European teams protest Minor invites
Representatives of 11 European teams have sent a letter to PGL, protesting against invites for PGL Regional Minor Championship Europe, for which fnatic, Heroic, HellRaisers and Space Soldiers have been directly invited.
On Monday PGL revealed four out of eight teams at PGL Regional Minor Championship Europe had been determined via direct invites.
fnatic and Heroic received the first two invitations, while HellRaisers and Space Soldiers followed in the next announcement. The other half of the teams will come from two online open qualifiers, running from October 18-21.
Earlier today a letter was sent to PGL, who are in charge of the European Minor prior to ELEAGUE's Major, protesting against the invites and the qualifying process.
"A core value when it comes to CS:GO Majors and qualifiers is that all teams should have an equal chance. There have never in the history of CS:GO Minor events been any direct invitations. Remember that the challenger teams already have a long way to go to get to the Major, starting from online qualifications, followed by the Minor events and finishing with the main Major qualifier. Inviting four teams to an eight team Minor, and forcing all the other teams to compete against one another does not seem fair.
"There is no definitive and agreed to CS:GO team ranking system, and as such there should not be any direct invitations for Minor events. Alternatively, if e.g. the HLTV.org ranking were to be used, it should be made clear to all teams, so they would know of a way to make their qualification route for the Major easier in advance. All teams should qualify on the same conditions. A closed online qualifier with seeded teams based on actual team ranking could be an agreed solution, but that is far away from the current system we perceive as unfair."
The letter calls on the organizers to change the qualifying format to a two-step process, including an open and a closed part (used by numerous organizers, e.g. DreamHack), and remove all direct invites for the event.
It also touches on the issue of separate Minor Championships for Europe and CIS, as the teams hope to dicuss and give feedback on the next Major cycle's qualifying process.
"At first, in the next 48 hours, we expect Valve and PGL to change the 'direct invitations' to 'closed qualifer invitations' for directly invited teams fnatic, Heroic, HellRaisers and Space Soldiers. Two online qualifiers should allow through four teams each, instead of two, to determine the eight teams at the Minor.
"We also hope that the next Minor qualifier will be announced at least a month in advance, and that combined qualifiers for Europe and CIS would be at least discussed prior to the next Major. We hope to get feedback and discuss these points together to make a good system even better."
The full version of the letter can be found here.
Representatives of a total of 11 teams (all European teams within the top 50 of our ranking affected by the decision) have signed the letter, including Epsilon, Kinguin and ENCE, among others. The full list of teams can be seen below:
Virtus.pro have also expressed their support, as their coach Jakub "kuben" Gurczynski can be seen listed under the document as well.
Contacted by the teams with the aforementioned letter, PGL began dicussing the issues and aim to respond to the protest on Friday.