ESL and ESEA to host $1 million league
ESL and ESEA have partnered up to create a global CS:GO league with $1 million in cash prizes.
Named the ESL ESEA Pro League, this new competition will be divided into two invitational divisions, one in Europe and one in North America, featuring 24 teams, 12 per region.
Weekly matches will be played online in ESEA's servers, with ESL's arenas in Cologne and Los Angeles hosting the global finals, where the top teams from each region will face each other.
ESL joins forces with ESEA for a super CS:GO league
Two ESL ESEA Pro League seasons will be held in 2015, with $500,000 up for grabs in each one of them, making it a combined $1 million purse for this year.
"ESL started out with Counter-Strike more than fifteen years ago," said ESL managing director Ralf Reichert.
"Now, many years later, we are extremely excited to be in a position where we can take the industry to the next level with the first regular US$500,000 Counter-Strike league together with ESEA."
Despite the fact that this is already by far the biggest prize purse in the history of CS:GO, ESL and ESEA have vowed to increase the amount of money on offer for future editions as they attempt to "strengthen the competitive scene".
"ESEA is where the pros play, it's been that way for more than a decade, and combining our league expertise, a million dollars, and ESL's exceptional production quality represents a major milestone for everyone who loves Counter-Strike," ESEA president and CEO Eric Thunberg said.
More information about the ESL ESEA Pro League, which is scheduled to start on May 4, will be released in the coming days.
ESL's plans of tying teams down to exclusivity deals are seemingly dead in the water, according to a report by the Daily Dot, following "numerous concerns" from several parties involved in the negotiations.
But even if limiting the teams' involvement in other tournaments is off the table, the prospect of seeing top-flight sides put all their focus on this super CS:GO league appears to be very real as players often have to deal with a packed schedule and the subsequent lack of time to prepare for the big events.