ESL Pro League Europe expands to 16 teams; fnatic and NiP retain slots

Yossarian
December 1st, 2018 16:29

ESL has decided to increase the amount of teams participating in the European part of ESL Pro League from 14 to 16, which means that the Swedish sides fnatic and NiP will avoid relegation play.

Only a few days before the eighth season of ESL Pro League is set to culminate a the Finals LAN in Odense, Denmark, the tournament organiser has revealed that it intends to expand the European league to "focus more on on player demands and viewer preferences".

The two new spots for Season 9 will be given to NiP and fnatic, who ended the current season just below the relegation line, with the Swedish teams set to play relegation at the MDL Global Challenge LAN next week.

NiP will retain their slot in EPL because of changes to the league

Additionally, the change means that OpTic will get a chance to play relegation and qualify for EPL Season 9. This is due to a complicated situation, in which Epsilon, who placed fourth in ESEA MDL Season 29 were first offered the spot, but replied that they are not able to compete at the LAN.

ESL state on their website that "followingly, the next team in line receives the vacant spot. Given #5-#8 aren't played out and there is no time to do so, the same rule as as for the MDL relegation applies," which means that the team with the best "seasonal placement is invited" - this team being the Danes in OpTic, who play in MDL because of the decision to move the team to Europe.

With these changes, the winner of 3DMAX vs. Virtus.pro at the MDL Global Challenge qualfies directly to ESL Pro League Season 9 Europe, while the loser will play AGO, Kinguin for the two remaining slots. All matches will play out in a best-of-three double-elimination bracket.

In NA relegation, the winner of Swole Patrol and cantwinalan qualifies directly for ESL Pro League Season 9 North America, while the loser will play Envy, Rogue and Singularity in the same format.

