited single-elimination best-of-one bracket
  • Semifinal and third place matches will be best-of-three

Qualifier sign up links can be found on the #GGFORALL website.

This overall format for ESL Impact is subject to future changes following the end of the season. ESL will review it with the women players council and make adjustments as they see fit. More #GGFORALL initiatives are still forthcoming. ESL are currently working on a talent development program for early March that will run alongside the ESL Impact League.

Details for the standalone live event ESL Impact Valencia and the players council will follow in the coming weeks.