ESL updates Pro League qualification process with changes to ESEA Global Challenge
ESL have made changes to the format of ESEA's MDL Global Challenge event by removing direct Pro League qualification for the Europe and North America MDL winners, now offering teams from Asia and Australia the chance to qualify.
The Global Challenge event historically has taken place after the offline MDL grand finals for Europe and North America played out, with the champions of each division earning direct qualification to ESL Pro League.
The changes to the event's format does away with those direct promotions and instead combines the process with the Global Challenge tournament itself, offering the top two teams from the event a spot in ESL's league. Additionally, North America has seen its overall number of slots at the event reduced from four to three, matching the number of European teams that can qualify.
To fill the gap, the remaining spot at the event will be distributed to the winner of the Asia-Pacific Open ESEA division, offering teams from the APAC region and the winner of Australia MDL the opportunity to also earn promotion to ESL Pro League, a chance that previously did not exist as a result of the direct promotion process for Europe and North America. The tournament format will also be tweaked to allow for more best-of-three matches as a result of the increased prestige.
The eight spots at the event will now be distributed as follows:
North America - 3 spots
Europe – 3 spots
Australia - 1 spot
Asia-Pacific - 1 spot
Notably, the change to the ESL Pro League qualification process by use of the Global Challenge event addresses an issue that arose during Global Challenge Season 31, where Vitality took a laid-back approach to the tournament as a result of already having earned promotion through the MDL grand finals and their impending attendance at IEM Chicago 2019 the following weekend.