FINALLY! EU CS is just so much better than other scenes, they deserve more spots.
2018-12-01 16:50
#9
max | 
Sweden Unluko 
Lmao f5
2018-12-01 16:50
#17
 | 
Austria shaakeh 
Lucky
2018-12-01 16:51
Sweden saved by ESL
2018-12-01 23:09
+1 worst decision of the year
2018-12-02 16:00
Shoulda had them play relegation and just give 5 spots instead of 3
2018-12-02 23:16
Just shouldnt upgrade spots
2018-12-03 11:20
Pro league has kinda been a shtt show lately. With optic going EU and NA being down 2 teams
2018-12-03 16:53
#20
 | 
Czech Republic Peks123 
yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah
2018-12-01 16:51
LMAO CRYING
2018-12-01 16:59
#50
max | 
Sweden Unluko 
No you
2018-12-01 17:00
NO
2018-12-01 16:50
#40
oskar | 
Czech Republic PlaSSma 
My words bro
2018-12-01 16:54
#46
 | 
Brazil ZerongBr 
no :D
2018-12-01 16:57
#92
JaCkz | 
United States Bochanka 
wow they only did it so one of those fan bases didn't cry that much..... pretty weak excuse to keep them up lol
2018-12-01 17:19
#117
 | 
United Kingdom Enticles! 
+1 Where was this when VP were relegated ...
2018-12-01 17:47
They allowed VP to play only the relegation and avoid the season one time, stop crying. They just suck.
2018-12-01 18:14
#150
 | 
United Kingdom Enticles! 
wasnt crying, just pointing out the doublestandards.
2018-12-01 23:29
#124
 | 
Europe p1peb0mb 
they can win relegation anyway. its on LAN and bo3. opponents are the kinds of vp and kinguin.
2018-12-01 17:56
Anything to keep the money in pro league... that's fucking blatant. And yet they keep 12 teams in NA meaning they just go where the money is and don't care about players. Scared nip and fnatic might lose esea?
2018-12-01 17:44
#125
 | 
Asia element4s 
Thanks god ! One more season ill see fnatec9
2018-12-01 18:09
#133
 | 
Sweden Trkmag 
+1
2018-12-01 18:37
nive
2018-12-01 16:49
#16
 | 
Czech Republic Peks123 
<3
2018-12-01 16:51
ez4fnatic
2018-12-01 17:23
#3
NAF | 
Slovakia t4gg3d 
What? 1 comment after 20 mins.?
2018-12-01 16:50
the VP treatment lmao
2018-12-01 16:50
#32
 | 
Poland Astoner55 
+1
2018-12-01 16:53
#138
 | 
Poland Ryunar 
What I thought too xD
2018-12-01 19:08
ok
2018-12-01 16:50
Yea yea yea
2018-12-01 16:50
#7
 | 
Sweden pontus767 
Ez
2018-12-01 16:50
Thanks god
2018-12-01 16:50
#10
shox | 
Vietnam buai 
ok
2018-12-01 16:50
OMEGALUL VP treatment all across the boooooard it ain't about respecting rules anymore, it's about changing rules so u can make most of the money.
2018-12-01 16:50
#24
 | 
Finland Madd!z 
What's the point of running a business if you are not even trying to be profitable?
2018-12-01 16:52
professionalism? do you see soccer leagues adding spots to keep top teams in the 1st division?
2018-12-01 16:54
Unexpected from Morraco to call it soccer.
2018-12-01 17:02
Yeah but football is a developed sport, with teams all across the board. Csgo is still growing, and if there's new teams that are just as good as some of the teams in EPL, it makes sense to increase it. Also, football leagues have 20 teams :p
2018-12-01 17:03
#74
Myanmar xdcc 
problem is ESL is trying to be that top league. with all the WESA shit they pulled. and now they do this again as with VP
2018-12-01 17:08
I guess it may seem like that on the surface, but they're not gonna make massive decisions such as these on single factors.
2018-12-01 17:11
#99
 | 
Sweden LimeyGaming 
When those single factors adds up to a insane amount of money and sponsorships, yeah they will. Don't be naive. If they intended to do this all the way, they would've announced it BEFORE the season started or during. Not after it's clear who's gonna be relegated etc. It's all about the money.
2018-12-01 17:31
I guess I can understand where you're coming from.
2018-12-01 17:33
actually yes, it has happened in various leagues over the years, not often though!
2018-12-01 17:19
#136
 | 
World nakTriceps 
Yep, but when it happenned normally was called "scandals", diferently on GO.
2018-12-01 18:43
+1
2018-12-01 18:53
#101
 | 
United States ferric 
+rep for calling it soccer
2018-12-01 17:33
RIP Epsilon, that sucks so badly wtf
2018-12-01 16:50
nice
2018-12-01 16:51
fuck ESL
2018-12-01 16:51
#18
 | 
Germany Cyasera 
nice move ESL, scared to lose those big names xD
2018-12-01 16:51
#59
 | 
Colombia AlejoBuh 
+10000000000
2018-12-01 17:01
+1
2018-12-01 17:45
#19
 | 
Italy Er1cz 
finally
2018-12-01 16:51
#21
 | 
Netherlands unluko_maluko 
How will this affect promotion and relegation? See it on the next episode of hltv confirmed.
2018-12-01 16:51
#55
 | 
Poland inf1niTyS 
