Tomorrow will see the start of the ESL Pro League Conference, a new, week-long online tournament designed as a feeder between ESL Pro Tour Challenger level competitions and the EPL.
Examples of Challenger level tournaments are the DreamHack Open, ESEA Premier League and ESL National Championships. In the past, victors of Challenger tournaments received invites to the next upcoming Masters tournament and earned EPT points. Now, all ESL Challenger tournaments will also feed into the EPL Conference.
The Conference will be a double-elimination bracket with all matches as best-of-threes.
“The changes to the ESL Pro League are all about giving more teams an opportunity to play for a spot in the EPL,” Ulrich Schulze, SVP of product at ESL, said. “The EPT structure is now much clearer, making it easier for players and teams to understand how to advance.”
With the addition of the EPL Conference comes an increase in overall teams at the event, expanding from 24 to 34 teams. In the Conference stage, thirteen teams will be eliminated and only three will advance to the main event. There, they will join the ESL Partner Teams, teams that have qualified through ESL World Ranking Points and the winners of ESEA Premier in Europe, North America and Australia.
“ESL Pro League is now the biggest CS:GO competition in the world, expanding from 24 to 36 teams as a part of its [sic] evolution within the EPT,” Alex Inglot, Commissioner of the ESL Pro League, said. “It is now the central and primary route for teams and talent to make it to the top. The new EPL Conference is a welcome addition to the EPL’s evolution.”
EPL Season 15 is meant to be a transitional event, where the Conference week is set apart from the main event in 2022. ESL plans to use EPL Season 15 to evaluate the changes.
On Oct. 21, BIG Esports, FURIA Esports and Heroic became the three latest to enter into ESL’s “Louvre Agreement,” gaining status as partner teams in the EPL. The addition brings the total partner teams at each EPL season from 12 to 15.
EPL Season 15 group stage will start on March 9, 2022.
The 16 EPL Conference teams are as follows:
- Extra Salt
- Team Renewal
- Sharks Esports
- MAD Lions
- Anonymo Esports
- RBG Esports
- Wisła Kraków
- Movistar Riders
- Team LDLC
- Eternal Fire
- eClub Brugge
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.