Winner of VP - 3DMAX Will advance to EPL. Loser Will play relegation with AGO, Kinguin and Optic.
2018-12-01 17:01
#56
 | 
Netherlands unluko_maluko 
You ruined it.
2018-12-01 17:01
#62
 | 
Poland inf1niTyS 
Unluko maluko :D
2018-12-01 17:02
#22
 | 
Belgium jorneiro 
rip LDLC
2018-12-01 16:51
Wow.
2018-12-01 16:51
#25
Magisk | 
United Kingdom tr4c 
Viewer preferences Stream on Facebook btw
2018-12-01 16:52
Hahaha +1
2018-12-01 16:53
+1 lol
2018-12-01 17:45
#131
 | 
Czech Republic PaYaB 
+1 tru dat haha
2018-12-01 18:23
Classic ESL with the conflict of interests
2018-12-01 16:52
#80
Myanmar xdcc 
cmon man this decision was clearly made by WESA who is not in any way controlled by ESL.
2018-12-01 17:10
#27
 | 
Europe R2D2s 
that's retarded imo
2018-12-01 16:52
#28
KRIMZ | 
Sweden AlexQ4 
NiP and fnatic are looking better, so this is good
2018-12-01 16:53
#76
Myanmar xdcc 
yeah, so let them play relegation if they got better. I guess money talks. giving VP better chances too
2018-12-01 17:09
#82
KRIMZ | 
Sweden AlexQ4 
They are giving other teams now bigger chances which is good. Because fnatic and NiP would win against these tier3 teams. And both team were pretty bad online but then woke up
2018-12-01 17:11
#84
Myanmar xdcc 
so increase spots and make them all play relegation? I don't see how it's a problem. now they directly saved just as with VP. if thats not conflict of interest i dont know what is. and dont say they do it for the viewers because we clearly saw facebook fiasco
2018-12-01 17:12
#87
KRIMZ | 
Sweden AlexQ4 
Yeah this is pretty weird tho.
2018-12-01 17:14
not like online leagues are relevant anyway, full of shit nonsense games everyone knows fnatic and nip are way better on LAN than what they showed in this online seaon, same for faze
2018-12-01 17:34
then let them play relegation matches and show how good they are... after all they dropped there in the first place. it's not just about keeping the best teams but also integrity and prestige of the league. if all famous teams get invited back anyway then what's the point of relegation? just make it invite only franchise. if ESL were about fair play they would've increased the spots AFTER the relegation matches. BIG got demoted and qualified back themselves so I don't see where the problem is if this is irrelevant league anyway. also if some lesser known teams were at the bottom you think ESL would've raised the number of teams? and its not like the first time it happened. same thing was with VP.
2018-12-01 17:38
No point doing it, relegation is on LAN and fnatic and NIP would have trash on the teams there, just look at their recent results on LAN, theyre another tier of team as the teams comming from MDL, you can always upset anyone in random online matches but LAN is near 100% accurate to see whos the best team especially if its bo3. As for prestige there isnt any for these leagues only lower tier teams care and prepare for online games, top pros dont mind about it at all, only thing that matters at top level are LAN matches, nobody will ever use an online match as an argument to tell a certain team is better than an other one
2018-12-01 17:46
#145
fl0m | 
Denmark GARD91 
"Another tier" Lol. LAN would have been NiP, Fnatic, AGO, Kinguin, Optic and 3DMAX/VP To me, all those teams would have a fair chance. Yeah NIP as favourites maybe, but they should prove that, by winning exactly such a LAN as this. And imo Fnatic wouldn't be a bigger favorite here than Optic.
2018-12-01 21:46
Optic is trah, fnatic stomped liquid on LAN and pushed the best team in the world to their limit at their first LAN tournamament, dont even dare to compare them to Optic, this team is a joke to the optic franchise
2018-12-01 23:36
-1 dumb change, waaay to many online games already. Ecs has a better size, and actually contention of staying in the league.
2018-12-01 16:53
Lul shouldve added more slots to na as well since now EU will have 4 more slots than NA
2018-12-01 16:53
#42
 | 
Nepal permyxd 
ok but now look at eu teams and na teams
2018-12-01 16:55
What man dont you want to watch spacestation vs vireo.pro for a spot on the finals
2018-12-01 16:58
Because NA pro league is trash, the fact that Mibr gets free LAN spots for years is a joke
2018-12-01 17:09
We need more spots for na epl I want to see spacestation vs vireo.pro for a spot in finals
2018-12-01 17:11
Dont know if this is a bait or youre 2IQ but those teams are trash, in EU we have teams like FNATIC/NIP/FAZE that cant make it to the lan final while even tier 3 teams like Ghost can make it in NA proleague
2018-12-01 17:12
But ghost is good they have steel but he have Visa problems for majors :(
2018-12-01 17:39
AHA ok I got baited
2018-12-01 17:39
:) but I dunno maybe they will add more spots to na, anyway
2018-12-01 17:52
#33
 | 
Denmark clutchkongen 
Instead of moving away from all these online games they are increasing the amount! Well done esl! morons.
2018-12-01 16:53
Who says that? Maybe teams are now facing each other only once now.
2018-12-01 17:03
#158
 | 
Denmark clutchkongen 
Well that’s pure speculation from your side and where is the evidence that they are going to play each other just once. Who says that?
2018-12-02 14:13
That one ESL guy said to Xyp9x that he will like the changes if too many online games is his problem. I dont see anything else he could have meant by that. Also yeah, of course its just speculation. There is a reason why I said "Maybe".
2018-12-02 15:29
#160
 | 
Denmark clutchkongen 
It’s been a wish from pro players with less games for a long time yet changes still haven’t been made so I doubt it’s going to be any different this time.
2018-12-02 15:31
lol
2018-12-01 16:53
#35
 | 
Norway Phancy11 
Optic so lucky lol
2018-12-01 16:53
Don't worry, they'll most likely lose anyway
2018-12-01 17:35
Why not FaZe? Idiots. I think its because they want to stop FaZe from taking Grand Slam... Fuck this shit.
2018-12-01 16:54
Wtf youre up to? Use your brain for a second before making comments
2018-12-01 17:10
TAPETAO made in brazil
2018-12-01 16:54
#39
 | 
Lithuania andy_ 
Bullshit
2018-12-01 16:54
niiiice
2018-12-01 16:54
#43
 | 
Russia Sur10n 
So ez for Sweden
2018-12-01 16:55
#44
 | 
Europe Freeburger97 
how to decrease prestige of ypur league in one move
2018-12-01 16:56
#51
 | 
Kazakhstan ezBORAT 
Loses prestige and exclusivity (for real best team)
2018-12-01 17:00
#45
 | 
Kazakhstan ezBORAT 
nice riged league
2018-12-01 16:57
#47
 | 
United Kingdom FEodAL 
lol not expected
2018-12-01 16:58
just to avoid fnatic and nip dropping xdddddddd
2018-12-01 17:00
Emmmmm i think sweden org paid a few millions to ESL Ejem......
2018-12-01 17:00
#60
s1mple | 
Russia h3x0r 
Like VP some time ago
2018-12-01 17:01
#54
 | 
Denmark danishwarrior 
EZ for sweden!
2018-12-01 17:00
#57
s1mple | 
Russia h3x0r 
Lmao, fnatic and NiP just asked ESL to stat in EPL like VP did it ~3 years ago when it also was adding 2 slots to EU LUL
2018-12-01 17:01
+1 They knew that either Nip or Fnatic would fall back to mdl
2018-12-01 17:04
#70
Myanmar xdcc 
and now it improves chances for VP to make it in too. ESL on another level
2018-12-01 17:06
yeah ofc add more slots so shitters keep their spots
2018-12-01 17:01
lol changing rules just to save swedish cs.
2018-12-01 17:03
#67
Myanmar xdcc 
and improve chances for VP. which is double save
2018-12-01 17:04
#65
Myanmar xdcc 
ESL trying to remain professional with their WESA stunts and then they keep pulling things like this. corrupt league
2018-12-01 17:03
#69
 | 
Australia _Se7en 
Rly happy that nip and fnatic will get to stay :)
2018-12-01 17:06
Ago always lucky... They don't deserve to play in EPL.
2018-12-01 17:14
#140
 | 
Poland Kobel_ 
If they don't they'll lose in relegations. Simple.
2018-12-01 19:32
Two matches cannot prove that someone deserves it or not. Whole season can and they haven't shown anything. Lucky strike decided that they will have another chance which they didn't merit.
2018-12-01 19:39
hahaha
2018-12-01 17:07
how much did they pay esl rofl
2018-12-01 17:07
Epl and ecs should merge and be lan only
2018-12-01 17:08
#77
 | 
Israel geturlolon 
lmfaoo
2018-12-01 17:09
#85
NiKo | 
Dominican Republic yolinho 
3 Polish team in EPL LUL
2018-12-01 17:12
More probably in MDL ;)
2018-12-01 19:40
RIGGED ROFL
2018-12-01 17:14
#89
NAF | 
African Union dAnk7 
ez 4 trash swedes
2018-12-01 17:14
#90
 | 
Sweden ThorinEk 
haha fnatic and nip probably bribed mr esl anyway this is good news
2018-12-01 17:16
Esl swedish company confirmed
2018-12-01 17:23
#95
 | 
France StickyRice 
R I G G E D. EZ for mafia.exe
2018-12-01 17:24
#96
NiKo | 
Europe francesc0 
That's a great chance for Polish teams
2018-12-01 17:25
next season turn back 14 classic esl
2018-12-01 17:26
#98
 | 
Brazil bandicoot 
nice! just make it 18 spots in case nip and fnatic fail again
2018-12-01 17:29
Who the fuck cares about online CS anyway? They legit should stop online leagues already, takes way too much times from pros and the Schedule are shit + youre forced to forfeit the matches when youre on LAN
2018-12-01 17:32
#105
 | 
United States ferric 
I dont understand what's the point of this, other than listening to crying fanboys of teams that aren't doing so well. Europe doesnt get anymore spots in the finals from this, so literally the only thing it does it add way more fucking useless matches cause that's 2 more teams that will not be able to qualify for the finals..
2018-12-01 17:36
EU MDL is packet with full sponsored, full paid teams and much better quality wise then NA MDL (watch out for ESEA Global next weekend, like the last ones, NA teams gonna get stomped). When there is so much quality in the lower house and you still have space in the upper house, you bring more and more teams in.
2018-12-01 17:43
#111
 | 
United States ferric 
Yeah but I still dont understand what change it really makes.. it's not like more teams will qualify for the finals, and a lot of these MDL teams have to play smaller lans so were going to see more matches that have to be canceled/forfeited now..
2018-12-01 17:44
Watch my comment #113. There will be less matches and a different format next year for EPL. The changes gives more teams to participate in EPL EU, giving these teams a shot at qualifing and showing off. EPL gets more fans watching. (In theory, but facebook) I mean why does NFL have so many teams? There can only be X amount of teams in the playoffs? Leagues will try to fill up till its to much, aslong the quality is there.
2018-12-01 17:47
#121
 | 
United States ferric 
I guess, maybe I'm just biased in my thinking since I don't like watching EU EPL except for maybe 3 teams in particular.
2018-12-01 17:49
#107
 | 
Poland Marcines 
nice, 1 polish team confirmed in next epl
2018-12-01 17:38
#129
 | 
Poland Adei127 
2 polish teams confirmed (with chance for third) ;) 3 out of 4 will advance and 3 of them are PL
2018-12-01 18:22
twitter.com/theflyingdj/status/106890008.. ESL confirming new format. There wount be more online matches! So keep your heads down with hating on online leagues.
2018-12-01 17:45
Would be great, online matches have always been random and felt meaningless
2018-12-01 17:48
better make it to 20 cause I'm sure nip will get relegated again, and fucking esl will save them again... what even even is this shit
2018-12-01 17:47
#122
 | 
Moldova OptimusBlyad 
how much paid ESL?
2018-12-01 17:52
Last chance for OpTic ... come on k0nfig you can do it !
2018-12-01 18:18
#128
 | 
Poland p00ther 
OMG if VP win and 3DMAX lose to AGO we will have 2 Polish sqads in EPL, dreams scenario :DD
2018-12-01 18:19
#132
 | 
Poland Adei127 
" while the loser will play AGO, Kinguin for the >two remaining slots<" So if Vp win and then 3dmax lose all we will have 3 polish teams.. for now at least 2 polish teams are 100% in next season
2018-12-01 18:33
#146
draken | 
United States zSnuxy 
Kinguin could make it as well
2018-12-01 22:06
#147
 | 
Poland p00ther 
Of course, but i'm bigger fan AGO and VP than Kinguin so it's only my wet dream :P
2018-12-01 22:09
#154
draken | 
United States zSnuxy 
But imagine all 3 make it
2018-12-02 01:20
What a fucking joke
2018-12-01 18:22
#134
 | 
Sweden Trkmag 
EZ, NiP fnatic and VP gets special treatment like they deserve
2018-12-01 18:38
#135
 | 
Brazil hugoooo 
ESL is a joke nowadays
2018-12-01 18:42
#139
 | 
Germany Gloin 
First VP and now they do it again :DDDD
2018-12-01 19:08
#143
tabseN | 
Germany Ratwar 
what did fnatic and nip pay for that? they dont deserve a spot there! fkn tier3 teams
2018-12-01 19:49
RIGGED AF
2018-12-01 21:18
#148
 | 
Sweden Nuggeet 
SAVED
2018-12-01 22:29
#151
 | 
Europe trey_ 
WOOW MORE ONLINE CS THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE WANTED XD!
2018-12-01 23:31
#153
 | 
Sweden Niipr0 
<3
2018-12-01 23:46
What a shame. ESL didn't want to lose this two popular brands because of merch and viewers, so they decide to change rules once again.
2018-12-02 02:58
#156
 | 
United Kingdom chefman 
who wrote this article? hltv is an English website no? terribly written
2018-12-02 10:39
#157
 | 
Bulgaria berkalin 
When these two teams will avoid relegation play, why wont Windigo go to the LAN-finals as the 8th placed team? This tournament is a joke..
2018-12-02 13:35
#162
 | 
Argentina SCanalla 
Hahhaaha VP?
2018-12-02 19:12
so nip and fnatic gonna attend to lan ?
2018-12-02 21:43
#166
 | 
Denmark Xipingu 
LOOOOL so blatant lmao. What are you going to do when Fnatic and NiP end down there again because they suck? Expand to 18 teams? :D
2018-12-03 11:34
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